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Things to do in Illinois

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in Illinois. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Illinois attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in Illinois to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in Illinois.

  • Overview
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  • 2nd Fridays Gallery Walk

    What could be better than spending a Friday evening exploring the eclectic galleries of the Chicago Art District? How about socializing with the ar... More
  • 57th Street Books

    The non-academic sister store to the Seminary Co-op, 57th Street Books is located underground in an unassuming red-brick building in Hyde Park. Ins... More
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

    Kids visit Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic for dress-up and period-reminiscent play. More
  • Alphabetique

  • Alternatives Shoes

    Located in a very popular shopping area along North Michigan Avenue, Alternatives not only stays ahead of current trends, but has been know to insp... More
  • Andrea Sertoli

    Whether you are hoping to hit the “Big 3” (Rome, Florence and Venice) with tots in tow, sample phenomenal wines in the alluring region of Apulia, o... More
  • Apartment Number 9

    Style-savvy men frequent this Bucktown clothing boutique to find the latest fashions from both established and emerging designers. Owned by sisters... More
  • ArchiCenter

    Housed in the 1904 Santa Fe Building designed by Daniel Burnham, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ArchiCenter features temporary exhibits as w... More
  • Arts Club of Chicago

    In operation since 1916, the Arts Club of Chicago hosts three public art exhibits each year in its gallery space on East Ontario Street. The buildi... More
  • Beansprout

  • Belly Dance Maternity

    Even celebrities like Julia Roberts and Naomi Watts have relied on this boutique for stylish, non-frumpy maternity clothes. Located in Wicker Park,... More
  • Big City Swing

    Whether you’re hoping to master complicated dance floor dips or simply tame your two left feet, Big City Swing has you covered with well-priced dan... More
  • Binth

  • Blake

    Eleven months out of the year, this unassuming River North storefront goes unadorned, with no signage, no merchandise displays and a hard-to-find e... More
  • Book Cellar

    Quality over quantity is the rule of thumb at this small, independently owned bookstore in Lincoln Square. Behind a glass storefront brightened by ... More

Explore things to do in Illinois for more options.

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