Touring the Great Lakes: Chicago and the Great Lakes in Illinois

Arguably, Chicago is the major metropolis it is today because of its proximity to Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago takes up over 29 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and is crowded with tourist attractions, places to stay, great dining, and plenty of entertainment. The Great Lakes in Illinois can easily be overshadowed by the rampant growth of Chicago and adjoining Chicagoland, but that only adds to the appeal and makes the visit to the Great Lakes in Illinois all that more worthwhile.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Chicago is Navy Pier. This pier is over 3,300 feet long and features over 50 acres worth of parks, gardens, dining, shopping and other attractions. This famous 1920s boardwalk became Navy Pier during World War II and is a hot spot today, even being featured in the movie Never Been Kissed. Other attractions include the giant Ferris wheel, an IMAX movie theatre, stages for live music, the Chicago’s Childrens Museum, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, boat tours on Lake Michigan, and some dining cruise ships. Plenty to see and do while visiting this choice location for checking out the Great Lakes in Illinois.

Route 66 is all but history and legend these days. You cannot even locate it on a current map. However, this popular drive is still loved by many and Route 66 actually begins in Chicago and goes all the way to Los Angeles, California. Those seeking Route 66 should avail themselves of nearby Lake Michigan’s many offerings before driving off into the sunset.

A close runner up to Navy Pier for visitors is Millennium Park. This public park is located near the Lake Michigan shorefront in the Chicago Loop area. Some features of this popular civic center include the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink, the Cloud Gate sculpture, Wrigley Square, Crown Fountain, and Lurie Garden.

North Shore is one of the city’s most affluent areas made popular in many John Hughes films. These are the lakefront suburbs of Chicago and are home to many attractions include the Ravinia Music Festival, Green Bay Trail, Illinois Beach State Park, the nearby Chicago Botanic Gardens, and great shopping at Northbrook Court.

For thrill seekers, the town of Gurnee is your stop. Gurnee has many amusement areas like Six Flags Great America theme park, Key Lime Cove water resort, Serpent Safari zoo, and the Rink Side Family Entertainment and Ice Arena.

This is only the tip of the glacial iceberg as to what one can do while touring the Great Lakes in Illinois.