Where the Locals Go Sightseeing in Chicago

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. 



Cemetery hours don't allow guests to verify whether a green-eyed ghoul really howls at the moon. The story of the statue of six-year old Inez Clark disappearing during storms also remains a legend, but a walk through the historical 1860...  Read More



After 40 seconds in John Hancock's elevator, visitors are transported 1,000 feet above Chicago. From there, the city's third-largest building offers views that stretch out to 80 miles on a clear day. Food and drink are available in the...  Read More



[Due to national security concerns, only pre-arranged group tours are allowed to visit the viewing gallery. The lobby visitor center is, however, open to the general public.] The Chicago Board of Trade, the largest exchange in the world, holds...  Read More



One of Chicago's most unique neighborhoods, Chinatown offers Far Eastern charm in the Midwest. Featuring scores of terrific Chinese and Cantonese restaurants and bakeries, the neighborhood has a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of...  Read More



Since 1916, Navy Pier has been home not only to the military but to scores of special attractions. Now purely commercial, the Pier offers everything from an IMAX theater to performances by a Shakespeare troupe. You can view dancing in a grand...  Read More



The architectural genius of Frank Lloyd Wright is showcased on this variety of tours. Eager visitors learn about Wright's background and his design philosophies while touring the interior of his home and studio. The guided home tours showcase...  Read More



A highlight of any trip to Chicago, this museum is home to one of the best and most diverse art collections in the world. People are drawn first to the vast Impressionist collection, including the world's largest group of Monet paintings. But...  Read More



Standing 1454 feet high, this skyscraper is easily Chicago's most dominant structure and still holds the title of tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Visitors can shoot to the top of the 110-story building via a 70-second elevator ride...  Read More

Chicago Lakefront Trail
Photo courtesy of Photo by Jamie Bartosch


The city really comes alive when the weather warms up enough for its residents to hit the Lakefront Path. Located east of Lake Shore Drive, the Lakefront Trail is an 18.5 mile linear path that stretches from the far north part of the city to the...  Read More

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago


Seeing Chicago's architectural beauty from the decks of a river cruiser is a must for both locals and visitors. One of the city's most unique tours, the CAF River Cruise takes visitors along the north and south shores of the lake. Guests will...  Read More


Meet Megy Karydes

Megy Karydes has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and most of her life in Chicago. While she’s traveled extensively internationally, visiting each of the 50 states is on her...  More About Megy