Chicago is home to hundreds of monuments and memorials, many of which depict important people and events in Chicago's history. Most of these monuments and memorials can be found downtown, as this is the heart of the city where most of the tourists visit. From huge skyscrapers to parks to art installations to historic buildings, Chicago offers plenty to see and do.
Chicago Harbor Light
The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is found at the south end of the northern breakwater and protects the Chicago Harbor.
Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain
Located on the north bank of the Chicago River, Nicholas J Melas Centennial Fountain is a unique fountain that shoots an arc of water across the river every 5 minutes.
Streeterville, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Water Tower
The Chicago Water Tower is a landmark of the Old Chicago Water Tower District. It sits along the famous Magnificent Mile shopping district and was built in 1869, making it the second oldest water town in the country. Inside the building is a gallery that features local artists and photographers.
800 North Michigan Avenue, The Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, 60611
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Located in Chicago's Chinatown, this park has a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens, and a playground. The waterfront park spans 17 acres and there are places nearby where you can rent kayaks. The Field House is a recreational area in the park that has a pool with slides and a fitness center. From here you can enjoy great views of the Chicago skyline. Throughout the year there are a number of events held here including Shakespeare in the Park. Runners and walkers will appreciate the trails through the park as well.
300 West 19th Street, Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois, 60616
Crown Fountain is a video sculpture and work of art that's located in Chicago's Millennium Park. It opened in 2004 and has a black granite reflecting pool between two glass brick towers that display digital videos. The water is turned on between the months of May and October.
Crown Fountain, Loop, Chicago, Illinois
The Willis Tower, still called the Sears Tower by most locals, is a 110 story skyscraper that was completed in 1973. For 25 years it was the tallest building in the world. The tower's observation deck is famous for its glass boxes, with glass floors, which give visitors a unique view of the city.
233 South Wacker Drive, Loop, Chicago, Illinois, 60606
The Chicago River is an iconic part of the city, and it runs parallel to the lakeshore through the heart of the city. The Riverwalk is along a popular stretch of the river, and it's lined with many great restaurants and some of Chicago's most impressive architecture. You can wander along the Riverwalk, rest at one of the many benches, take in the impressive views or simply people watch.
Loop, Chicago, IL, 60601
Cloud Gate (The Bean)
"The Bean" is a 110 ton stainless steel sculpture that was designed by Anish Kapoor. It's surface is a mirror and the shape of the structure was inspired by a drop of liquid mercury. During the winter months, there is a public ice skating rink surrounding The Bean.
201 E Randolph St, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, 60602
The Rookery Building
The Rookery Building was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972. The two story lobby was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1905 and 1907 and the building's structure is notable as being the oldest surviving high rise in the city.
209 S. LaSalle St., Financial District, Chicago, IL, 60604
Centennial Wheel was built in 1995 and offers a classic Chicago experience along the Navy Pier. It reaches a height of 200 feet and offers 360 degree views of the city and Lake Michigan. The ferris wheel has large enclosed gondolas with very open city views. The enclosed space offers reassurance so even those with a fear of heights can enjoy the experience.
Navy Pier, Streeterville, Chicago, IL, 60611
The Navy Pier is one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. It opened in 1916 as an amusement and entertainment area and today it includes about 50 acres of gardens, parks, restaurants, shops, and concert venues. One of the most iconic parts of the Navy Pier is the 150 foot ferris wheel, which offers breathtaking views over the city and lake. There's also a classic historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Head hear to pick up a boat tour as well.
600 East Grand Avenue, Streeterville, Chicago, IL
This beautiful fountain, dating back to 1927, is one of the largest in the world. Every hour between 8am and 11pm the fountain comes to life shooting 15,000 gallons of water through the air in a dramatic and impressive show. As the day turns dark, lights are added to the show. This is a highlight of a visit to Chicago's famed Grant Park
301 S Columbus Dr, Grant Park, Chicago, IL, 60605
Marina City sits along a branch of the Chicago River in the downtown area. It's unique design includes two cylindrical 588 feet tall towers and at its completion it was the tallest residential building in the world. Within the building you'll find the House of Blues and the Hotel Chicago, part of the Marriott.
300 N State St, River North, Chicago, IL, 60654
The Wrigley Building
The Wrigley Building is one of the most notable early skyscrapers in Chicago. It was built in the 1920s and has two towers - a 30 story south tower and a 21 story north tower - with a walkway between the two on the 14th floor. This was also the first air conditioned building in Chicago.
400-410 N Michigan Ave, The Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL, 60611
Wrigley Square, in Millennium Park, is where you'll find the Millennium Monument, which is a circular fountain with large columns. Throughout the park are temporary art installations that change regularly. There are also several places to buy snacks and drinks. Head to one of the picnic tables to enjoy your food while you soak in the setting.
Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
How much does it cost to visit the monuments in Chicago?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $28 to $780. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $159. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Chicago