The best place to visit in Illinois
Tourist Attractions

12 Best Places to Visit in Illinois

Illinois is a land of incredible diversity, with something to offer everyone who visits. There are many great places to visit in this city, but if you are looking for the ultimate Illinois experience, then you need to head to one of the places below. Whichever part of Illinois you choose to visit, you’re sure to have an amazing time.

The Best Place to Visit in Illinois

Millennium Park

  • Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (72428)
  • Phone: +1 312-742-1168
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Thursday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Friday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Saturday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Sunday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
The best place to visit in Illinois
The best place to visit in Illinois

5 Replies to 12 Best Places to Visit in Illinois

  1. Such an amazing place to visit and a must in your in the Chicago area. Great place to capture amazing photos of the famous Bean and downtown area. I really enjoyed hitting the ice skating ring for a few laps. I highly recommend coming here to visit a iconic piece of Chicago.

  2. It is a really good touristy place for everyone to come and hangout with their friends/family/partner. I went during Thanksgiving as well as New Year’s day. The snow never stop anyone there are always people around the park. Also, overview of the Chicago skyline is must to watch and nearby to all other attractions nearby.

  3. Beautiful place!!! You can spent so much time taking pictures around the bean but we also enjoyed the ice skaters. It was not too cold so we could spend quite a while around. Lots of nice places close too.

  4. If you’re going to Chicago, then you definitely need to stop by Millennium Park and visit Cloud Gate (The Bean). It’s such an amazing place to visit and spend an afternoon walking around the park or simply have nice picnic. Great atmosphere! Highly recommend it.

  5. We are never tired of this place. It’s almost like a ritual to visit this place whenever we are on a trip to Chicago irrespective of the season. Be it watching the reflections of the majestic Chicago skyline on Cloud gate AKA Bean or the nearby Crown Fountain or catching bands perform in the pavilion, or the Christmas tree during holiday season, or taking a stroll upto the Buckingham fountain in nearby Grant park, or the Ice-skating rink, there are lots of things to see/experience here. Absolutely must visit. Roadside Parking is a hit or miss here depending on the crowd.

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Top 12 Tourist Attractions in Illinois

The best place to visit in Illinois
The best place to visit in Illinois

Navy Pier

  • Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (66080)
  • Phone: +1 312-595-7437
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Sunday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Ferris wheel was very fun. There were other carnival ride options as well. Great food options too!. Great options for boat tours. We had kids and did a quick 40 min boat tour. Overall, navy pier seems to amaze me everything I go. Been going since I was a kid and was able to share this with my kids for the first time.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Matthew Alvarez (5 months ago)
    Gorgeous place! We didn’t realize how big it is, and how many shops there are!

    We came for the “Light up the Lake Event”. It was awesome! Indoor so no worries about weather. The pier is free, but would definitely buy tickets in advance for the lights.

    We rode the ferris wheel and it was so much fun! The view is gorgeous!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By brittny92 (a month ago)
    Beautiful in the day time and even more beautiful at night. We visited on the weekend and it’s a place for everyone to walk, hangout, eat, relax, ride the Ferris wheel and lots to do. It gets packed and busy but fun for sure. I recommend this place.. one of the must visit in Chicago places. Fire work show was awesome as well it was not a disappointment. Was worth staying there till 10pm.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Salim Khodari (7 months ago)
    Our experience was very nice despite the hot weather. The staff was friendly and very informative. The Chicago Architect boat ride was fun. 1 The narrator was very informative and very friendly. I will not recommend taking this ride during 12 to 4 PM if the sun is out brightly. You will be sitting directly in the sun. There is some shade on the boat but you have to get there early.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alma L Scott (7 months ago)
    A must place to visit….
    Free sightseeing place to roam around and explore…

    Hours are different in google… They are open till 10PM ( We were told by an employee working there)

    We had city pass to redeem at Centennial wheel. Which saved us sometime…

    Centennial wheel was amazing… very nice for people to look around the surroundings and beautiful Lake Michigan

    Navy pier is a huge area.. more than 5 mile if we just walk around…

    Lot of food options, restrooms available, scenic views, a place to view fireworks for free when scheduled, Gift shops available, different rides for adults and kids are available…. and many more things to do…

    Ship docker/anchors with lot of party boats are seen…

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By AP SAI (6 months ago)

Lincoln Park Zoo

  • Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (28457)
  • Phone: +1 312-742-2000
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    The zoo is free and is in the nice Lincoln Park area. Great views nearby and it is at a relatively convenient location with respect to the main attractions downtown. It is a little over an hour of leisurely walk from the Millennium station. The zoo is not large so there are not many animals to been with. I was able to see some animals but a few were not available. I did not check out the farm, train, food options or the gift shop, so no comment on those.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Feryal Alayont (5 months ago)
    Small zoo with it’s own charm! I think it’s one of the few zoos in the US that has free admission and they do accept donations from visitors. It’s a nice place to just walk around and see animals although there were a few areas where I didn’t see animals in them. There are also rides for kids and food available in the main court. It’s not the biggest zoo you can be in but it’s definitely worth the time to see what they have; and the best part about it is that it’s free.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lennon Garcia (2 months ago)
    I was shocked this is free entertainment. Our local zoo is a $25 per person which is fine to help out the animals but it is quite nice that this zoo is able to keep it free. Go NOW if you haven’t seen the baby lion. One of the cutest things I have seen!! It is a smaller zoo but had a perfect variety of animals. I really enjoyed visiting.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By TJ Berch (3 months ago)
    Wow were we impressed! When we heard “free zoo” we thought the grounds might be run down and there wouldn’t be many animals, we were so wrong! The grounds are kept very nicely and we saw SO many of the animals out considering it was a chilly day. Highly recommend this zoo if you’re visiting from elsewhere. I’ve been to many zoos in the U.S. and this is definitely at the top of my list now!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kimberly T. (in the last week)
    Will go again.
    There are a lot of places to use facilities all around Zoo.
    Lot’s of Great experiences. Can get very close to the animals.
    Free to get into (can leave a donation in a box, if you like) for all ages.
    A great way to spend a day (if not too warm!).
    Food & drink a wee bit more expensive, but you can bring your own, there are places to sit (with tables).
    151 (as of 24/06/2022) bus stops right outside.
    Have Fun.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Patricia Farrell (7 months ago)

Shedd Aquarium

  • Address: 1200 S Dusable Lk Shr Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (27924)
  • Phone: +1 312-939-2438
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    We wanted a fun day in Chicago with a family of five, it was between the shed and the Museum of science and industry.. there are many discounts but none for families very sad. Wound up buying the membership as it was the most economical.. there are many great exhibits to look at. We were able to catch one of the 10 minute main shows,. would’ve been nice if they were a little longer. We had an enjoyable day. Will have to go back to get use out of our one year annual pass now.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Jeff Rhine (4 months ago)
    Be sure to buy tickets beforehand and save yourself a lot of time. Also worth it to take a ride share instead of parking. Great adventure for the whole family. Most people moved at a pretty good pace around the exhibits therefore not too much waiting time. Multiple options to grab a bite to eat and the prices were reasonable.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Cindi James (2 months ago)
    I went here with my family during the week and it was timed entry, which helped with the crowds earlier in the day. We spent a little over 3 hours there and by the early afternoon, it was pretty crowded. We saw all the attractions (no movie or shows), ate lunch in the cafeteria and went to the gift shop. There were a lot of great photo opportunities and it looked like all of the exhibits were open. The cafeteria offers awesome views of the Chicago skyline too! My family and I had a great time!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Karen Kendzierski (6 months ago)
    A wide collection of species from all over the world. It is a bit smaller than other aquariums I’ve been to but it’s activities really make up for it. There are a lot of interactive activities for families, couples, groups, and people going alone. Best time to go is about May- October which is when most, if not all, interactive touch the animal exhibits are open. Very expensive if you are either not a resident or if you decide to go on a regular price day. Check the calendar before planning your trip so you don’t miss out on the discounted/free days. Once you get there definitely check out the animal meet-n-greets (which are often free) or the aquatic mammal shows put on by the trainers. The 4D experience is alright, but to be honest not very much worth the price. It’s about 15 min long and plays out like a documentary. You get 3D glasses but they’re not very good quality and they also use the same pair on multiple crowds. Not much goes on and if you’re expecting to get splashed with water, it’s mostly just bubbles. As a chicago native I would always recommend this to someone visiting but just be prepared to spend a good amount.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Angie Conejo (6 months ago)
    Really awesome aquarium with lots to explore. The dolphin show is fun even for adults. It can take a while to get through if you want to stop for every exhibit. 2-3 hours for casual aquarium goer; 4-5 hours for super aquarium lovers. You will not be able to do the aquarium and museum in one day if you really want to appreciate everything.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Thomas Brackett III (7 months ago)

Skydeck Chicago

  • Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (25455)
  • Phone: +1 312-875-9447
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Amazing!! It was a great experience. We visited on a Monday afternoon so the wait wasn’t long but they make the line interesting with photo opportunities and interesting local facts. We bought the tickets and within an hour we were finished and walking out the lobby doors with an incredible experience and photos. I highly recommend this experience if you have the time. We may have to come back to get the night time experience. Simply amazing!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Steve Koz (9 months ago)
    Such a stunning experience. Although for standing in a deck and clicking some stunning photos is a task as they gave a short time so it’s recommended to go with just 2 people at a time so that you can get a decent picture in a short time. Although there are places where you can get a great view to capture yourself. Also sunset is perfect time as you can see both day and night views.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Sampada Bhutkar (8 months ago)
    I came here during the week at about 1pm on a Monday mid May and there really wasn’t too much of a wait. I purchased our tickets online as we entered the building. Honestly, I had not been to the tower in about 3 years, there was obviously major renovations to the basement where you board the elevator to the Skydeck. ( Which really improved aspects of visiting the Willis tower) There was such cool decor and interactive features you could take photos next to. I particularly enjoyed the walk towards the elevators. You get up there fairly fast, so remember to bring some chewing gum for your ears. But once you’re up there it is absolutely spectacular. My favorite part was veering over the side that faces the lake. It was so beautiful, honestly who knew there were so many different shades of blue out there in Lake Michigan. My kids loved the opposite side that faces the city view because that’s where you get to stand on the glass ledge and see the city below you. You get about 2 full minutes to stand in the glass box they stick you in. You can take your own photos and you also have the option to purchase a photo they snap of you once you’re in there. They sell pretty gifts there but they are very pricy so don’t forget your loot. Absolutely highly recommend stopping at this Major Chicago Gem.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Ava Esparza (6 months ago)
    1st time here! Definitely a must do if in the area. We bought our tickets online for a Thursday afternoon in August. The crowd was too busy for our time slot. They let us go up 15 minutes early. There’s a gift shop before you go up and another one once up. There’s tons of history information about Willis tower and Chicago on the way up. There is also a section for photo ops of different things around Chicago, which was cool. The elevator ride up is cool and would definitely have your phone out for a video. Prepare for your ears to pop from going so fast up. Once up you can look around for however long you want to but once you do the sky deck ledge it’s only 2 minutes per group and they time you. The elevator down is split up into two elevators. They do cram you into the elevators. There’s two photo ops before going up and on the ledge for them to take a professional picture. To get both and a digital copy is only $42.00, which we found really good versus other places we have been too.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Beth Richardson (5 months ago)
    It’s a really dope view of the city. My favorite view is east facing the water. The only thing interesting going on West is a United Center. The ledge was cool but I like the tilt a little more. The gift shop is really massive and has an ample amount of items to pick from. As a visitor of the city I highly recommend getting the expedited city pass.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Abdallah “Dooly” Ismail (5 months ago)

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

  • Address: 5700 S Dusable Lk Shr Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (25113)

Cloud Gate

  • Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (24524)

Brookfield Zoo

  • Address: 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (22540)

Field Museum

  • Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (21177)

Willis Tower

  • Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (20804)

Starved Rock State Park

  • Address: 2678 E 875th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (13732)


  • Address: 875 N Michigan Ave 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (12029)

The Morton Arboretum

  • Address: 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (10846)

Although Illinois is a large state with many amazing places to visit, these 12 locations stand out as the best according to traveler ratings and reviews. Did your favorite spot make the cut? Let us know in the comments above!