Travel blogger Mhde Askar continues his tour of Chicago, in search of the top spots both on the beaten path and off. Some attractions are tourist magnets for a reason; others can be overrated. Askar breaks it down to the best of the best. Here are the destinations on a tour of Chicago that Askar considers the best of the best for 2019:
MILLENIUM PARK. Home of the classic Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”), Millenium Park is 24.5 acres of tranquility in the heart of the big city. The Bean is just one of many pieces of contemporary art you can enjoy on a pleasant walk amid trees and gardens in the shadow of majestic skyscrapers.
ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO. Over 300,000 works of art make their home at this cultural institution. Spend an afternoon admiring the masterworks and then sup on world-class Italian food onsite at Terzo Piano.
GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY. Plant lovers rejoice — the greenhouse at Garfield Park is one of the largest conservatories in the country, home to over 600 species of plant. Organized into rooms by plant family and climate, the ferns in the fern room are some of Illinois’ most ancient indigenous species.
WRIGLEY FIELD. Nothing says “baseball” like the iconic, 100-year-old ballpark that houses the Chicago Cubs, right down to the manually-operated scoreboard. Day games almost never sell out. Don’t be ashamed to walk up to the box office and ask for the cheap seats — there isn’t a bad seat in this classic stadium.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART. One of the largest collections of its kind, the Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a revolving door of exhibitions of contemporary masters. No two visits are alike, so it’s worth making this museum a regular stop if you visit Chicago often.
THE GREEN MILL. Al Capone and his contemporaries used to frequent this venerable jazz joint, which served up both music and booze all throughout prohibition. Chicago’s top jazz musicians still frequent the stage at The Green Mill.
THE 606. For a unique pedestrian experience, walk along this abandoned “L” train line throughout the trendy neighborhoods of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square.
THE SECOND CITY. This celebrated comedy club produced some of the greats — Joan Rivers, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, and Steven Colbert, to name a few. Still a coveted gig, few places in the country are more reliable for a laugh than the Second City.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY. The building that houses this museum was built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exhibition. Fascinating, family-friendly exhibits include a mirror maze, a WWII-era German U-505, a simulated tornado, and a massive model railroad patterned after the rail journey from Seattle to Chicago.