Chicago Theatre

Theater in The Loop
Image by Wenkan Zhu / 500px Images

Take a gander at the illuminated six-story sign – it's an official landmark and an excellent photo op. Everyone from Duke Ellington to Dolly Parton to Prince has played here over the years (and left their signature on the famous backstage walls). The real showstopper, though, is the opulent French baroque architecture, including a lobby modeled on the Palace of Versailles.

Opened in 1921, the theater originally screened silent movies with a full orchestra and white-gloved ushers leading patrons to their seats. With tickets just 50¢, rich and poor alike could revel in the splendor. Today it hosts concerts, comedy shows, talks and other live performances. One-hour tours (adult/child $15/10) are available most days at noon.