Chicago – Tourist Attractions, Things to do & Photo spots (USA)

Categories: Travel reports, North America, USA, Illinois

Around noon we landed today at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Chicago was a short stopover for our next day’s flight to the west coast of the USA. So we only had one afternoon to stroll around the city and visit the most famous Tourist Attractions before our trip continued to Los Angeles.


Things to know about Chicago

Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States with a population of about 2.7 million and is located on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, Illinois. The metropolitan area is home to up to 10 million people. Chicago has been an important trading city in the United States since the mid-19th century. This function is favored by its status as a railway junction and its location at the mouth of the Illinois Waterway. The Illinois Waterway connects to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. The city is the seat of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest commodity futures exchange in the United States, and the Chicago Board of Trade, the largest commodity, futures and options exchange in the United States. It is also home to the largest regional exchange in the United States, the Chicago Stock Exchange.

In 2014, Chicago attracted 50 million domestic leisure travelers, 11 million domestic business travelers and 1.3 million overseas visitors. In 2013, Chicago was chosen as one of the “Top Ten Cities in the United States” to visit for its restaurants, skyscrapers, museums, and waterfront, by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and in 2020 for the fourth year in a row, Chicago was named the top U.S. city tourism destination.

Our sightseeing tour in Chicago

Unfortunately, the city welcomed us with rainy weather. We quickly took our luggage to our Hilton Hotel – which was right at the airport – and took the train to the city centre. Since we fly again the next morning, we didn’t have much time to explore the main sights of the city. Flamingo Sculpture stands on a square surrounded by skyscrapers. Due to the bright red colours, she has shone beautifully on the rainy, grey day. The next port of call was Grant Park, which is located in the middle of Chicago’s business center and runs directly along Lake Michigan.

It is also home to the Buckingham Fountain,which with its 5.7 million litres of water and 800 lights is considered one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain marked the eastern end of the legendary Route 66. Another highlight is the Millennium Park in the northwest with its famous Cloud Gate, which is located in the middle of at&T Square. The sculpture is very popular with many tourists, as you can take distorted self-portraits here.

Afterwards we strolled along the Chicago River through the city center. Here, one skyscraper lined up next to the other. Probably the most famous building here is the Willis Tower. The Willis Tower (formerly named Sears Tower) is a popular destination for tourists. The Willis Tower has an observation deck open to tourists year round with high up views overlooking Chicago and Lake Michigan. The observation deck includes an enclosed glass balcony that extends 10 feet out on the side of the building.

When it got dark, we walked along Lake Michigan towards Navy Pier, a pier about a kilometer long. The Navy Pier is now considered the city’s largest tourist attraction and houses, among other things, the Children’s Museum, an IMAX cinema and the 47.5 m high Ferris Wheel.

The Starbucks Cup of Chicago

We are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series

Chicago, of course, has several Starbucks stores and also its own cup 🙂

Chicago, Starbucks Cup, Global Icon Series, City Mugs, Collection, USA, Travelreport

The Starbucks City Cup of Chicago

All travelogues from the USA (2012)

This trip through the USA took us through 10 different states in 17 days. We started with a short stopover in the megacity Chicago. From there we continued by plane to Los Angeles and from there by rental car via Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park to Denver. For the last leg of our trip we went to the East Coast, where we visited New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. All in all an incredibly varied round trip with really many highlights.
Route USA 2012 » Illinois: Chicago – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
» California: Los Angeles – Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre & Hollywood Sign
» Nevada: Las Vegas – Casinos, Fremont Street & the Las Vegas Sign
» Utah: Zion National Park – Attractions & Hiking Trails
» Utah: Bryce Canyon – Navajo Loop, Wall Street & Viewpoints
» Utah: Salt Lake City – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
» Idaho: Idaho Falls – The Waterfalls & the Yellowstone Bear World
» Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park – Travel Guide & Things to Do
» Colorado: Denver – Travel Guide, Things to Do & The Zoo
» New York: New York in one day? The perfect route to walk through Manhattan
» New York: New York – One World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial
» New York: New York – Travel Guide for a visit to the Statue of Liberty
» Pennsylvania: Philadelphia – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & the Liberty Bell
» Disctrict of Columbia: Washington D.C. – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots