Art Institute of Chicago

Museum in The Loop

Image by Charles Cook Getty Images

The Art Institute is the second-largest art museum in the country. Its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings rivals those in France, and the number of surrealist works is tremendous. Download the free app for DIY audio tours; it offers several quick-hit jaunts, from highlights (including Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks) to architecture and pop art tours. Allow two hours to browse the museum's must-sees; art buffs should allocate much longer.