Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in The Loop

Art Institute of Chicago

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 …
Top Choice Park in The Loop

Millennium Park

The city's showpiece is a trove of free and arty sights. It includes Pritzker Pavilion, Frank Gehry’s swooping silver band shell, which hosts free concerts most nights in summer (6:30pm; bring a picnic and bottle of…
Top Choice Tower in The Loop

Willis Tower

It's Chicago's tallest building, and the 103rd-floor Skydeck puts you high into the heavens. Take the ear-popping, 70-second elevator ride to the top and then step onto one of the glass-floored ledges jutting out in…
Top Choice Classical Music in The Loop

Grant Park Orchestra

It's a summertime must-do. The Grant Park Orchestra – composed of top-notch musicians from symphonies worldwide – puts on free classical concerts at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion. Patrons bring lawn chairs, bl…
Top Choice Gastropub in The Loop

Gage

This always-hopping gastropub dishes up fanciful grub, from Gouda-topped venison burgers to mussels vindaloo or Guinness-battered fish and chips. The booze rocks too, including a solid whiskey list and small-batch b…
Top Choice Blues in The Loop

Buddy Guy's Legends

Top local and national acts wail on the stage of local icon Buddy Guy. The man himself usually plugs in his axe for a series of shows in January (tickets go on sale in November). The location is a bit rough around t…
Top Choice Spanish in The Loop

Mercat a la Planxa

This Barcelona-style tapas and seafood restaurant buzzes in an enormous, convivial room where light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It cooks all the specialties of Catalonia and stokes a festive atm…
Top Choice Bar in The Loop

Berghoff

The Berghoff dates from 1898 and was the first spot in town to serve a legal drink after Prohibition (ask to see the liquor license stamped '#1'). Little has changed around the antique wood bar since then. Belly up …
Top Choice Books in The Loop

Sandmeyer's Bookstore

It's not big, it's not flashy and it doesn't host many author events. Instead this small Printer's Row spot offers an old-school bookstore experience of creaking wood floors and jazz piping softly through the speake…
Notable Building in The Loop

Chicago Cultural Center

This exquisite, beaux-arts building began its life as the Chicago Public Library in 1897. Today the block-long building houses terrific art exhibitions (especially the 4th-floor Yates Gallery), as well as jazz and c…