There’s much debate about where the Windy City got its nickname, but nobody dares to argue about the quality of the city’s cultural life. There's the museums, the parks, the food. Chicago has so much to offer that it is hard to pick. Our experts can make it a little bit easier to schedule some time in the best of the city’s amazing spots.
111 S Michigan Ave
You can't -- and shouldn't -- miss the Art Institute. No matter what medium or century interests you, the Art Institute has something in its collection to fit the bill.
2001 North Clark Street
With more than 1,250 animals, Lincoln Park Zoo ranks as one of the finest in the country.
445 N Clark St
Wildly imaginative Mexican food: Frontera Grill is crowded and boisterous; Topolobampo is more refined and pricier.
The Publican 86
837 W Fulton Market
This Fulton Market District newcomer taps into the prevailing fashion for down-home dining and restaurant patrons' hunger for blue-ribbon meat.
1723 North Halsted St
Widely regarded as North America's best restaurant, Alinea – helmed by Beard Award–winner Grant Achatz – brings on 20 courses of mind-bending molecular gastronomy.
8400 31st St
The zoo's exhibit highlights include Seven Seas with its dolphin presentation, Tropic World's primates, The Fragile Kingdom's African desert and Asian rain forest habitat...and more.
78 E Washington St
This marvelous Neoclassical palazzo served as the city's first library when completed in 1897.
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Tour a captured U-505 German Sub, take a trip into a coal mine, walk through a model of the human heart, or watch genetically engineered chicks hatch.
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Top draws at the kiddie-mobbed Shedd Aquarium include the Oceanarium, with its beluga whales and frolicking white-sided dolphins, and the shark exhibit.
1400 S Lake Shore Dr
While most museums have a firm “do not touch” policy, the Field is hands-on and kid-friendly.
201 East Randolph Street
This 24.5-acre park, built on top of a former rail yard beside the Art Institute, is a welcome oasis downtown.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr
The building may be historic (it was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere), but some of the attractions here will hold the attention of even the most jaded video game addict.