Top Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop

THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop, Chicago

Top Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop

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288 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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What travellers are saying

  • ellen morano
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful Experience. Everyone lovely and all was great! I loved just being there and having a good peaceful time! It Rocks!
    Written 23 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Miguel Gómez
    Monterrey, Mexico33 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    My visit to millennium park was good, I went with no expectations and what I found was really good. Unfortunately, the cloud gate was still closed when I went so I didn’t have the opportunity to see it from a close distance. Otherwise, there are more things to see in millennium park, like the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, that is this big, beautiful and nice outdoor auditorium where they make some music events, when I went there was a blues music event and the vibe was good. There is also the Crown Fountain, that is a fountain with screens that has faces of people, and sometimes they spit water, very funny. Millennium park is the place in Chicago where the people can meet and spend a good time.
    Written 18 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Andy E
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Chicago Architectural Center offers a wide array of tours. This one explored the history of Lake Forest through the many noteworthy residents who are buried here: Swifts, Armour, Pirie, Hughes, Wacker, Stone and many more. Very knowledgeable guide and a beautiful, park like setting.
    Written 21 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ariel T
    Kansas City, MO3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    It's a bit expensive even with the city pass but still I think it's worth it, the 360 view from the 100 floor is unbeatable. Taking picture is a hassle since you have to careful of the glare but beside that every thing went as great as expected, out kid loved here.
    Written 21 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SeekerOfGoodValue
    Saint Louis, MO353 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unlike Loop artworks by Picasso, Chicago, Miro, and Calder that celebrate "the City of Chicago," two installations in Millennium Park and one in a park south of the Art Institute focus on "the people of Chicago," or more specifically "how the people of Chicago inhabit public spaces like parks." "Cloud Gate" (also called The Bean) is the most popular of these. The upper part of "the bean" reflects ALL of the surrounding city. The lower part reflects ALL of the people who enter the park and approach the sculpture. What is a city park? It is where countless people gather inside of a great city. People see themselves and others in their city. It's interactive. As you move closer, you change, those around you change, and the city changes. Everyone laughs and poses and smiles and photographs. The happy people of Chicago endlessly watch the people of Chicago being happy.
    Written 19 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Miguel Gómez
    Monterrey, Mexico33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a must if you come to Chicago. The Riverwalk is one of the best things you can do, you walk next to the river, seeing all the skyscrapers and the boats passing by. You can eat or take a drink in some of the many restaurants and bars that are in the riverwalk, and take the architecture tour that tells you the story and information about the skyscrapers. Please do the Riverwalk, you will love it.
    Written 19 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Donald L
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very awesome the sets are great gory and informative. The ghost tour is really cool you can record and snap a pic so all in all great.
    Written 5 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MojoLad
    Graton, CA305 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We went here just to check out the famed Tiffany Dome, but as there was a free docent-led tour starting, decided to take in the whole experience. It was wonderful! And free! The building itself is something else, with jaw-droppingly beautiful mosaics throughout, recently cleaned and now in their full original glory, and of course the Dome, which just in itself is worthy of a visit. There's also a cool little (unafiiated) gift shop with very interesting art & souvenirs for sale entirely created by local Chicago artists. Strongly recommended.
    Written 22 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,316 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Chicago River is a winding, wandering, wonderful body of water. It flows backward, piercing the heart of Chicago, linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. It is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that runs through downtown Chicago. It is dyed bright green on St. Patrick's Day and is spanned by iconic bridges that open and close to traffic. Today, the main stem of the river flows west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, near the Merchandise Mart, where it converges with the North Branch to form the South Branch, which flows southwest and empties into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The North Branch has its beginnings in the northern suburbs where its three principal tributaries converge -- Skokie River, Rondout and Mettawa -- and continue south through Niles before entering Chicago near the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Devon Avenue. Meanwhile, the South Branch enters the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at Damen Avenue and flows down the canal through the southwestern suburbs and, in time, into the Des Plaines River between Crest Hill and Lockport, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Historically, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, though probably not the first Europeans to visit the area, are the first recorded explorers to have visited the Chicago River in 1673. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, acknowledged to be the first permanent resident of Chicago, built a farm on the north bank at the mouth of the river in the 1780s. In 1803, Fort Dearborn was constructed on the bank opposite what had been Point du Sable's settlement, on the site of the present day Michigan Avenue Bridge. The first bridge over the river was constructed over the North Branch near present day Kinzie Street in 1832. A second bridge over the South Branch near Randolph Street was added in 1833. Today, the Chicago River is spanned by 38 bridges, down from a peak of 52. To learn about the history of the Chicago River and how the bridges are raised and lowered, visit the five-story, 1,613-square-foot McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum at the southwest bridgehouse of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Looking for other ways to enjoy the river? Take a lightening fast cruise on the speedy Seadog, which jets off from Navy Pier, speeds along the lakefront, then zips down the river. allowing passengers to see the most famous riverfront buildings, including Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Willis Tower, Marina City, Lyric Opera and Merchandise Mart. Take a ride on a fireboat, paddle a kayak, take a guided architectural tour that circles the Loop and glides past the spot where the first settlers to Chicago set up their home base or hail a water taxi to travel via the Chicago River to Chinatown, Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue and Union Station. All in all, there are many exciting ways to explore the Chicago River.
    Written 4 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Miguel Gómez
    Monterrey, Mexico33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Buckingham Fountain was very nice, is a great spot for taking pictures to yourself or to the ones that are with you. I really recommend to take a look a this place.
    Written 19 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Anuja V
    Toronto, Canada31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This little museum is such a worthwhile stop if you are visiting Chicago! Staff are so friendly and enthusiastic, tickets are reasonably priced, and there is a lot to see, do, and learn. There’s a great kid lit room that’s perfect for kids who might just want a quiet space to read/chill. Lots of interactive exhibits to check out. Kids especially liked the typewriters and the digital mad libs. Free bookmarks for everyone was a nice touch!
    Written 16 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN5,221 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Loop refers to downtown Chicago and specifically to the area marked by the L Trains (elevated trains) that circle around the city. This is the financial, commercial and entertainment heart of the city. It is also filled with hotels, restaurants, and bars and much that can be enjoyed by visitors including the Willis Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, taking an architecture by boat along the Chicago River, or visiting nearby Grant Park and Millennium Park. The area is generally safe although some caution is needed at night, and you should remain aware of your surroundings after dark.
    Written 14 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sanju_222323
    New Jersey16,024 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aside from Cloud Gate and Buckingham Fountain, The Chicago Theatre's red and yellow marquee is perhaps one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. At the northern edge of the Loop, The Chicago Theatre first opened its doors in 1921 as an extravagant movie theater and performance venue. Between the theater's unmistakable sign and its stunning façade, it's impossible to miss this stunning Chicago landmark.

    the theater has hosted such big names as Duke Ellington, Diana Ross and Prince, in addition to screening blockbuster flicks. The theater's historic appearance enhances the overall experience of catching an event here. Just remember, cameras and video cameras, including those on cell phones, cannot be used during tours or performances.

    It is a few blocks northwest of Millennium Park. Even if you don't have time to check out a show, be sure to pop in or schedule a tour to get a closer look.
    Written 23 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN5,221 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chicago has arguably the best skyline in the country. Sorry NYC, I love you and your skyline is more impressive from the sheer number of skyscrapers, but Chicago's architecture is more beautiful and interesting and its location along the shores of Lake Michigan adds to the appeal. So many iconic buildings including the Willis (Sears) Tower, John Hancock Center, Wrigley Building, Chicago Board of Trade, Tribune Tower and many more. Best views are from Grant Park or Millennium Park and along the Lakeshore. Taking a boat tour on the Chicago River is also a great way to experience the city's architecture.
    Written 13 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • bcsystems
    Ann Arbor, MI4,992 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fun park for the family and pets. A variety of options to pay/play or just your regular jungle gym for the litter ones. Very pet friendly.
    Written 12 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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