The commotion of downtown Chicago grew louder as I made my way up towards the underground subway station exit. The cool September air greeted me as I took in the scene. A woman wearing a black suit animatedly talked on her phone as she hurried pass the subway exit and merged with the throng of people crossing the streets. Cars whizzed by and honked at each other. My eyes followed up the length of the towering buildings that surrounded us. There were sleek skyscrapers that shot towards the sky and Gothic-style structures that made me feel as if I stepped into the past. Chicago was a bustling city.
“The hotel is just across the river,” J interrupted my thoughts.
I looked at him oddly and thought to myself, “A river?”
The moment I stepped on to the bridge that lead to our hotel, I knew Chicago won a piece of my heart. Below, the Chicago River flow endlessly towards the distance with towering buildings on both sides. Multiple bridges were built across the river. Restaurants and outdoor seating lined the bank of the river while people stroll along its sidewalk. It was an urban paradise.
An urban paradise that offers many places to see and things to do. Here are six of my favorites:
1. Chicago Riverwalk
Love at first sight. It’s the perfect spot to relax and people watch. I highly recommend watching the sunset on one of the bridges. The orange, purple, and pink hues brings to life a different side of downtown Chicago. When the sun sets, the Riverwalk comes alive with illuminating lights and lively conversations.
2. Buckingham Fountain
At night, the fountain lights up brilliantly as it shoots water towards the sky. With the city skyline as one of its backdrop, the fountain paints a breathtaking view.
3. John Hancock Center
Home of the 360 Chicago Observation Deck and thrilling attraction Tilt, the building offers a spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the city. Read more about the 360 Chicago Observation Deck here.
4. Willis Tower
Also known as Sears Tower, Willis Tower is home to Skydeck Chicago. It is best known for it’s glass ledges where you stand 103 floors above the city. Read more about the Willis Tower here.
5. Cloud Gate
Widely known as the Bean, it is located in Millennium Park. Watch your surroundings’ reflections on its smooth surface as you skim your hand against the cool metal.
6. Navy Pier
Navy Pier is lined with shops and activities for all ages. Walk towards the end of the pier for a fantastic view of the city skyline. Get lost in the vastness of Lake Michigan. Being from California, it still amazes me that the pier is built over a lake and not an ocean.