Putting together an itinerary for seeing all the best sights in Chicago? There are some obvious spots including Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center for those spectacular views from way up high but the real treats lie in the neighborhoods.
Tours like the very popular Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise is a great way to see the city’s most famous buildings and skyline while learning some history. Just west of the city is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio which is not to be missed if you’re a fan of his architecture.
A slightly different architectural tour is of the Graceland Cemetery grounds. The cemetery, known as the "Cemetery of Architects," is one of Chicago's best kept secrets and one of the most beautiful places to visit.
It’s hard to miss the city’s stunning Lakefront Trail which stretches from one side of the city to the other in 18.5 paved miles. It gets crowded on warm weekend days but it's one of the best places to bike, run or walk and enjoy the city’s beautiful lakefront. Pack a picnic and enjoy the people watching.
Another great and often overlooked spot is Chinatown’s Ping Tom Memorial Park. Ask for directions (it’s tricky to find by foot). Once you find it, you’ll be rewarded with a quiet sanctuary filled with wildflowers, willow trees, trails and the Chicago River. Or, hop on a water taxi along the Chicago River – the water taxi stops at the park.