As the third largest city in the United States, it’s easy to find things to do while visiting the Windy City. Sure, a visit to the Bean is a must and of course you must try a slice of deep dish. Once you’re done with that, you may be wondering what’s next.
For the curious traveler who has a transit pass (We call them Ventra cards here) you can get to many of the interesting sights Chicago has to offer that locals love to explore. Plan to checkout these unique spots next time you’re visiting!
Note: This post was originally published on Like A Local Guide. To see full post, including 5 other things to see, visit likealocalguide.com/blog
1.Pullman National Monument
For those interested in history, stopping at the Pullman National Monument is a must. A bit off the beaten path, but certainly worth the trip. It’s unique in the way that it is still an active residential community, yet you can walk around and see many buildings as they were in its prime as the modern town. Start your journey at the visitor’s center to learn more about the Pullman Company and how its founder changed the way people work and live. Then take a self-guided walking though throughout the neighborhood.
2. Garfield Park Conservatory
Rain or shine, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a peaceful and beautiful place to visit. Many locals flock there during the winter months to escape from the bitter cold. Plants, flowers and trees of all kinds adorn every little space of the different rooms. Make sure to stop in the fern room for a picturesque view of the conservatory.
3. Oz Park
If you follow the yellow brick road, it may lead you straight to Oz Park. Wander around this beautiful garden to see statues of your favorite characters and relax in the Emerald Garden. During the summer, keep an eye out for movies in the park here!
4. McCormick Bridgehouse Museum
You will easily pass this museum up without realizing it’s even there. I know I did for years! That is, until I found it inside the Michigan Avenue bridge. The McCormick Bridgehouse Museum may be one of the best hidden gems of Chicago, and I am sure glad I found it. Take a look at this magnificent bridge from underneath and see what makes the intricate system of bridges along the Chicago River unique.
5. A Comedy Show
Finally, no trip to Chicago is complete without a comedy show. After all, so many of the greats have studied here. The Second City is always a go-to for visitors and you won’t be disappointed. But if you want to have a truly local experience, check out Improv Olympics (iO) where they have a free improv show every Wednesday. Or, my personal favorite is Hitch*Cocktails at The Annoyance Theater where I guarantee you’ll laugh more than you ever have before!
Bonus: Baha’I Temple, Wilmette
Okay, so this isn’t technically in Chicago so I didn’t want to include it on the “official” list. However, it’s accessible by public transit, so if there’s time, it’s certainly a worth a visit. The Baha’i temple is located In Wilmette, just a few suburbs north of Chicago, and is only one of seven (soon to be eight) in the world. Its beauty and peacefulness is unmatched. Be sure to visit the welcome center and speak with the friendly guides who can tell you more about the detailed architecture of the building.