The Museum Campus conveniently encompasses a trio of CityPass attractions among its 57 acres of rolling hills, green spaces and wide, paved paths. (Realistically, plan to hit two of the three in a day).
At the Shedd Aquarium, dolphins and beluga whales live in the Oceanarium.
The Field Museum tells the story of life on earth, from Sue, the world’s largest T. rex skeleton, to DNA.
When the Adler Planetarium opened in 1930, it was the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere; it continues to wow with exhibits like Mission Moon and planetarium shows.
Grab dinner on South Wabash at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where soul food (jambalaya and po’ boys) and live music restore weary travelers. Relax in freshly styled rooms at the Essex Inn (from $79).
Impressionist paintings and American classics such as American Gothic are just a few of the highlights at the Art Institute of Chicago. (CityPass grants access to either the Art Institute or Adler Planetarium.) Don’t overlook the fantastic dining options; upscale Terzo Piano’s menu stars Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
Seven blocks away, visitors thrill to the views from the The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago, a clear-glass case jutting out from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower.
Still have time? Visit the Museum of Science and Industry or the 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory).
For dinner, Sepia, in an 1890 print shop in the West Loop, entices diners with entrees like chicken with sake sausage and grilled watermelon.