Here's how to visit the Windy City without ever stepping foot outside.

By Andrea Romano
March 29, 2020
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The Windy City is only a few clicks away.

Traveling anywhere right now is obviously not advisable as the U.S. continues measures to try to fight against the outbreak of coronavirus. But if you’re really feeling the wanderlust, there are a few places you can go virtually to help you feel like you’re still jet setting around the globe.

One of those cities is Chicago, Illinois. The city has loads of options for virtual tourists. Not only can you take tours of the city’s famous museums, but you can also go sight-seeing, browse a historical library, see some major attractions, and visit some adorable animals in the zoo.

Choose Chicago has rounded up a number of amazing experiences you can have right from home.

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Architecture and Sight Seeing

Chicago is known for its beautiful architecture and historic sights, especially the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in the world. You can discover the iconic architect’s most influential works such as Oak Park’s Unity Temple, Hyde Park’s Frederick C. Robie House in Hyde Park, as well as Wright’s home and studio via video tours.

Museums

Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, the world is at your fingertips. If you’re not touring Europe’s castles or national parks, you can also experience a ton of museums.

The Art Institute of Chicago has an astounding collection of 40,000 famous paintings for your perusal, which includes some of the most famous paintings on the planet like "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" and "Monet’s Water Lilies." Check out their hi-res digital collection on their website.

The Adler Planetarium, America’s first planetarium, has a unique science video series that’s perfect for students to keep up with their science homework while schools are closed. This series includes at-home experiments that use household materials, like floating an egg in water to building a space-age lava lamp, and more.

Literature

Browse the Newberry Library and its collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material as well as more than one million of these items digitized online.

Zoos

The Shedd Aquarium, now famous for its viral videos of penguins roaming the exhibits, is also home to 32,600 species of sea life. The aquarium’s Underwater Beauty live cam shows off a number of colorful fish and other sea creatures. Not to mention, it’s pretty relaxing to look at.

For more land animals, virtually visit the Brookfield Zoo, a 216-acre habitat with over 2,000 animals. The zoo is broadcasting on Facebook so people all over the country can enjoy its educational materials as well as wildlife like gorillas.

Chicago is also home to one of the largest zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Virtual tourists can tune in to conversations with zoo keepers, tours of wildlife habitats, and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More information and tours throughout the Second City can be found on the Choose Chicago website.