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One Day in Chicago: From Land to Water Activities

Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States, which means that it has tons of attractions to visit and things to do for all sorts of tourists.

For this reason alone, it can be quite overwhelming to prepare an itinerary, especially if you have limited time in exploring the Windy City. Today, let’s get to know how you can squeeze many of Chicago’s best destinations into a one-day excursion.


Getting accommodation in Streeterville is advisable, considering that this neighborhood has great access to major attractions even in adjacent areas such as River North and Near North Side. Restaurants from casual to fine dining are also aplenty, giving you lots of choices if you want to splurge on food.

You can start your adventure by heading South and take a stroll along Riverwalk to get a good feel of the city . It’s a constantly evolving part of Chicago, and has even been expanded yet again as reported by CBS News. If you’re more of an adventurous traveler, you can rent bikes as well as kayaks for a relaxing trip along the Chicago River.


A little further south takes you to Millennium Park which houses the iconic Cloud Gate – the shiny, mirror-like steel structure that wonderfully reflects the city’s skyline. In addition, the Park hosts public events regularly, including art exhibitions, music festivals, live performances, and much more.


Just next to Millennium Park is Grant Park which is home to the Art Institute of Chicago. Founded in the late 1800’s, the Museum is one of the oldest in the US and now houses more than 300,000 priceless works of art.

After appreciating Chicago’s man-made works, you can head to Shedd Aquarium to enjoy watching mother nature’s creations or view spectacular simulations of heavenly bodies at Adler Planetarium. Of course, you can choose to do both if you like and have the time.



In the afternoon, you can head back North to explore downtown Chicago so you’re nearer to your hotel once the day is over.

The Windy City is also popular for its skyscrapers, and one of them—the John Hancock Center, is now known as 360 Chicago which has an observation deck. Perched at 1,000 feet above ground, the spot gives visitors a view stunning which overlooks the city.


A trip to the famous Navy Pier is a must when in Chicago, as it’s a hotspot for all sorts of leisure activities. The 3,300-foot long wharf has parks, gardens, shops, amusement centers, dining spots, and more— all of which are dedicated for the sole purpose of enjoyment. Golf fanatics are going to have a good time as well, as it has a mini golf course. Golf is a popular pastime in Chicago and in fact, the city was a major catalyst that led to the widespread appeal of the sport in the United States. Play Your Course mentioned that the “Father of Golf” Charles McDonald established the nation’s first 18-hole golf course in Chicago. The Navy Pier, being the most visited destination in the city, acknowledged this historic importance by adding its own course within its grounds.


Moreover, Navy Pier also has a boarding spot for cruises and boat tours if you prefer to sit back and watch the hustle and bustle of the city. Alternatively, there are boats available for charter, and Chicago Reader specified that you could ride as a group of 11 for $449. Not a bad rate considering that you’ll be splitting the fee. This is more ideal if you plan on watching the sunset, which is breathtaking as the city is due west from the waters, making the sun appear as if it is hiding behind Chicago’s high-rise structures.


When you’re done with dinner, finish the night on a high note by watching an exciting performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater which is also located in Navy Pier. The venue hosts a myriad of world-class theatrical plays, musicals and other live shows for most of the year, and the quality of its productions has led it to bag the Regional Theater Tony Award. How’s that for a grand finale?


Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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