The Best Things to See and Do in Streeterville, Chicago

Oak Street Beach offers up hot, sandy fun with a towering backdrop.
Oak Street Beach offers up hot, sandy fun with a towering backdrop. | © Steven Kevil / WikiCommons
Photo of Samantha Looney
8 June 2017

Home to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and the iconic Navy Pier, the Streeterville neighborhood is a must-visit during your trip to Chicago. With some of the tallest buildings in the United States, some great art museums and many one-of-a-kind experiences, here’s our guide to the best things to see and do in the Windy City’s Streeterville neighborhood.

Navy Pier

Channel your inner child and explore Chicago’s 50-acre playground. One of Chicago’s best-known tourist attractions, Navy Pier receives over eight million visitors each year and is home to various shops, restaurants, and activities. Take a ride on the 150-foot Ferris wheel and catch one of the best views of the Chicago skyline, play a round of mini golf, or watch a movie on Chicago’s largest movie screen at the IMAX Theater. If you’re visiting during the summer, make sure to catch the fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL, USA +1 (312) 595-7437

The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel | © David Bjorgen/Wikicommons

The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel | © David Bjorgen/Wikicommons

Museum of Contemporary Art

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Stairwell
A stunning stairwell at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. | © Kris / Flickr
Chicago is the perfect city for art lovers, and Streeterville will certainly not disappoint art connoisseurs. The neighborhood is home to one of the best museums the city has to offer — the Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum houses must-see exhibitions, from the works of Andy Warhol to its unique in-house artist residency program. With innovative galleries, performances, and educational programs, you are guaranteed to leave inspired and with an enhanced desire to create.

Chicago Children’s Museum

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Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago
Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago | © Smart Destinations/Flickr
Bring your kids to the Chicago Children’s Museum and allow them to exercise their imaginations while they create their own inventions in the Inventing Lab, make their own take-home art in the Kraft Artabounds Studio, and excavate dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Exhibition. The museum is full of interactive exhibits that are sure to keep both you and your children entertained.

Magnificent Mile

On this 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue, you’ll find everything you’re looking for. From the Wrigley Building to the John Hancock Center and the Chicago Water Tower, some of the tallest buildings in the United States are situated along the western boundary of Streeterville. In addition, delicious restaurants, five-star hotels, and Chicago’s largest shopping district make this stretch well worth a wander.

Magnificent Mile, 625 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 401, Chicago, IL, USA

The Magnificent Mile | © Bert Kaufmann/Flickr

The Magnificent Mile | © Bert Kaufmann/Flickr

Afternoon Tea at the Drake Hotel

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Courtesy of the Drake / Expedia
Located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and overlooking Lake Michigan, The Drake Hotel is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a selection of premium teas, finger sandwiches, and English scones as part of their afternoon tea service. Afternoon Tea has been a tradition at The Drake Hotel for over 100 years and has welcomed guests such as Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra. Along with live harp music, you will find lovely service in the stunning Palm Court room. It’s the perfect place to relax and take a break in the middle of the day.
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Shakespeare Theater

Home to the Regional Theater Tony Award, three Laurence Olivier Awards, and 70 Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Shakespeare Theater is an educational, cultural, and engaging experience for everyone. With classics like Othello and Twelfth Night, the Shakespeare Theater reinvents Shakespeare’s original works and puts a fresh urban spin on them. From original beats to Hindi translations to high school slams, you surely won’t be disappointed by this one-of-a-kind Shakespeare experience.

Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL, USA +1 (312) 595-5600

Shakespeare Theater | © Tracie Hall/Flickr

Shakespeare Theater | © Tracie Hall/Flickr

360 Chicago

For the best views of Chicago, go 94 floors up in the John Hancock building and visit 360 Chicago’s Observation Deck. Look out on the city from all 360 degrees and use the space’s interactive touch screens to learn about the history, architecture, scenery, and culture that is right in front of you. While you’re up there, be sure to experience the thrill of leaning over the Chicago skyline at a whole new angle as part of the one-of-a-kind Tilt. Arrive first thing in the morning for the shortest lines and fewest crowds.

360 Chicago, 875 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, USA (312) 654-2892

The Tilt at 360 Chicago | © David Wilson/Flickr

The Tilt at 360 Chicago | © David Wilson/Flickr