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How to Spend 3 Days in Chicago

How to Spend 3 Days in Chicago

From skyscrapers to museums to vibrant neighborhoods to public parks, Chicago has something for everyone, and three days is more than enough time to explore its highlights. Travel by bus, bike, or on foot; linger in the bustling Loop; or head out of town on a day trip. Here’s how to plan your 3-day Windy City itinerary.

 

Day 1: Chicago’s Top Attractions

Explore Chicago’s most popular landmarks, many of which are concentrated in the Loop neighborhood, including Millenium Park and the Willis Tower Skydeck. Bus and bicycle tours of the area make it possible to see more in less time, while a hop-on hop-off bus itinerary offers a seamless overview of the city (plus the chance to disembark where and when you wish). Alternatively, combine your Loop adventures with a trip to another part of town. Catch an afternoon Cubs game at Wrigley Field on the North Side, or head to the South Side to explore Chinatown.

 

Day 2: Museums, Architecture, and Other Historical Highlights

Learn about Chicago’s past on an architecture tour—hop aboard a riverboat and cruise all three branches of the Chicago River, spotting highlights such as the Tribute Tower and the Merchandise Mart as you go, or head off on an intimate walking tour to view landmarks firsthand. Then, delve into Chicago’s esteemed museums, including the Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

Day 3: Chicago Area Day Trip

Frank Lloyd Wright, a longtime Chicago resident and one of the 20th century’s most celebrated architects, designed a number of buildings in the Chicago area. Discover some of his best-known works on a day trip to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, a village located just beyond Chicago’s western edge. Here you'll discover where the architect lived and worked for the first two decades of his career, and where he developed his signature Prairie School style. Oak Park’s other architectural gems include the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District, Unity Temple, and the Arthur B. Heurtley House.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Chicago Architecture River Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

star-5
6807
Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$44.69
From
US$44.69
Taking safety measures

Go City: Chicago Explorer Pass - Choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Attractions

Go City: Chicago Explorer Pass - Choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Attractions

star-4
216
The easiest and most affordable way to explore some of Chicago's top attractions at your own pace, the Chicago Explorer Pass by Go City saves you up to 40 percent off compared to buying individual attraction tickets. Create your own sightseeing itinerary by choosing 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 attractions, tours, and activities from among more than 25 top sites, including SkyDeck, 360 Chicago, the Field Museum, a shoreline sightseeing cruise, a hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour, Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two years from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 60 days
  • iconEnglish
From
US$59.00
From
US$59.00

Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Small Group Tour

Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Small Group Tour

star-5
148
Experience Chicago like never before on this small-group Segway tour. Visit Chicago’s ‘front yard,’ the beautiful lakefront and 57-acre Museum Campus. Glide along the fragrant floral paths to famous Buckingham Fountain. Then travel along the banks of Lake Michigan, past Monroe Harbor to the Museum Campus for a breathtaking view of the city’s iconic skyline. Guided Segway training plus the use of a helmet are included. Dress in weather-appropriate clothes with flat, closed-toed shoes.
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  • 2 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$73.24
From
US$73.24

Chicago Full Day Bike Rental

Chicago Full Day Bike Rental

star-5
40
Discover Chicago's many delights from the comfort of two wheels. Simply pick up your full-day bike rental with lock, map and helmet and start exploring, either solo or with friends. Make your way through Millennium Park and to historic Wrigley Field, stop for a visit at Navy Pier or spend a couple hours watching sea turtles, penguins and even a piranha at Shedd Aquarium. You get to tour Chicago independently at your own pace and leisure without having to deal with parking or public transit.
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  • 1 day
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$24.99
From
US$24.99
Taking safety measures

2-Hour History of Chicago Architecture and Art Segway Tour

2-Hour History of Chicago Architecture and Art Segway Tour

star-5
20
Explore the art and architectural highlights of Chicago on a Segway during this guided tour. This family-friendly tour takes visitors by the outdoor sculptures, landmark buildings, and iconic skyline of the city. Accompanied by educational and informative commentary, this city tour saves you from hours of walking and lets you see all of Chicago's top art and architectural attractions in one tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$75.10
From
US$75.10

Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers

Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers

star-4.5
48
Explore the Loop's famous architecture during this 2-hour walking tour with an expert guide from the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Discover the beginnings of the Chicago School of Architecture through visits to some of the city's oldest skyscrapers, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This sophisticated, informative tour is a must-do for history and architecture buffs.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$30.00
From
US$30.00
Taking safety measures


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