Big, bold and no small plans — Chicago is a city that's always reinventing itself with new and exciting things to do. In 2018, build an itinerary around all the latest sights, from the Chicago Architecture Center this summer, to the delights of a one-of-a-kind river cruise. 

Check out what's New in 2018/19, and the Best of 2017.

New in 2018/19


Chicago Architecture Center

Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center

With a location just above the dock for the iconic Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise at 111 E. Wacker, the new center will feature the Skyscape Galley, which will display permanent and new exhibits, and the expanded and digitally enhanced Chicago City Model Experience, which tells the story of Chicago architecture. The new Center is due to open this summer.


From Chaka Khan and Chance The Rapper to the Buckinghams and Benny Goodman, Chicago has left a substantial mark on the music industry. And the Chicago Music Hall of Fame is set to document it. The museum will be headquartered at 1431 W Taylor, in Little Italy, above the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. There will be food, beverage and entertainment options throughout the four story-building. Chicago Music Hall of Fame will open this fall.


Odyssey Chicago River Experience©Odyssey Chicago River Experience

New vessel, new experience: This summer, Odyssey will offer a rather elegant and supremely unique experience on the Chicago River in the form of a state-of-the-art, European-styled, glass-enclosed vessel — think 360-degree city views! The new ship was designed specifically in response to growing demand for more out-of-the-ordinary experiences on the river. The idea is to showcase Chicago’s incredible architecture and mesmerizing vistas, and to create a refined environment in which to enjoy an upscale menu, with plated service. Curated live music will add to the refinement. Find out more.


Following the astounding success of the 2.7-mile 606 elevated biking and jogging trail on the city's west side, the 312 River Run will feature a new segment of trail for pedestrians, cyclists and runners, bridging the North Branch of the Chicago River and connecting three existing North Side parks: Clark Park, California Park and Homer Park. Once completed, it will offer an almost two-mile uninterrupted stretch. 

Lakefront Trail: Navy Pier Flyover

Chicago's Lakefront Trail, a stunning 26-mile recreational path along Lake Michigan, is getting two major upgrades. One is the addition of a soaring new section that will span along Navy Pier dubbed the Navy Pier Flyover. The second is the separation of the busy path into two sections: one for pedestrians on foot, and one for those speeding by via bicycle or skates. Named the #1 Best Bike City of 2016 by Bicycling Magazine, these developments add to the nearly 400 km of bike lanes in the city.

Chicago Blues Museum

Opening in 2019, expect three levels totalling 50,000-square-feet to be filled with not only history-driven interactive displays, tributes to local legends and Chicago blues memorabilia, but also a performance lounge and restaurant at the Chicago Blues Experience.


Best of 2017

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

The banks of the Chicago River have been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly urban playground. The Chicago Riverwalk is lined with great dining, sipping and sightseeing, and even has kayak rentals and water taxis to get groups out on the water.


American Writers Museum

American Writers Museum exterior

The new American Writers Museum opened in March 2017 as the first and only of its kind in the nation. Here's the place to explore 500 years of American literature — the downtown Chicago museum celebrates American writers through themed galleries, interactive exhibits (think touch-screen games and digital maps), educational programs and special events.


Park at Wrigley

Park at Wrigley

Wrigley Field's expansion and restoration project includes an open-air plaza outside the ballpark, Gallagher Way (formerly The Park at Wrigley). Sit just outside the ballpark at this game day beer garden and plaza, a venue for non-game-day community events, such as a winter ice rink, farmers markets, yoga classes and movie nights.


The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Theater view of The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

The Yard is the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's third stage and features a series of mobile towers that allow the performance arena to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes, with audience capacities from 150 to 850.


Theater on the Lake

Rendering of Theater on the Lake Chicago

The historic Theater on the Lake underwent renovations to become a year-round program and event facility, with larger capacity, restaurant and event space, outdoor seating and a patio.

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