Coming to Engage 2017, Top Hat’s Conference for Higher Education Innovators? When you’re not in breakout sessions or listening to keynote speakers, Chicago makes for a great city to explore. We’ve rounded up a few highlights to help you plan your trip. 

Millennium Park

If you’re in need of a selfie that screams Chicago, look no further than Millennium Park (Michigan and Columbus Avenues), where you can pose in front of Anish Kapoor’s iconic “Cloud Gate” (known colloquially as “The Bean”). With 25 million annual visitors, Millennium isn’t the kind of park where you’ll find much solitude, but with its vast collection of public art, proximity to the waterfront and free live music, it’s somewhere you’ll want to be for at leat part of your trip to the Windy City. Free. 

The Art Institute of Chicago

Trip Advisor called it the Best Museum in the USA. The Art Institute of Chicago draws over 1.5 million visitors annually. Located in Grant Park, it boasts over 300,000 pieces in its permanent collection, including the largest Impressionist collection outside of Paris. Visitors can traverse the globe by visiting galleries dedicated to the art of ancient Japan, Greece and Africa, among other countries. Tickets from $14, available online. 

River Cruise

One of the best ways to take in Chicago’s sights is from the desk of a boat in the city’s eponymous river. Architecture and history fans can hop aboard the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise for an informed take on more than 50 iconic buildings in the city that invented the skyscraper. Tickets from $46, available online. 


If you prefer the view from above, head to the Skydeck (233 South Wacker Dr.)—the highest observation deck in the U.S.—where you can spy 50-mile views of Chicago from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears). Adventurous visitors to the Skydeck can tiptoe out into The Ledge’s glass-bottomed boxes, which allow for unfettered—and unnerving—views of the city below. Tickets from $23, available online. 

Wicker Park

For a creative escape from the downtown core, head west to Wicker Park. Known for its music scene, fashion boutiques, cafes and cutting-edge restaurants, this eclectic neighbourhood is the ideal spot for culture vultures on the prowl. While you’re there, take a stroll on The 606, an elevated rail line that’s been converted into 2.7 miles of urban green space. 

For more information, head over to our Venue page. Book your ticket today

Amita Parikh

Amita Parikh

Amita Parikh is a Content Marketer at Top Hat