Chicago draws nearly 40 million visitors a year, and for good reason. This stunning city offers a wealth of world-class highlights, from museums to parks and beyond. Try this itinerary for a bit of it all.

Early Morning: Get a Farm Fresh Breakfast at Wildberry

The Wildberry Café packs their menu with fresh local ingredients so you can count on outstanding flavor no matter what you pick. Try the restaurant’s decadent specialty pancakes in flavors like fig and walnut, caramel apple pecan, or banana cream pie. If you’d prefer a dish with farm fresh eggs, go for the distinctive Napa Valley fig omelet with California figs, Applewood bacon, and aged Havarti cheese. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, flavored lemonades, and 100 percent organic direct-trade coffees round out your meal.

garfield park conservatory
The Garfeild Park Conservatory.

Midmorning: Stroll the Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park Conservatory features a breathtaking choice of both indoor and outdoor gardens. Explore cacti in the Desert House, head through the lush lagoon of the Fern Room, and find gardens representing water, air, sun, and sugar in the themed Sugar From the Sun exhibit. Head outside to experience the Sensory Garden, cultivate your green thumb in the Demonstration Garden, or go to the Play and Grow Garden and set your children free.

Noon: Do Chicken Right for Lunch

Hit up Honey Butter Fried Chicken for lunch and enjoy the restaurant’s cage-free, antibiotic-free, humanely raised chicken fried to perfection. Enjoy it with sides like schmaltz smashed potatoes and creamed corn, have it packed in a taco, or get it piled on a sandwich with creative condiments. Don’t pass up the corn muffins and honey butter with your meal.

art institute
The Art Institute of Chicago.

Afternoon: Explore the Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has a vast collection of African, American, Asian, European, and Indian art. Explore pieces from the Byzantine era through modern art. Photography, architecture, armor, and more are on display at the museum, accompanied by an ever-changing range of temporary exhibitions.

humboldt park
The Humboldt Park in Chicago.

Late Afternoon: Visit the Shedd Aquarium

Dive into the ocean’s depths at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. Exhibits here take you to the Caribbean reef, Amazon rainforest, and Philippine coral reef. Don’t miss special animal chats, aquatic presentations, and close live encounters while you’re here.

Dinnertime: Enjoy the Flavors of Spain at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba serves up authentic Spanish flavor. Best-known for its tapas, you can make a full meal out of small bites here, with options like chorizo-wrapped medjool dates, seared cana de cabra, and house-marinated Spanish olives. From beef skewers to lamb-kabobs, there are plenty of decadent bites to pack your plate with.

picasso sculpture
The Chicago Picasso Sculpture in Chicago.

Evening: See a Show at The Second City

Famous for launching the careers of comedy greats like Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Bill Murray, and Stephen Colbert, The Second City is an institution. Known for finding top-notch talent, this theater always has something side-splitting on stage. Snag tickets for the latest hit while you’re in town.

After this fun-filled day in the city, you’re sure to want more. Plan your stay in Chicago for as many days as you can get away.