Things to do in The Loop
Experience downtown at your own pace with Chicago’s Hop On Hop Off Tours. Tours leave from 14 downtown locations every 20-30 minutes. Visitors can buy tickets at various locations, including the Park Shop below the Bean in Millennium Park or online.
Several distinguished stages make up the Loop’s theater district. Goodman, Chicago’s oldest and largest nonprofit theater, has entertained locals and visitors for more than 80 years. Catch a production in Goodman’s landmark building. Check the website for upcoming performances.
Identified as a National Historic Landmark, Macy’s on State occupies the extraordinary Marshal Field & Company Building. Shopping is a grand experience here. Don’t forget to go to the fifth floor and look up—you’ll be dazzled by the magnificent Tiffany Favrile glass ceiling.
Specializing in artisanal cheese, bread, and wine, Pastoral is a neighborhood favorite. Its sandwiches, made with crusty bread from beloved Bennison’s Bakery and stacked with top-quality meats and cheeses, are some of the best in the city.
Once a historic movie theater, the two-story venue transformed itself in 1996 as an outlet for up-and-coming jazz, R&B, funk, and hip-hop musicians. If you hanker to hear local blues music, have dinner at the Back Porch and stay for the live 10 p.m. show.
While most museums have a firm “do not touch” policy, the Field is hands-on and kid-friendly. Originally founded in 1893 to house the Columbian Exposition’s natural science and anthropology collections, the museum now owns 23 million artifacts and specimens.
With more than 260,000 works of art ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, the Art Institute is home to some of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces. But don’t rush inside without viewing one of its most famous sculptures at the entranceway—the North and South Lions.
Since opening in 2004, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park has become a Chicago staple that lures renowned artists, architects, and musicians. Highlights include The Cloud Gate, The Crown Fountain, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.