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Things to do in The Magnificent Mile

Our most recommended things to do in The Magnificent Mile

Chicago: 360 Chicago Observation Deck Skip-the-Line Ticket

1. Chicago: 360 Chicago Observation Deck Skip-the-Line Ticket

Marvel at the views from 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue with this ticket to the 360 CHICAGO observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center. Save time with skip-the-line access to this popular attraction. Head up to the 360 CHICAGO observation deck to take in breathtaking views of Chicago’s lakefront and view the city skyline from above. Take a peek at 4 neighboring states from this height. Feel the thrill of a 40-second ride in one of North America's fastest elevators to the observation deck to experience what 'Travel & Leisure Magazine' voted one of the best views in America. Enjoy an interactive exhibit on the Ground Floor that highlights Chicago’s rich history and showcases 9 of the city’s culturally unique neighborhoods. On the 94th floor, explore the history and architecture of the magnificent city stretched out before you. To enhance your experience, download the Magnicity App for a guided tour right from your smartphone. The App includes an interactive viewfinder, unique facts, stories and recommendations. Enjoy a thrilling photo opportunity at CloudWalk, a breathtaking 3D mural with the optical illusion of walking in the clouds. Relax and take in the view at the 94th floor’s Cloud Bar which serves up iconic Chicago snacks, neighborhood-inspired Cocktails, and a local brew, Moody Tongue, on tap. By purchasing this timed ticket, you get to skip the ticket desk and present your barcoded voucher to security to be scanned - you may have to wait in a short line at security, then head directly into the Ground Floor Exhibits, and then on to the Elevator Line.

Chicago: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

2. Chicago: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

The world-famous ice cream attraction is now open in Chicago. Step into an ice cream wonderland that is bound to ignite your senses through a theatrical experience with unlimited ice cream treats as you journey through 14 installations. Ride on the pink Sprink-L line, put your golf skills to the test on the Putt-Putt course, or take a dip in a pool filled with millions of sprinkles. Come with an empty stomach and get ready to make unforgettable memories. When you finish your experience, be sure to explore the museum's whimsical shop. The Museum of Ice Cream is not a traditional museum — every installation is interactive. This means touching isn't only allowed, it's encouraged.

Chicago: Mob and Crime Bus Tour

3. Chicago: Mob and Crime Bus Tour

Experience Chicago’s underworld of criminals and gangsters on a luxury bus tour. Find out how some of the world’s most famous criminals, mobsters, and gangsters conned their way through the city. Ride comfortably in an enclosed, climate-controlled bus, as you see famous Chicago crime scenes that range from the 19th century through modern times. Unlike Chicago walking tours, this Mob and Crime Tour isn’t affected by the Windy City weather. Learn from a local expert tour guide giving interactive live commentary about Al Capone, the Untouchables, the Chicago Mob, John Dillinger, Terrible Tommy O'Connor, H. H. Holmes, the Chicago Black Sox, Leopold and Loeb, bank heists, Cap George Streeter, and more. Grab your camera for a drive-by shooting of the historic criminal courthouse, a Chicago architectural landmark where some of Chicago's most notorious cases were tried. You'll also view historic video footage, receive an informative pamphlet with photos, and can even take part in a crime quiz. Stake out crime scenes like the Biograph Theatre, Holy Name Cathedral, Clark Street Bridge, and other Chicago landmarks. See the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, one of Chicago's most notorious murder scenes. Get off the bus and walk the path that notorious Chicago gangsters John Dillinger and Hymie Weiss followed just before their deaths. Travel into the criminal past of Chicago's River North, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Old Town, Loop, and Magnificent Mile neighborhoods.

Chicago: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

4. Chicago: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

From your vantage point on the double-decker sightseeing bus, you'll enjoy towering views of Chicago’s finest skyscrapers, including the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower, and the Wrigley Building. Take in the city's most impressive landmarks while listening to entertaining commentary and insight into Chicago's unique and exciting history. Explore this dynamic city with the freedom to hop on and hop off as many times as you wish to visit attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Natural History Museum. You’ll travel along the famous Magnificent Mile, considered one of the great avenues of the world, and continue across the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River. This hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Chicago makes it easy for you to explore the city's sights at your own pace. All stops are conveniently located to make navigating your way around the city easy. With a choice of 24 or 48-hour tickets, you can take your time discovering Chicago.

Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

5. Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Combine an enjoyable walk around Chicago's downtown to see some of the city’s top sites with stops to sample some of the city’s famous tastes. On this 2.5-hour guided walk, you'll get to taste the foods Chicago is best known for doing right. Enjoy deep-dish pizza, the original Italian pastries, Chicago-style hot dog, and a classic Italian beef sandwich. Enjoy a VIP craft beer sample for an additional fee. Along the way, you’ll see some of Chicago's most iconic spots including Millennium Park, the Chicago Riverwalk, the Art Institute, and the famous Bean. By the end of the tour, your stomach will be full of delicious food and your head will be full of fascinating knowledge about Chicago. During the colder months, the tour makes use of the unique underground Pedway system that connects much of downtown and keeps you warm and cozy. On warmer days, you’ll walk at street level to enjoy the large promenades of the loop. The leisurely walking pace is suitable for people of all fitness levels.

Chicago Crimes Night Tour

6. Chicago Crimes Night Tour

Uncover how some of the world’s most famous criminals, mobsters, and gangsters conned their way through the Windy City. Ride in an enclosed, climate-controlled bus, as you explore famous Chicago crime scenes ranging from the 19th century through to modern times. Learn about Al Capone, the Untouchables, the Chicago Mob, John Dillinger, The Lady in Red, Captain George Streeter, Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, Bugs Moran, Johnny Torrio and more. Grab your camera for a drive-by shooting of historic and architectural landmarks, and stake out crime scenes like the Biograph Theatre, Holy Name Cathedral and St. Valentine's Day Massacre, one of Chicago's most notorious murder sites. Walk the path that notorious Chicago gangsters John Dillinger and Hymie Weiss followed just before their deaths. Travel into the criminal past of Chicago's River North, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Old Town, Loop, and Magnificent Mile neighborhoods.

Chicago: Wine & Cheese or Beer & BBQ Thursday Evening Cruise

7. Chicago: Wine & Cheese or Beer & BBQ Thursday Evening Cruise

Cruise from the DuSable bridge and go up the main branch of the Chicago River to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk out onto Lake Michigan. Choose from a wine and cheese tasting or beer and BBQ meal experience. Hop aboard a spacious and comfortable ship and find a spot on the open-air decks or in the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors. Admire views of the city from the water as glide over the water. Select the wine tour to indulge in tastings of 4-6 different wines from “Picnic Wine & Provisions,” a Chicago-based wine boutique. Savor items from a buffet-style cheese table, with an expert on hand to advise on the wine and cheese pairings. Pick the Beer tour For tasting 4-6 beers from local breweries, while “Blackwood BBQ” provides each passenger with a a light meal of delectable BBQ samples, along with some mouth-watering sides. Purchase additional drinks at the onboard cash bar where full servings of the sampled beers or wines can be bought. Have the option to buy other local beers, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks from the bar.

360 Chicago Observation Deck with Crime and Mob Bus Tour

8. 360 Chicago Observation Deck with Crime and Mob Bus Tour

First, explore Chicago's underworld of criminals and gangsters on a 1.5-2 hour true crime history bus tour with stops on and off the bus. See the places where infamous mobsters conned their way to riches as you visit historic crime scenes. Learn about Al Capone, the Untouchables, the Chicago Mob, John Dillinger, and more. Second, go to 360 Chicago, one of the city's most impressive landmarks. Ride up to the 94th floor and soak up panoramic views of Chicago from the observation deck. See the city’s famous skyline as well as the lakefront and 4 neighboring states.

Chicago: Food, History and Architecture Tour with Tastings

9. Chicago: Food, History and Architecture Tour with Tastings

Discover the architecture and food scene of Chicago on a guided day tour. Learn more about the city's history and vibrant food scene as you discover various bustling neighborhoods and historic areas. Start the tour under the dazzling marquee of the Chicago Theater. Explore the bustling city where the first stop is inside one of the best-preserved spaces built for shopping in Chicago, featuring an unforgettable atrium at its core. Then, head towards the Chicago Pedway. This unique feature of Chicago is used by locals and commuters daily to move about the city in a network of underground tunnels. Make your way above ground at City Hall, and admire its classic interior design and architecture. Next, visit a spot for a tasty sweet treat, and a local tradition, Chicago-style popcorn. Take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk while taking in views of several soaring buildings, including Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower). From there, visit another delicious destination for locally made chocolates from a Chicago staple. Meander through the beautiful lakefront parks along Michigan Avenue, finishing at picturesque Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean sculpture. Travel by ‘L” train or ride share with your guide from Millennium Park up to the River North neighborhood, the original Chicago foodie destination. Your food tour starts with a very well-known Chicago fare, the Chicago-style hot dog. Every Chicagoan has his or her own preference as to how the dog should be made, and you’ll get a chance to try your guide’s favorite version. Next up is the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza. An entire meal unto itself, this staple of the Chicago food scene originated in River North in the 1940s when workers and families needed filling dishes at low prices. Your guide will take you to a pizza place that’s an icon to Chicago natives to try the real deal for yourself. After you’ve filled up on pizza and hot dogs, continue your tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef. Sample this sandwich in a real Chicago institution with no-frills decor. Our tour ends here, and your guide will be happy to direct you back to your accommodation or share tips for what else to see in the city.

Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

10. Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your local tour guide, an expert on the architecture of Chicago. Travel through the city in luxury private transportation to discover its rich architectural history. See famous buildings such as the Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, and the Wrigley Building Discover Gothic gems along the Magnificent Mile, historic brownstones, and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of Oak Park. Enjoy a unique added value opportunity to view not only the outside but the amazing hidden interior of many of the buildings on the tour. At your discretion, make numerous stops along the tour to go to the top of the sky decks of famous skyscrapers. Walk along the Chicago River and enter the inside of buildings designed by many famous architects. This tour has several different options. Enjoy the sites of the downtown Chicago area with its many skyscrapers, amazing interiors and great photo opportunities. You may also choose the Oak Park Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and Studio option in lieu of the downtown tour where you will have the opportunity to view the interior of his very first home and studio along with over two dozen of his original structures lining Forest Street in Oak Park anchored by Unity Temple, considered to be the world's first building of the modern architectural style. Each of the above separate options are 3 hours long. If you are to choose both options for a full 6-hour touring experience, enjoy a lunch stop at one of Chicago's many famous hot dog stands or deep-dish pizza joints.

Available activities

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Private tours
  • Water activities
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What people are saying about The Magnificent Mile

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,925 reviews

The best food walking tour!! We learned about Chicago while enjoying its main food choices. It is a must if you want to learn about hidden food gems in Chicago.

Was an amazing experience! Definitely something everyone should go and experience at least once in their life!

It was scary at first but I had fun the whole time I was there with my husband

Loved it!!! No crowds or long lines!! Love Chicago in the winter!!

it was fun and learned tons of stuff about the city!