Top things to do

Top Choice Observatory in Gold Coast

360° Chicago

This is the new name for the John Hancock Center Observatory. In many ways the view here surpasses the one at Willis Tower. The 94th-floor lookout has informative displays and the TILT feature (floor-to-ceiling wind…
Top Choice Museum in Gold Coast

Museum of Contemporary Art

Consider it the Art Institute’s brash, rebellious sibling, with especially strong minimalist, surrealist and conceptual photography collections, and permanent works by René Magritte, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol. C…
Top Choice French in Gold Coast

Le Colonial

Step into the dark-wood, candlelit room, where ceiling fans swirl lazily and big-leafed palms sway in the breeze, and you'd swear you were in 1920s Saigon. Staff can arrange vegetarian and gluten-free substitutions …
Top Choice Lounge in Gold Coast

Signature Lounge

Take the elevator to the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center and order a beverage while looking out over the city from some 1000ft up in the sky. It’s particularly gape-worthy at night. Ladies: don't miss the bath…
Top Choice Toys in Gold Coast

American Girl Place

This is not your mother’s doll shop; it’s an experience. Here dolls are treated as real people: the ‘hospital’ carts them away in wheelchairs for repairs, and the cafe seats the dolls as part of the family during te…
Library in Gold Coast

Newberry Library

The Newberry's public galleries are for bibliophiles: those who swoon over original Thomas Paine pamphlets about the French Revolution, or get weak-kneed seeing Thomas Jefferson's copy of the History of the Expediti…
Pizza in Gold Coast

Pizano's

Congenial Pizano's gets lost amid Chicago's pizza places, which is a shame since it's one of the best and has an illustrious pedigree (founded by Rudy Malnati Jr, whose dad created the deep-dish pizza, so the legend…
Bakery in Gold Coast

Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter

Hiding in a nondescript apartment building, Hendrickx is a local secret. Push open the bright orange door and behold the waffles, white-chocolate bread and dark-chocolate croissants among the flaky, buttery, Belgian…
Steak in Gold Coast

Gibson’s

There is a scene every night at this local original. Politicians, movers, shakers and the shaken-down swirl the famed martinis and compete for prime table space in the buzzing dining room. The rich and beautiful min…
Lounge in Gold Coast

Coq d’Or

This classy joint in the Drake Hotel opened the day after Prohibition was repealed. It offers a taste of old Chicago: burgundy-colored leather booths, snazzy bartenders and bejeweled women in furs sipping Manhattans…