Top places to visit in Chicago – from fab pizza restaurants to Chicago River

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Now that lockdown restrictions have eased and we are finally able to travel again, it's time to plan out all the fabulous holidays that you want to go on.

Many people head to America for their summer trip every year, however, often the majority head for the bright lights of Vegas or sunny climbs of Florida.

Well although they're great, we're going to show you why Chicago is one of the top US destinations that you should add to your list too.

From fabulous food restaurants – especially when it comes to pizza – to the amazing Skydeck and Chicago River, there is tons to keep you occupied, however long you decide to go for.

So what are you waiting for, check out our top places below!

1. Chicago River

You can't take a trip to Chicago without heading down to the Chicago River!

Seeing as the 156 mile-long river runs through the centre of the city, you really can't miss it.

Why not head out on a boat tour to learn more about the city's amazing architecture and get some Instagram-worthy shots while you're at it.

Or you take a sunset cruise for some fabulous shots of the city by evening.

If you fancy a boozy boat ride, there's also a Tiki Bar cruise or if you feel the need for speed then try heading out on a speedboat ride which is sure to get your blood pumping.

2. Pizza Unos

If you're in to your pizza, then you'll definitely want to head to Pizza Unos, which claims to have created the original deep dish that Chicago is famous for.

The first Pizza Uno was established in 1943 – however there is now a whole restaurant chain of them.

If you're heading for a deep dish pizza though, make sure you have some room as these huge pizzas aren't for the faint-hearted.

They have a crust that rises up to the sides of the pan and are stuffed full of toppings, so you definitely won't go hungry after!

Also, don't be shocked when you find that the cheese is put on the bottom of the pizza instead of the top.

This happens because the pizzas are so big, they have to be cooked for longer than a normal pizza, which means the pizza would burn if it was on the top.

Another fun fact for you that you may not know is that everyone's favourite pizza brand, Chicago Town Pizza, is named after the city and its famous deep dish.

However, the brand put their cheese on the top of their deep dish versions not to confuse UK customers.

Other top pizza restaurants to try include Lou Malnati's for another great deep dish, Bonci Pizzeria for Roman style pizzas and Paulie Gee's for Detroit style rectangular pizzas.

3. Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

If it's a good picture opportunity you're after, then you definitely need to head to Skydeck Chicago at the Willis Tower.

Here you'll be able to 'step outside' (kind of) the third tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, thanks to its glass ledges.

At 1,353 feet in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck – giving you an amazing view, and photo.

Be warned though, you have to be quick as you only get a minute in the box to get your perfect snap (or two minutes if your group is more than four people).

You are able to queue back up again and get another session if you fail to snap anything Insta-worthy the first time though.

4. Cloud Gate a.k.a. The Bean

If you've had a look at the Chicago tag on Instagram, then you will have definitely seen Cloud Gate, a.k.a. The Bean crop up a fair few times.

The public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor is the centrepiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois.

Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed 'The Bean' because of its shape.

Apparently, Kapoor initially disliked the nickname, but later grew fond of it.

The structure is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together and its highly polished exterior has no visible seams.

It measures an impressive 33 by 66 by 42 feet (10 by 20 by 13m), and weighs 110 short tons (100t; 98 long tons).

5. Stroll around Navy Pier

You definitely won't get bored if you visit Navy Pier.

The 3,300-foot-long pier, which is on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, features more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and exhibition facilities – making it one of the top destinations in the Midwestern United States.

It's so popular in fact, that it attracts nearly over nine million visitors annually and is one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwest.

Why not spend your time there riding the Centennial Wheel, which will soar you to a height of nearly 200 feet, or ride the Navy Pier's historic carousel.

There's also a Navy Pier Beer Garden for boozers and a Chicago Shakespeare Theater for culture vultures.

6. Get starry-eyed at the Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics.

Founded back in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, it was the first planetarium in the United States and is part of Chicago's Museum Campus.

The Adler is home to three full size theatres, as well extensive space science exhibitions including the Gemini 12 space capsule, and a significant collection of antique scientific instruments and print materials.

It also boasts the Doane Observatory, which one of the only research-active, public urban observatories.

Outdoor sculptures at the planetarium also include Man Enters the Cosmos by Henry Moore (1980), the Spiral Galaxy by John David Mooney (1998) and America's Courtyard by Ary Perez and Denise Milan.

7. Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, which runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side.

The district, located within downtown, serves as the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast.

It is currently Chicago's largest shopping district, with various mid-range and high-end shops to browse through.

Once you've hit the shops, there is also many restaurants, museums and hotels in the area to try and have a look around.

8. See a game at Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is a Major League Baseball stadium located on the North Side of Chicago.

It is the home to the Chicago Cubs, one of the city's two MLB franchises.

Known for its unique charm, Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, has been the beloved home of the Chicago Cubs for more than a century.

You can buy a ticket online for a game, with prices starting at just $25 (£20).

Or why not take a tour of the stadium tour to learn more about it, which you can get for just $30 (£24) per person.

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