As a large, bustling city, Chicago has a lot to offer locals and tourists. Many of its attractions are free and open all year long, though some may be limited.
No matter what time of year it is, one popular attraction in Chicago is Millenium Park. During the winter, visitors often go skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, and when the weather is warmer, they take a walk through the Lurie Gardens. Others choose to spend time at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, enjoying its expansive lawn.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Another free attraction that attracts many visitors is the Lincoln Park Zoo. Highlights of a visit to the 35-acre zoo, which is home to 1,000 animals, include the McCormick Reptile House, Penguin Cove, and the Kovler Lion House.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Locals and tourists also make it a point to experience the Garfield Park Conservatory. Its greenhouse is where visitors will find 600 varieties of plants. Highlights of this attraction include the Desert Room, with its cacti and succulents. The conservatory also has a Palm Room filled with tall trees and the Fern Room, which contains ancient vegetation grown throughout Illinois.
Visitors to the Windy City want to get a better idea of what Chicago has to offer flock to The 606. This elevated rail line, no longer used for public transportation, spans 2.7 miles. As a pedestrian path, it takes visitors to Bucktown and Wicker Park, as well as Logan Square and Humboldt Park. The path between parks is also ideal for bike riding and jogging. Along the way, visitors will see pieces created by local artists.
Similar to the 606 is the Chicago Riverwalk. Both are ideal for bike riding and running/walking. Those that travel the Riverwalk will see much of the local architecture. This attraction also boasts the City Winery.
The Field Museum is also popular with visitors. It was first opened to provide a secure place for the storage of anthropological and biological collections put on display as part of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It houses the city’s most extensive collection of ancient artifacts and dinosaur bones as a natural history museum. Highlights of the museum’s exhibits include the Grangier Hall of Gems, an ancient tomb found in Egypt, and a Titanosaur’s skeleton.