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Michigan Avenue

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Michigan Avenue: Our most recommended tours and activities

360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk

1. 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk

Soaring 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue, 360 CHICAGO is one of the city’s most unique attractions. Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory) offers breathtaking views of Chicago’s lakefront, magnificent skyline and four neighboring states. After only a 40-second ride in North America's fastest elevators to the observation deck, you can experience what Travel & Leisure Magazine voted one of the best views in America. No other tower gets you closer to the heart of Chicago. Located on the Magnificent Mile and close to Navy Pier, 360 Chicago provides easy access to Chicago’s premier shopping and dining districts.   360 CHICAGO is also the only place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy TILT, Chicago’s tallest and most thrilling attraction. The first of its kind in the world, this one-of-a-kind marvel literally tilts you out and over the Magnificent Mile an Chicago’s famous skyline from the 94th floor observation deck. TILT gives you unique, downward facing views from over 1,000 feet up for up to 8 travelers at a time. Upgrade and include TILT and forever change the way you see Chicago!   360 CHICAGO also offers an interactive exhibit on the Ground Floor highlighting Chicago’s rich history and showcasing nine of the city’s culturally unique neighborhoods. Then, on the 94th floor, audio tours in 5 languages allow you to further explore the history and architecture of the magnificent city stretched out before you.  By pre-purchasing your timed ticket today, 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 Elevator Line.

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360 Chicago: Observation Deck Entry with a Drink at Bar 94

2. 360 Chicago: Observation Deck Entry with a Drink at Bar 94

Take your cocktail hour to a whole different level at Bar 94, 360 Chicago's own inviting bar located 1,000 feet over Chicago’s spectacular Magnificent Mile. Part observation deck, part cocktail and beer destination, Bar 94 combines breathtaking views and taste-tempting cocktail combinations. Featuring locally crafted beers from Revolution Brewing and locally inspired spirits from KOVAL Distillery, Bar 94 combines amazing 360-degree views with premium beer, wine, and spirits to give you a taste of Chicago you can’t find anywhere else. Your admission includes access to 360 Chicago, formerly The John Hancock Observatory, which combines superior lake views with close-ups of Chicago’s monumental landmarks. With views consistently rated as Chicago’s best, no other tower gets you closer to the heart of Chicago. Located on the Magnificent Mile and close to Navy Pier, 360 Chicago also provides easy access to Chicago’s premier shopping and dining districts. Choose from a select drink menu as follows: • Cocktails: Tequila Sunrise: house tequila, orange juice, grenadine, served with a cherry Appleseed: house apple whiskey, lemonade, cranberry juice, a splash of soda, served with a cherry Vodka Spritzer: house citrus vodka, sour mix, soda water, and a splash of cranberry juice, served with a lemon Summer Punch: Rumhaven coconut rum, cranberry juice, orange juice, served with an orange Team Captain: Captain Morgan white rum, orange juice, Sierra Mist, served with a lime • Wine: White (Chardonnay), red (Cabernet Sauvignon), or rosé • Beer: Revolution Cross of Gold, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft

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Chicago: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Tour

3. Chicago: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Tour

From your vantage point on the double-decker sightseeing bus you'll enjoy panoramic views of Chicago’s finest skyscrapers, including the 875 N Michigan, the Willis Tower and the Wrigley Building. Take in the city's impressive landmarks as your tour guide provides entertaining commentary and insight into Chicago's history. Enjoy exploring 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 Museum. You’ll travel down the famous Magnificent Mile, considered one of the great avenues of the world, and continue across the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River. The bridge connects the north and south sides of the city. This hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Chicago makes it easy for you to explore the city's sights at your own pace. There are 13 stops, where you can hop-off to visit attractions and explore places of interest. The stops are conveniently located to make navigating your way around the city easy, and with a choice of Classic, Premium or Deluxe tickets, you can take your time discovering Chicago. Be sure to take advantage of admission to the Chicago Architecture Center, included with the Premium and Deluxe tickets, to dive deeper into the city that invented the skyscraper. So don't wait, just hop-on an exciting journey through Chicago.

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Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

4. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

Start your sunset cruise on the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue. Make your way along the main branch of the river towards Lake Michigan before entering the Chicago Locks, a modern engineering marvel, that will transfer the vessel onto the great Lake Michigan. The vessel will cruise along Lake Michigan as the sun sets behind the wonderful skyline offering several amazing views. Your local tour guide will give a very brief commentary along the Chicago River and entrance to Lake Michigan, but most of the 1.5-hour cruise is spent without narration, leaving you to watch the sun put on a beautiful display with the City skyline. Admire the many angles of the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Capture magical views of Chicago's twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and the John Hancock Building. You'll also get to admire the majesty of Grant Park with its famous Buckingham Fountain, and iconic Chicago venues such as Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. During your cruise, treat yourself at the full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products. Try local beer and spirits and Garrett’s Popcorn. Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.

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Chicago: Food, Architecture and History Tour

5. Chicago: Food, Architecture and History Tour

Start your tour under the dazzling marquee of the Chicago Theater (which you might recognize from the movie-musical Chicago). Your 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, a uniquely Chicago feature used by locals and commuters daily. Afterward, head back above-ground near City Hall and head inside to see the classic interior design and architecture. Next, enjoy a sweet treat, and local tradition: Chicago-style popcorn. Weather permitting, take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk while taking in views of several soaring buildings, including Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Willis Tower. From there, make your way to another delicious destination where you can sample locally made chocolate from a Chicago staple. Next, take a stroll through the beautiful lakefront parks along Michigan Avenue. End up in the picturesque Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean sculpture. By then, you’ll hopefully have built up an appetite because it’s time to begin your ultimate food experience.  Travel with your guide up to the River North neighborhood, the original Chicago foodie destination. Start your food tour with a well-known Chicago fare: the Chicago-style hot dog. Every Chicagoan has their own preference as to how the dog should be made, and you’ll get a chance to try your guides’ favorite version. Next up is the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza, the staple of the Chicago food scene. Visit 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, take a stroll through two more establishments, each one essential to Chicago’s food culture. Then continue your tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich: Italian beef.  Sample this sandwich in a real Chicago institution. Your tour ends here, and your guide will be happy to direct you back to your accommodation or share tips for what else to see and do in the city.

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Treasures of Chicago’s Golden Age: 2-hour Walking Tour

6. Treasures of Chicago’s Golden Age: 2-hour Walking Tour

This Historic Treasures of Chicago tour covers the most significant historic architectural landmarks in Chicago’s Loop. Your expert guide, trained by the Chicago Architecture Center, will focus on great cultural buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which harkened back to earlier time periods and were designed in revival styles such as Beaux Arts, neo-Georgian and neo-Gothic. Marvel at exteriors and interiors of dazzling beauty and startling originality, and get a glimpse inside some of the city's most beloved buildings.    The highlights of this walking tour will include the Chicago Cultural Center, home to the world's largest Tiffany dome; the iconic Marshall Field's department store, now Macy's on State; and the Palmer House, a beautifully restored hotel from the 1920s. 

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Chicago: 1.5-Hour Open-Top Double-Decker Night Tour

7. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Open-Top Double-Decker Night Tour

From the top deck of a double-decker bus, experience Chicago at night. Enjoy a 75-minute, live-guided panoramic tour and take in unique views of the Chicago Skyline, comprised of world-famous skyscrapers and revolutionary architecture. Take a photo overlooking downtown from the Museum Campus in front of the Adler Planetarium. Be amazed by the beautiful water and light display of The Buckingham Fountain as you discover the bustling nightlife of Chicago. Marvel at the magical light show of the one-of-a-kind Art on the Mart, displayed on the facade of the Merchandise Mart. See the city reflect off of The Bean (Cloud Gate) at the famous Millennium Park. Experience the city that built the skyscraper and see architectural marvels like 875 N Michigan Ave (formally the John Hancock Building), the Wrigley Building, the Chicago Tribune Building, and the Willis Tower. End the tour at the Chicago Riverwalk, with the knowledge that you can continue exploring the city with confidence. From the pioneering skyscrapers, to the Great Chicago Fire, this night tour will take you on a journey you won't soon forget. Be sure to soak up the exciting atmosphere that makes the Windy City such a fascinating and dynamic place.

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Chicago: History, Culture and Architecture Walking Tour

8. Chicago: History, Culture and Architecture Walking Tour

Start your tour under the dazzling marquee of the Chicago Theater (which you might recognize from the movie-musical Chicago) before heading off into the bustling city. Your 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, a uniquely Chicago feature used by locals and commuters daily to move about the city in a network of underground tunnels. Afterward, head back above-ground near City Hall and head inside to see the classic interior design and architecture. Next, enjoy a sweet treat, and local tradition: Chicago-style popcorn. Weather permitting, take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk while taking in views of several soaring buildings, including Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Willis Tower. From there, make your way to another delicious destination. Along the way, enjoy views of the world-famous Wrigley Building and the incredible Chicago Tribune building, the heart of Chicago’s thriving and historic journalism industry. Your second tasty confection is locally made chocolate from a Chicago staple. Finally, take a stroll through the beautiful lakefront parks along Michigan Avenue. Round up your tour in the picturesque Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean sculpture. Here, your guide will conclude your tour and point you in the right direction toward more amazing sights, great lunch spots, or drink recommendations.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Michigan Avenue

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What people are saying about Michigan Avenue

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,059 reviews

I was having a little bit of hard time finding the meeting spot but the customer service were very helpful and quick helped me to find it. Got to see the whole downtown. Over all it is a good experience and it’s worth the the try must try it!

We were a group of 10!! And we had an amazing time, with the best patient and knowledgeable tour guide!! We will definitely recommend this tour, it is a fun way to get to see the most beautiful views of Chicago.

A great way to figure out where you want to spend additional time. Canopy on the roof keeps you warm, even when chilly.

Awesome experience and the drinks were great!! Bartenders were so friendly too!! Would go again!!

A perfect way to see things you may not even think of! It’s was a great ride.