I spent my entire summer in Chicago this year with my partner and my goal was to see everything I possibly could. I wanted to really live life to the fullest and just explore. I went to so many places and did so many things. Here are some places that really stood out to me as a girl from New York.
1: Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium was probably the best aquarium I have ever been to. For starters, it’s HUGE and there is so much to see. The aquarium has roughly 32,000 animals as well as about 13 different exhibits. Not to mention, they have a lot of things you can touch which is also a fun part. It is definitely a whole day thing since there is so much to see, but the time flies so by with all the fun.
2: The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is incredibly gorgeous. The exhibitions they had there when I went were just mindblowing. The exhibitions by Bisa Butler were stunning and surprising. Her beautiful work made out of all different kinds of fabrics was a true statement to her goal of presenting the history, culture and legacy of the black community. My other favorite exhibition has to be the giant section of mini rooms. They have so many miniature rooms designed to reflect actual architecture and decor from each said country/era. Overall, it was a beautiful experience and I would go every day if I could just to see it all again.
3: Field Museum
The Field Museum of Chicago was wayyy too big to do in one day but it was a great experience. If you have ever been to the Museum of Natural History in New York, it is essentially that, except in Chicago. They have a multitude of exhibits and the price is not that bad. There are also not a lot of exhibits that cost extra so the general ticket should do just fine. Sue the T-Rex is a must-see.
4: Garfield Park Conservatory
I love plants. I love learning about plants, their weird names, and some of the amazing things they can do. The Garfield Park Conservatory is a must-go if you love plants as much as I do. The beauty in seeing nine different collections full of two acres’ worth of botanical specimens is unmatched. Although it is smaller than the ones in New York, it has just the right amount of things to see that make it worth it.
5: The Architecture Boat Tour
Now, to be very transparent, I am not at all interested in architecture. I have never really found myself sitting down somewhere wondering how and why buildings were made and how they can be unique. But this tour changed my whole perspective. I learned so much about the history of Chicago as well as the fascinating history of its buildings, homes, bridges and roads. It was so exciting to get happy about a wiggly building or a building that is so tall it has to be prevented from swaying. This tour takes you around all of downtown Chicago and although it is on the pricier side, it will probably be the most interesting two hours of your time in Chicago.