676 Restaurant & Bar

We are an American Contemporary restaurant with excellent views of the Magnificent Mile. Mon.-Thurs. 6:30am-12am; Fri. 6:30am-1am; Sat. 7am-1am; Sun. 7am-12am. Res. Accptd., Valet, Ha, $$$.
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  • Avg Meal Price/Person (appetizer, entrée, dessert): $$ = $15 – $24
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  • Max Restaurant Capacity: 275
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  • Hours of Operation: Mon.-Thurs. 6:30am-12am; Fri. 6:30am-1am; Sat. 7am-1am; Sun. 7am-12am.
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52Eighty Rooftop Lounge

Enjoy glam city views, celebrity service and tasty bites. Located on the 29th floor; open seasonally.
Facility Amenities
  • Avg Meal Price/Person (appetizer, entrée, dessert): $$ = $15 – $24
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  • Max Restaurant Capacity: 100
  • Private Dining Available:
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  • Food On-site: Restaurant
  • Hours of Operation: 5:00 pm – midnight. Open seasonally.
  • Minimum Age: 21
  • Open Seasonally:
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  • Public Space Wi-Fi COMP or Fee: Complimentary
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  • Number of Restaurants On-site: 2
  • Self-Parking Available: Off-site
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Location Information
  • Miles from Navy Pier: 1
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  • Maximum Group Number: 100
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  • Number of Sleeping Rooms: 131
  • Number of Suites: 84
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  • Exercise Facility: On-site
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  • In-Room High-Speed Availability: Complimentary
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  • In-Room Wi-Fi Availability: Complimentary
  • Spa: Nearby

The 3rd Coast Cafe and Wine Bar

Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast at Dearborn and Goethe this little neighborhood gem is celebrating 31 years in business open 7am to Midnight daily. Locals love the options of breakfast all day, incredible salads, sandwiches, vegetarian and gluten free items. Proud to source locally they use grain fed chicken, farm fresh eggs, and Angus Prime beef. The dinner menu changes nightly and will include fresh seafood, steaks, organic salads, and pasta. 3rd Coast offers boutique wines, hand crafted beers and a full bar. From early morning fresh baked scones and custom roasted coffee to late night dinner, wine and music, the “Coast” is a treasure full of ambiance, good old fashioned food and cocktails.
Certifications / Ratings
  • Zagat Rated:
Facility Amenities
  • Avg Meal Price/Person (appetizer, entrée, dessert): $ = up to $14
  • Max Restaurant Capacity: 92
  • Private Dining Available:
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  • Hours of Operation: 7am-midnight daily
Location Information
  • Miles from Downtown: 1
  • Miles from McCormick Place: 7
  • Miles from Midway Airport: 15
  • Miles from Navy Pier: 2.4
  • Miles from O’Hare Airport: 14
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312 Chicago

312 Chicago offers authentic Northern Italian cuisine in a setting that recalls the intimate private dining clubs of 1930s Chicago. Adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro and the Cadillac Palace Theatre, the restaurant is a haven amongst the lively Financial and Theatre districts in the Loop. Special features include Wine and Artisanal Beer Tastings; Cooking Classes; Wedding Services; Signature Meeting and Team Building Events.
Certifications / Ratings
  • Green Restaurant Certification:
Facility Amenities
  • Avg Meal Price/Person (appetizer, entrée, dessert): $$$ = $25 – $34
  • Group Breakfast Available:
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  • Max Restaurant Capacity: 250
  • Private Dining Available:
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  • ADA Compliant:
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Itineraries – Choose Chicago

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “foodie” or just like to eat, Chicago is your kind of town. We’re more than just hotdogs and deep dish. In fact, Chicago has close to two dozen Michelin starred restaurants.

TOURS

Don’t be overwhelmed by Chicago’s seemingly endless ways to satisfy appetites. Take a food tour and sample some of the city’s tastiest eats, refreshing drinks, and hidden gems. Get a three course meal on Chicago Dine Around, which shuttles guests in a fashionable coach bus to enjoy Hors D’oeuvres, a main course, and dessert at three different restaurants. Test Chicago’s trademark foods with Tastebud Tours and find out if our famed Italian beef, hotdogs, and deep dish pizza are really all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re looking to wash all that food down with a frosty refreshment, you can’t miss the Chicago Beer Experience. A walking tour of Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods will guide you through some of the North Side’s famed establishments, some of which have been around since Prohibition.

BREAKFAST

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and our city takes it seriously. How seriously? Michelin, the travel and lifestyle guide, added “breakfast” as a ranked category because of Chicago’s delicious early mealtime options.

Lou Mitchell’s is a Chicago institution with almost a century of experience in all-things eggs and pastry. Legend has it, enough fresh eggs have been cracked, made into omelettes, cooked in skillets and sold at Lou Mitchell’s to go side-by-side more than a few times around the world. For a traditional breakfast in a charming Chicago neighborhood, visit Eleven City Diner. A longstanding Chicago restaurant with a 1950s feel, Eleven City has perfected the corned beef and pastrami hash combination. If you’re looking for an early start in a convenient, downtown location, consider State and Lake Chicago Tavern. With an emphasis on local ingredients, State and Lake Chicago Tavern serves fresh short rib omelettes and red velvet pancakes.

ETHNIC FOOD

Don’t miss an opportunity to visit some of Chicago’s cultural neighborhoods where you’ll get a sense of our city’s rich history of gourmet brilliance.

Chinatown
Besides being a popular tourist destination for gift stores and cultural events, Chinatown is home to some our city’s most exciting restaurants. For the best spicy dishes, check out the mouthwatering Lao Sze Chuan where even the shredded cabbage appetizer comes with a fiery dipping sauce. For authentic, Hong Kong style dim sum, visit Minghin.

Little Italy
If you’re looking for chunky tomato sauce and gourmet pasta, head to Little Italy where rigatoni is treated with a regard usually reserved for royalty. Tuscany on Taylor offers the authentic, fresh cuisine of a small Italian village with some of the finest wines from Lo Stivale. The Rosebud has grown in to a Chicago empire of fine dining restaurants, but it all began at the original location on Taylor Street. The fresh, crowd-generating Davanti Enoteca offers delicious pasta dishes, seafood, and steak. Just remember to save room for gelato.

Greektown
In Chicago’s West Loop, you’ll find Greek Town. And, consequently, loads of seafood, flaming cheese and gyros. Lucky you. For an al fresco atmosphere, visit Athena where no passport is required for your authentic Mediterranean experience. Celebrating over 21-years in business is Santorini, which relies on locally grown produce and fresh seafood that is flown in daily. For a warm environment, don’t miss Artopolis Bakery, which features fresh breads and Greek specialties.

Other Neighborhood Eats
From Middle Eastern fare at Taste of Lebanon to Asian delights like Jin Ju, the food options are as diverse as the residents in the charming neighborhood of Andersonville. For some of the City’s best Mexican food venture over to the Pilsen neighborhood, which features an eclectic mix of authentic south-of-the-border cuisine. For the best Indian food this side of Mumbai make the trip to north to the Devon neighborhood.

RESTAURANTS

After your food tours and exploration of Chicago neighborhoods, you’ve probably developed a serious taste for Chicago. We don’t blame you. But don’t leave our city without chowing down at our staple restaurants.

For top-grade seafood visit Shaw’s Crab House, where you’ll find everything from delicious sushi to just-shucked oysters. If you care to challenge our pizza authority, stop by Lou Malnati’s for the best sauce-dripping, cheesy slice of heaven you’ve ever had the pleasure of swallowing. The North Side spot serves hotdogs made of everything from Andouille sausage to rattlesnake. For a carnivorous fantasy, make reservations at Keefer’s, which was given the high distinction of having “best steak in Chicago” by the Food Network.

Besides having a totally awesome name, Girl and the Goat boasts some of the best meat dishes in the city. The West Loop eatery serves up everything from braised beef tongue to grilled octopus and even blends its own wine. With Top Chef Chicago winner Stephanie Izard in the kitchen, the restaurant gets its fresh ingredients from local farmers. Don’t miss the ham fries at one of Trip Advisor’s “Favorite Restaurants of 2012.”

Located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Everest is one of the country’s premier establishments for fine dining. You’ll have amazing food with a breathtaking view, and a wine selection that was called “Best in the USA” by Decanter.

3 Half-Day Chicago Group Itineraries: Ethnic Neighborhood Excursions

hicago is a melting pot of cultures, and nowhere is that more evident than in the city’s many ethnic neighborhoods. Traditions run deep here, and visitors are welcome to come and explore. Three of Chicago’s most interesting ethnic neighborhoods—Chinatown, Pilsen and Bronzeville—are located close to downtown and easy to reach with tour groups in mind. Get out and discover all three!

CHICAGO’S CHINATOWN

Established in 1912, Chicago’s vibrant Chinatown is one of the oldest in the country. Enter through the ornate Chinatown Gate on Wentworth Avenue, the neighborhood’s “Main Street.” Here you’ll find kitschy souvenir shops and plenty of Chinese restaurants. Stop by the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago to learn about the experiences of Chinese-Americans in the Midwest. Or take a guided tour of the area with the Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute and see local landmarks like the Nine Dragon Wall that was sculpted in China.

You’ll also find dining on Archer Avenue and at Chinatown Square. Have lunch at the acclaimed MingHin Cuisine, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant. A great option for groups here is the Hong Kong-style dim sum, which allows for tastes of a number of authentic dishes.

Besides stores and restaurants, the two-level Chinatown Square outdoor shopping mall features bronze statues depicting the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and a beautiful mural of hand-painted glass tiles that illustrate the history of Chinese immigrants who came to the U.S. during the Gold Rush.

Nearby is the picturesque Ping Tom Memorial Park, set on the Chicago River and noted for its distinctive Chinese-inspired landscape design. Check out the stunning pagoda-style pavilion and catch a Chicago Water Taxi that cruises past sights such as Willis Tower and the Chicago Riverwalk.

PILSEN

The ever-changing Pilsen neighborhood is holding fast to its Hispanic roots. First settled by Eastern European immigrants over 150 years ago, the area eventually became home to Latino and Mexican-American residents. A good place to start a visit to Pilsen is the renowned National Museum of Mexican Art. Wander the halls of this colorful museum, which boasts a collection of more than 10,000 works. Docent-led tours for groups are tailored to appeal to all ages. Tours are offered in English, Spanish or Bilingual, and allow a maximum of 45 people per group.

Latino culture is celebrated throughout the Pilsen neighborhood. Perhaps most notably in the more than 400 brightly colored murals that adorn sides of buildings, railway overpasses and even homes throughout the area. Walk along the 2.5-mile 16th street rail embankment to see one of the largest concentrations of street art in Chicago.

Take a break for lunch at DeColores Galeria Y Sabores, nestled in the heart of Pilsen’s artist community. Sample Mexican family-recipe dishes, such as the cucumber salsa with freshly made tortilla chips and the savory mole poblano. Be sure to browse the rotating display of captivating art in the restaurant’s gallery.

Then head out and explore Pilsen’s many art galleries in the Chicago Arts District, bounded by South Halsted and 18th streets. See works by emerging local and national artists. A great time to explore is on 2nd Fridays Gallery Night (from 6-10pm), when galleries open their doors for free receptions and you can even visit with artists in their own studios.

BRONZEVILLE

This historic South Side neighborhood boomed in the early 1900s, when a huge number of African American workers relocated here during the Great Migration to escape oppression in the South. Famous names were part of the neighborhood’s renaissance (which came to be known as the Black Metropolis), with musician Louis Armstrong, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks acting as driving forces behind tremendous cultural and social advances.

Sign up for a neighborhood tour at the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center and let a knowledgeable guide show your group the area’s must-see attractions, such as the notable public art on Martin Luther King Drive (including the Monument to the Great Northern Migration and the Victory Monument) and Victorian Era architecture.

Stop for lunch at Pearl’s Place, known for its delicious down home Southern cooking. Try the fried chicken sided with collard greens and creamy macaroni and cheese, or go for the soul food buffet.

Move on to the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC), a historic landmark in the Bronzeville neighborhood that was dedicated in May 1941 by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The SSCAC was founded as part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, and today it is the only African American art center opened under the program that is still in operation. Attend one of the SSCAC Artists Talks and interact with exhibiting artists and art enthusiasts from around the world. The SSCAC also hosts dance, film and literary events, and collaborates with local creative schools, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. Book a private group tour of the SSCAC to learn more about its fascinating history.

Three perfect days in Chicago for groups

Day 1


MORNING Start the trip in Chicago’s downtown Loop with a local tradition: breakfast at the beloved Lou Mitchell’s, a city institution since 1923. It gets busy early, but those standing in line get a special treat: free doughnut holes while they wait, plus Milk Duds for the ladies. (1 hour)

For sweeping views of the city, turn to two iconic skyscrapers. At Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower, visitors can stand on the glass-enclosed Ledge and stare 1,353 feet straight down to the streets below. Or, for a special thrill, head to the new TILT at 360° CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory) and look out over The Magnificent Mile. (45 min.)
To experience Chicago from another unique vantage point, board a cruise along the Chicago River. An architecture tour is the way to go, with plenty of tour companies ready to impress: Chicago Line CruisesChicago’s First Lady CruisesMercury Chicago’s Skyline CruiselineShoreline Sightseeing and Wendella Sightseeing. (1.5 hours)

AFTERNOON For lunch, enjoy modern American fare at Seven Lions, situated along Michigan Avenue. Or, eat among famous works of art at Terzo Piano, which is located in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, offering fresh, local and organic delights. (1 hour)

After eating, groups can explore the Art Institute of Chicago, where masterpieces span more than 5,000 years, including the famed pitch-forked farmers of American Gothic and the recognizable Degas ballerinas. (1.5 – 3 hours)

Then, have groups wander Millennium Park, where they can stroll under the stainless steel beams of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, gaze at vibrant perennials in the Lurie Garden, splash around Crown Fountain and, of course, stop by the iconic Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, often referred to as “the Bean.” Visitors also can take a free Chicago Greeter Tour, given by an insightful local. (1 hour)

A day in Chicago isn’t complete without shopping, so make State Street the next stop. Encourage groups to visit the shops at Block 37, and make sure they go inside the landmark Macy’s on State Street – it’s the second largest department store in the world, home to architectural icons like the world’s largest Tiffany vaulted ceiling. (2 hours)
EVENING As the sun sets, enjoy a hearty meal at one of Chicago’s premier steakhouses, like the high-energy Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse, the upscale all-you-can-eat ZED451, or the dual steakhouse and seafood joint Shaw’s Crab House. (1 – 1.5 hours)

Top off the day with some of the best live jazz and swing in town at Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant (River North). Or, get tickets to an intimate show at the chic City Winery (West Loop), a unique restaurant-concert-venue combo. (1.5 hours)

Day 2


MORNING Send groups on an adventure to the Museum Campus in the South Loop, where they’ll be able to explore three world-class museums all within a mile of each other: Shedd AquariumAdler Planetarium and The Field Museum. (1.5 – 3 hours per museum)
AFTERNOON Try your first slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza at either Giordano’s in the South Loop, or head to Connie’s Pizza in the Gold Coast, both of which also dole out classic Italian-style entrees. (1 hour)

Take one of the city’s many guided tours, such as a walking or bus tour through Chicago Detours, or a tour on foot with Chicago Architecture Foundation, which also offers one-of-a-kind bus tours. For an added experience, hop on and off a two-level bus or a trolley by Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. (1 hour)

For a shopping excursion like no other, traverse The Magnificent Mile, the luxurious stretch of Michigan Avenue that features designer shops like Burberry, specialty boutiques like Rolex, department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and three amazing indoor malls: 900 North Michigan ShopsWater Tower Place and The Shops at North Bridge. (2 hours)

EVENING Experience the tastes, aromas and delicacies of Italy at the River North hotspot Eataly, an innovative shopping market with multiple dining options. Sip fine wines, savor freshly made pasta and get your gelato and espresso fix all in one location. Try the new Momotaro, a Japanese-inspired grill promising skewers, pastas, sushi, sashimi and nigiri; or see what everyone’s buzzing about at Frontera Grill (River North), a Mexican restaurant with a casual atmosphere run by award-winning chef Rick Bayless. (1.5 – 2 hours)

After dinner, dance into the wee hours at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago’s premier blues club, or challenge your crew to some late-night gaming at Pinstripes, a 33,000-square-foot dining and entertainment venue complete with bowling, bocce and an outdoor fire pit. (2 hours)

Day 3


MORNING On the final day of the trip, pick a neighborhood to explore. Learn more about Chicago’s many neighborhoods and communities.

AFTERNOON Break for an authentic and delicious lunch in Little Italy or Chinatown. Head over to Guaranteed Rate Field for a group tour of the baseball stadium where the Chicago White Sox play. Or, go north to Wrigleyville, home to the national league’s oldest ballpark, and be a part of history on the Wrigley Field Tour, which takes groups behind the scenes to the Cubs’ dugout, the visitors’ clubhouse (the same room where Babe Ruth has sat) and more. (1 – 1.5 hours)

EVENING For dinner, either grab a bite at the bustling and festive Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! (Lincoln Park), which serves Spanish tapas, small plates and sangria; tantalize your tastebuds with some Japanese fusion at the cozy Yoshi’s Cafe (Lakeview). (1 – 1.5 hours)

Laugh through the rest of the night with a comedy show in Old Town at The Second City, famous for its improv and sketch comedy, or travel to Lakeview for more hilarity at ComedySportz. For something more eclectic, book tickets to an interactive performance by Blue Man Group. (1.5 – 2 hours)

For the ultimate finale, get tickets to one of the best shows downtown. Broadway In Chicago offers award-winning musicals, the world-class Chicago Symphony Orchestra has mastered the classical genre, the Lyric Opera of Chicago boasts lavish productions and riveting music, and the city’s own Joffrey Ballet always delivers enigmatic performances. (2 – 3.5 hours)

Itineraries – Choose Chicago

The “Must-See-and-Do” list in Chicago is quite extensive – indeed, you could spend years in the city and still not get to explore everything. So how do you choose among all of Chicago’s top restaurants, nightlife, shopping and museums to fit them all into your busy schedule? Let our Classic Chicago itinerary ideas be your guide for all the best that Chicago has to offer.

ATTRACTIONS

360 CHICAGO

875 N. Michigan Ave. 94th Floor

Formerly the John Hancock Observatory, 360 CHICAGO is located on the cusp of Lake Michigan, sitting in the heart of the city 1,000 feet above The Magnificent Mile. From the 94th floor of Chicago’s fourth tallest building, 360 CHICAGO delivers incomparable views of the lake and city skyline. Thrill-seekers rejoice with Chicago’s newest epic attraction, TILT, an enclosed glass and steel moveable platform that tips outward at a downward-facing angle that has you looking straight down at the city beneath you. Conquer your fears and take on TILT today!

Buddy Guy’s Legends

700 S. Wabash Ave.

Owned by blues legend Buddy Guy, this is Chicago’s premier blues club, now in a new South Loop location. Local and national blues bands perform every night, ensuring an endless slate of the most talented blues musicians for you to enjoy.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Parkway

See roaring lions, playful meerkats and majestic gorillas just minutes from downtown Chicago. Lincoln Park Zoo is free, open and amazing every day of the year. Visitors can go nose-to-nose with chimpanzees, howl with red wolves, peer into a black bear den and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Africa with wild dogs, pygmy hippos and black rhinos. In addition to providing a wild home to hundreds of species, the zoo also operates one of the largest zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country.

Millennium Park

201 E. Randolph St.

Explore Chicago’s lush Millennium Park, home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture (affectionately known as “the Bean”), Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden and the Crown Fountain that spouts water from its digital human faces. Millennium Park is constructed on top of a railroad yard and expansive parking garages, making it one of the largest green roofs in the world. It’s simply the perfect spot to spend a relaxing, refreshing day in this beautiful city.

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand Ave.

Built in 1916 but reimagined in recent years as a festival destination of shops, dining, cruises and activities, Navy Pier is a Chicago landmark and the city’s most visited destination. This lakefront playground of more than 50 acres has a Ferris Wheel, mini golf course, a children’s museum and an IMAX® Theatre. Stay late for fireworks shows between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Skydeck Chicago

233 S. Wacker Dr.

Picture yourself standing 103 stories and 1,353 feet off the ground with sweeping 360-degree views that span up to 50 miles and four states. Enter the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago, placing you in an enclosed glass box past the building walls of Willis Tower, the second tallest building in North America. The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago is at your feet – literally!

MUSEUMS

From ancient artifacts and modern photography, to fossils and living organisms, all of it can be found at Chicago’s various museums. With more than 40 in the city, it’s easy to find one that fits your interests.

Adler Planetarium

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.

The Adler Planetarium is the first museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and features a state-of-the-art theater that will take you on a gripping journey through space and time. Fuel your imagination with spectacular exhibitions, leading-edge technology, and hands-on activities for the whole family. You won’t want to phone home after exploring the outer reaches of the Solar System!

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave.

Named the No. 1 museum in the world in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards, the Art Institute houses more than 300,000 works of art, including one of the largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces on the planet. Whether you’re up for a trip into antiquity, a fan of Asian or African art, or in the mood for cutting-edge, contemporary works, you’ll find galleries to your liking.

The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.

What are you curious about? Whatever your answer may be, chances are The Field Museum can answer your burning questions about the world. Discover 26 million artifacts, including Sue, the world’s largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. Explore dazzling gems, the Aztec empire, 23 Egyptian mummies and a 3D theater. Lose track of time as you traverse centuries of natural history.

Museum of Science & Industry

57th Street and Lake Shore Dr.

Hands-on is the name of the game at one of the largest science museums in the world, a family favorite with 14 acres of exhibits. Explore the human body, ride through a working coal mine and marvel at a 40-foot tornado before your very eyes in the Science Storms exhibit. Make sure to also dive deep into history with the U-505, a real captured WWII German submarine! There’s something for everyone in this fascinating museum.

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Let the animals of the sea connect you to the living world. From whales to snails, tarantulas to turtles, more than 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats around the world call Shedd Aquarium home. Come face to face with beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters and penguins in the Abbott Oceanarium, talk to a diver in the 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef and walk through a flooded forest in Amazon Rising. Widely renowned as one of the country’s finest, Shedd Aquarium is a “must-sea” Chicago destination.

TOURS

Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.

Chicago Trolleys have become one of the most recognized elements of the Chicago streetscape and are truly a part of the fabric of the city. Enjoy a quick overview tour of the city and hop-on and hop-off at most major attractions with trolley and open top double decker bus tours. Purchase a multi-day pass for a continuous transportation option during your stay.

Gray Line Sightseeing

For a comprehensive tour of all things Chicago, also consider a ride on the Chicago Gray Line. Their four-hour grand tour covers most of Chicago’s expansive and scenic outer drive, beautiful parks, and includes stops at the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Museum Campus. Multi-day passes may also be used as convenient transportation during your stay.

Boat Cruises

Notable lake excursions range from dining cruises aboard the Odyssey or Spirit of Chicago cruise ships; a Tall Ship sailing experience with Tall Ship Windy; and a very exciting speedboat tour along the lakefront with Seadog Chicago. With 26 miles of lakefront along the massive Lake Michigan, Chicago has plenty of ways to get out on the water, feel the breeze, and take in some truly remarkable sights of our unforgettable skyline.

Chicago may be most notable for its fabulous architecture. Greats like Daniel Burnham and Mies van der Rohe have lent their talents to some of the major skyscrapers that tower over the city today, many of which are best seen from the Chicago River. Winding through the heart of the city, the river provides an avenue for guided boat tours from Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, Chicago Line Cruises, Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises, and Wendella Boats, led by expert staff and hyper-knowledgeable docents.

DINING

Chicago has emerged as one of the great gastronomic cities in the world as noted and rated by the 2015 Michelin Guide – indeed, the city boasts 24 starred restaurants. The range of flavor palettes includes classic fine dining, steakhouses, eclectic trend setters, family casual, and many ethnic dining options. See your concierge for a recommendation which suits your taste.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

1028 N. Rush St.

This classic American steakhouse offers USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, huge portions, sides large enough to share, impressively enormous desserts and famously large martinis. Gibsons has been the pinnacle of Gold Coast dining for over 23 years, with an energetic atmosphere and unsurpassable service that makes it a party every night.

Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse

Various Locations

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy the American and Italian cuisine at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse. Named for the late, hall of fame White Sox and Cubs announcer, Harry’s serves the finest prime, aged steaks, chops and Italian favorites in a classic Chicago steakhouse setting. Universally recognized as a Chicago legend, Harry Caray’s has won numerous awards and accolades for its outstanding food and service. Dine at the downtown location in the River North district, or check out Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier.

Intelligentsia

Various Locations

Enjoy delicious, direct trade coffee in a cozy atmosphere at Intelligentsia, which provides padded sofas for your espresso sipping experience. Or go all out and join their local roasting tour! What a perfect way to kick start your day, right?

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Various Locations

Considered the oldest family name in Chicago pizza, Lou Malnati’s has stayed true to the original Chicago style deep dish pizza recipe first created in the 1940s. If you’re craving the best deep dish Chicago has to offer, stop by and savor the buttery, flaky crust, tangy tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella that make Lou’s so famous.

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Various Locations

Ready for a true Chicago culinary classic? Sample a juicy Italian Beef sandwich or a famous Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo’s in River North. This 1930s and ‘40s themed diner is located on a corner with Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, and Chicago’s most famous contribution to dining in the world, a throwback Rock N Roll McDonald’s. Not to distract from the delicious food at hand, but Portillo’s has some tempting restaurants for neighbors.

SHOPPING

Any shopping adventure in Chicago should begin with the granddaddy of all Chicago retail: The Magnificent Mile. This cosmopolitan, history-packed section of Michigan Avenue teems with shopping, dining and entertainment treasures that make any vacation unforgettable. That’s not to leave out the other diverse neighborhood hot spots where you can find luxury brands, independent and trendy boutiques, and great vintage items at any number of Chicago’s street fairs.

The Magnificent Mile

North Michigan Avenue

For a shopping experience that’s as diverse as Chicago itself, head to The Magnificent Mile. This retail mecca is home to more than 460 retail stores, 275 dining options, and almost 60 hotels filling the district with vibrant options for any taste. Luxury retailers on Michigan Avenue and Oak Street include Prada, Ferragamo, Escada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Marlowe, Jimmy Choo and many more. You will also find very accessible American shopping favorites and brands from around the globe in places such as the world’s first vertical shopping mall, Water Tower Place, as well as 900 North Michigan Shops and The Shops at North Bridge.

THEATRE

Theatrical fare, from lavish Broadway musicals to serious stories told in intimate settings, is one of the magnets that attract the world to Chicago. With five Tony Award®-winning regional theater companies and more than 250 professional theaters, it’s always show time somewhere. Chicago also abounds with first-rate comedy venues offering the very best in stand-up, sketch and improv. You’ll leave delirious from laughter.

Broadway in Chicago

Various Locations

The best of Broadway lights up downtown’s grand theaters as Broadway In Chicago showcases dozens of hit musicals every season. See shows direct from Broadway and world premieres destined for the big stage. From “Jersey Boys” to “The Book of Mormon,” Broadway In Chicago features a number of must-see performances. Off to the show!

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

220 S. Michigan St.

Consistently acclaimed as one of the best orchestras in the world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra collaborates with internationally renowned conductors and guest artists, putting on more than 100 concerts each year. During the summer, don’t miss the free orchestral performance at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, where you can spread out a picnic blanket and listen to classical music under the stars.

Goodman Theatre

170 N. Dearborn St.

Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit theater has won international renown for the quality of its productions, and the depth and diversity of artistic leadership. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Goodman Theatre is an essential cultural institution in Chicago, providing productions of tremendous range and unsurpassed theatrical experience.

Lookingglass Theatre Company

821 N. Michigan Ave.

Recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Lookingglass Theatre Company is a critically acclaimed live theater on The Magnificent Mile. Prepare yourself for visually stunning, physical and dynamic productions of unmatched excellence.

The Second City

1616 N. Wells St.

No trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to The Second City, our world-famous comedy club known as the birthplace of improv. With an impressive roster of celebrity alums, such as Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell, this full-time training ground for Saturday Night Live is sure to lead to some laughs.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

1650 N. Halsted St.

You will be challenged to think harder, laugh longer and feel more. True to its mission, Steppenwolf Theatre Company consistently delivers dynamic and exciting theater that will hit you hard. Chicago’s prized local theater has nine Tony Awards® and a host of famous ensemble members under its belt – make it a priority to check out a performance here.

Chicago Blues Festival | Choose Chicago

Leading up to the Chicago Blues Festival, during May and June there will be several preview performances and film screenings held at the Chicago Cultural Center. The “official” Chicago Blues Festival preview on Daley Plaza will take place Monday, June 5, at noon.

On opening night in Millennium Park on Friday, June 9, the festival will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. For this special performance, blues harpist and three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Billy Branch is bringing together many of the artists who have been part of the band since the first 1977 performance in Berlin, Germany. The set will include a special tribute to the legendary harpist James Cotton who was a mentor to Branch.

GRAMMY® and Oscar Award-winning artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith will perform an opening night tribute to the influence that blues music has had on hip hop. During his set, he will be joined by Billy Branch. Rhymefest grew up on Chicago’s south side and in 2005, he won a GRAMMY® Award for co-writing the legendary hit record “Jesus Walks,” performed by longtime friend Kanye West. In 2015, Smith co-wrote “Glory” alongside John Legend and Common for the 2014 motion picture Selma which received the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist and American blues legend John Primer and The Real Deal will kick off the evening’s performances. John Primer was the bandleader and guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Primer’s personal accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award that reflects his countless contributions to the history of Chicago blues.

The Festival is thrilled to welcome Stax legend and soul star William Bell, who is back on top with a 2017 GRAMMY® Award win for his album This is Where I Live, his first major release in four decades. The renowned singer-songwriter was honored in 2016 with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the 15th Annual Americana Honors Awards Show and also inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

Theo Huff and the New Agenda Band will bring their contemporary soul-blues style to the festival stage. Theo Huff began his career in musical theater productions, working with Ms. Jackie Taylor at the Black Ensemble Theater and his southern-soul sound was influenced by Bobby Rush, Tyrone Davis, Will Clayton and others. This dynamic combination of talents establishes him as a blues artist on the rise.

Opening the evening’s performances is Mississippi native, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, a southern soul diva with a bold voice making her an undeniable force in the Chicago blues community. Early in her career, KoKo Taylor was a major influence, mentor and friend. Earlier this year she made her late night TV debut by performing her 2008 hit “Slap Yo’ Weave Off” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Blues rock musician and Texas native Gary Clark Jr. will close the festival on Sunday evening with his electrifying energy and soulful sounds. Recently wowing at the 2017 GRAMMY® Awards with his performance with William Bell, he recently released a new live album Live/North America 2016 that features all new and unreleased live recordings including the songs “The Healing” and “My Baby’s Gone.”

Rhiannon Giddens last performed at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2014 with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. On February 24, her follow-up album Freedom Highway will be released, including nine original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs – “Birmingham Sunday” and the Staple Singers’ well-known single “Freedom Highway,” from which the album takes its name. Chicago artist, Ronnie Baker Brooks will open the final evening with new material from his first release in 10 years, Times Have Changed, along with fan favorites.

Chicago Jazz Festival | Choose Chicago

Opening night, August 31, will feature the music of Dizzy Gillespie, who appeared at the festival in 1980, 1984 and 1989. Gillespie’s tribute will feature his protégé Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Festival Big Band featuring Chicago musicians and special guest artists Jimmy Heath, Ignacio Berrora, Antonio Hart and Todd Coolman.

Thursday will also showcase world-renowned, Chicago-born guitarist George Freeman with a 90th Birthday Celebration performance. Performing at the Chicago Jazz Festival since 1978, Freeman has played with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Johnny Griffin, Richard Holmes Shirley Scott and his brother Von Freeman.

On Friday, September 1, master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith, will make his fourth appearance at the festival. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin will appear with his band – keyboardist Jason Lindner, drummer Mark Guiliana and bassist Tim Lefebve. They are collaborators on David Bowie’s Grammy® Award-winning album Blackstar and have been touring the world in support of McCaslin’s latest album Beyond Now.

The evening will close with Dizzy Gillespie’s Centennial Celebration. The tribute will include a surprise headliner to be announced in June.

On Saturday, September 2, the Dr. Michael White Quartet will perform. Widely regarded as one of the leading authorities and culture bearers of traditional New Orleans jazz music, Dr. White is an accomplished, multi-faceted clarinetist, bandleader, composer, musicologist, jazz historian and educator. Following, BassDrumBone, a trio of Chicago natives – trombonist Ray Anderson, bassist Mark Helias and drummer Gerry Hemmingway is drummer and composer Allison Miller, whose band Boom Tic Boom has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “a razor-sharp precision that recalls classic drummer-led ensembles of 50 years ago.”

Closing the night will be Ellabration! 100 Years of Ella Fitzgerald. It will feature the Brad Williams Trio, Sheila Jordan, Dee Alexander, Frieda Lee, Spider Saloff and Paul Mariano. Ella performed at the festival in 1981.

On Sunday, September 3, iconoclastic saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell and his Quartets celebrate 50 years of Nessa Records. One of the key figures in avant-garde jazz and co-founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Mitchell will be joined by Alvin Fielder on drums, Fred Berry on trumpet and Junius Paul on bass, and the second quartet will feature Junius Paul once again, along with cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Vincent Davis.

Charlie Parker often introduced jazz pioneer Sheila Jordan as “the singer with the million dollar ears.” Jordan has “absorbed bebop from the source, but she’s also a committed modernist whose style has evolved with the ensuing decades,” writes the New Yorker. She’ll be joined by longtime collaborator, pianist Steve Kuhn and his Trio.

Drummer and imaginative jazz spirit Matt Wilson welcomes his new combo, Honey and Salt, a celebration of the American poet Carl Sandburg (1878-1967). Wilson, like Sandburg, hails originally from Knox County, Illinois and for many years has composed music inspired by the poet’s work. The festival will close with the New Orleans institution, Rebirth Brass Band, a long-running group at the forefront of the brass band revival.