The Windy City is known for its deep-dish pizza, proximity to Lake Michigan, and plenty of outdoor sights to see. Millions of visitors flock to the city of Chicago each year to see the main attractions in the third most populous city in the nation. When traveling to the main hub of Illinois, check out these must-visit outdoor spots in Chicago.
This iconic piece of art is known by many as “The Bean” thanks to its shape that resembles something much like a lima bean. Cloud Gate is located within Millennium Park and is a favorite spot for both tourists and residents to gather in the city. This 110-ton art structure has a beautifully polished surface making it reflect the nearby Chicago skyline as well as the clouds that are commonly formed overhead. You’ll be able to see yourself in the finish of the piece as well as many of the other people around you as well. Take time to appreciate this iconic structure located in the heart of downtown.
Formerly a shipping facility, Navy Pier has become one of the other most well-known outdoor spots in Chicago that tourists must visit. The pier is composed of 50 acres that jet out onto Lake Michigan offering beautiful views of the lake as well as the city. You’ll find the famous Ferris wheel towards the end of the pier as well as botanical gardens and shops. Navy Pier is commonly used for events including weddings so don’t be surprised if you see a wedding party gathering any time of the week. You could easily spend all day on Navy Pier with fun for the whole family including a 3D IMAX Theater as well as the Chicago Children’s Museum. Most tourists enjoy walking to the end and back while enjoying the breezy view from all edges of the pier.
Known as the home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is one of the oldest ballparks in the nation that offers everyone a great seat to view a game. The field is located on the Northern side of the city and was built in 1914. It takes up an entire irregular shaped city block and can hold over 42,000 fans. Wrigley Field boasts its infamous ivy-covered brick outfield wall as well as its reputation for not having a bad seat in the house. Tours of the field are offered as well as many events when baseball season is over. A trip to get a selfie in front of the iconic front sign is enough to make the trip over to Wrigley Field.
Opened in 2004, Millennium Park was built in Chicago to become a tourist attraction for the many guests that the city hosted during the year. It includes such items as Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, and the McCormick Ice Rink. Millennium Park also houses a pavilion that is the spot for locals to catch one of the many concerts and events that are held there during the warmer months. The entire park has incredible views of Lake Michigan as well as downtown Chicago. You can spend an afternoon sitting on a shaded bench, rent a bike to explore or take in one of the many attractions located within the park. Millennium Park is a must visit outdoor spot in Chicago.
North Avenue Beach
Many tourists choose to visit Chicago during the summer making it a prime time to visit North Avenue Beach. Chicago summers can be deceptively cool or incredibly muggy. Pack your swimsuit and be ready for a dip in Lake Michigan after a long day of sightseeing. You’ll enjoy over 22,000 feet of space at North Avenue Beach, and you can rent paddle boards and kayaks from the beach itself. Many tourists and locals enjoy renting a jet ski to explore the lake as well as see incredible views of the city from the water. Weeknights and weekends are favorite times for the beach to be full of those seeking some respite from the heat as well.
These must-visit outdoor spots in Chicago will not disappoint on your next trip to the Windy City. From art sculptures to beaches to a game of baseball, there is plenty of things to see and do while in Chicago. Make sure not to miss any of these must-visit outdoor spots in Chicago to appreciate this beautiful and iconic city fully.
Sam Lambert is a writer for LawnStarter and self-proclaimed outdoor living expert. Sam loves cultivating his own fruit and vegetables in his backyard. You might have seen Sam riding past you on a local dirt biking trail or climbing a nearby rock wall. For more information visit LawnStarter.
Photo Credit: Daniel Bartolo, Adam Alexander, Enjoy Illinois Tourism