Showing 1-96 of 152 items
Bald Knob Cross
A national symbol of faith, this 111-foot-tall cross, when illuminated at night, can be seen over an area of 7,500 square miles atop the most prominent elevation in Southern Illinois. The cross is surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest.
Beall Mansion - An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn
Indulge yourself at the Beall Mansion, a sumptuous Bed and Breakfast Inn located 12 blocks from the Mississippi River. Designed by Lucas Pfeiffenberger and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant mansion features 18 ionic columns, eleven and a half foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and marble and bronze statuary throughout. Let us pamper you with sumptuous feather beds, whirlpools for two, 24 hour "all you can eat" chocolate buffet, and optional gourmet breakfast in bed. Free Wi-fi. In room massage, spa, golf and corporate packages available.
Beall Mansion Historic Tours
Tour the mansion built as a wedding present by railroad baron and riverboat magnate Z.B. Job for his son and bride Mary Drummond, heiress to the Drummond tobacco fortune. Today this three-story mansion serves as a bed and breakfast.
Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago
This temple is one of only three Sri Venkateswara Hindu temples in the United States, constructed by Native American artisans.
Aurora Area Architecture
The Aurora area features diverse architectural styles, including designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Bruce Goff and George Grant Elmslie. The area is also home to one of the largest collections of Sears mail order homes.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Enjoy the fusion of traditional Indian architecture with modern technology; Explore the various facets of Hindu rites & rituals, as well as the core philosophical precepts of the religion; Experience peace & serenity. All are welcome.
Lincoln Courthouse Square Historic District
The Lincoln courtroom in Beardstown was the site of the famous Duff Armstrong case, and now features a museum with daily tours.
St. Peter's Cathedral
This Renaissance Gothic architectural masterpiece has a 222 ft. tall bell tower. Tours avalaible.
Belvidere Cemetery and Pettit Memorial Chapel
Established in 1847, this is the burial ground for Belvidere's illustrious pioneers. Want to go right to a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark? Visit the Pettit Memorial Chapel.
Frank Lloyd Wright Pettit Memorial Chapel
Pettit Memorial Chapel, located in Belvidere Cemetery, was designed by Frank Llyod Wright and erected in 1907. Brochures available for self-guided historic tours. Open daily, 8am - sunset. Tours available by appointment.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.
Kincaid Mounds Archaeological Site is 4 miles south of Unionville Road on New Cut Road, Brookport, IL. Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site is a nationally significant Native-American archaeological treasure. From about 800 AD to 1500 AD it was the ‘capital' of a chiefdom that stretched from Brookport to Hamletsburg along the Ohio River. Large flat-topped mounds were erected on which the houses and temples of civil and religious elite stood. Today, the mounds still exist and a constructed overlook platform and interpretive panels tell the story of the significant contribution and historical value of this Native.
Cairo Public Library
Museum quality working library of Queen Anne, Architecture on two floors built in 1884.
Built in 1869, the brick mansion boasts 14 rooms featuring Italianate architecture and local river lore history. Tours offered daily. The Historical Society hosts special events & luncheons.
Henry County Courthouse
One of Illinois' finest examples of courthouse architecture, this stately structure was built in 1878. The main courtroom ceiling is decorated with murals depicting the principal communities of the county.
General Dean Suspension Bridge
Located just outside the city of Carlyle, this historic 130-year-old bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the area. The original bridge served as a crossing over the Kaskaskia River.
Cedarville Historical Museum
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
State Farm Center
The State Farm Center™, formerly the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, is one of the two largest edge-supported domes in the world. More than half a million people annually attend events at the center. The 16,000 plus seat venue regularly accommodates Broadway shows, musicals and major concert performers.
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
Murals Around the Square
Charleston is known as a city of murals, thanks to the many art works located around the town square. View them on a seven-block tour of the area.
Tall Ship Windy
Navy Pier's resident 148-foot, four-masted schooner pays tribute to the Great Lakes' rich maritime heritage during a variety of cruises each day.
Architecture River Tour with Shoreline Sightseeing
Enjoy a 75-minute Chicago River tour led by our experienced and entertaining guides. Discover why Chicago is known as the birthplace of the skyscraper as you cruise by more than 40 world-famous landmarks. Day and evening departures from two convenient locations: Gateway Park at Navy Pier and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
St. James Cathedral
The St. James parish, featuring the oldest Episcopal church in Chicago, is one of the oldest in Illinois. The church's plaza is used for a variety of religious and community activities.
In the center of downtown Chicago, see the world-renowned Picasso sculpture. "Under the Picasso" entertainment features music dance and cultural programs weekdays at noon.
The largest indoor convention exhibit area in the country is 2.2 million square feet, with 8 levels of exhibit halls, restaurants, meeting rooms and audiovisual theaters that provide all the necessary amenities for a successful trade show or convention. McCormick Place is designed by Gene Summers, who worked for Mies van der Rohe. It is derivative of a long-span convention center proposed by Mies van der Rohe. When the earlier version of McCormick was destroyed by fire, the firm C.F. Murphy was retained for the job and hired Summers specifically to design the new structure.
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
The historic landmark Auditorium Theatre, an architectural masterpiece designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, opened in 1889. The Auditorium, which regularly hosts live performances, is renowned for its amazing acoustics.
Today's Soldier Field comprises two distinct structures. There is classical stone-clad shell designed in the 1920s. Its contemporary interior is a 2003 retrofit designed specifically for the NFL's Chicago Bears. The original stadium seated 120,000. The new Soldier Field seats 61,5000 in a boldly asymmetrical steel and concrete bowl set within the confines of the original colonnades.
In the heart of the city you’ll find a state-of-the-art park designed for the new millennium. Discover the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture, the multimedia Crown Fountain and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, all with Chicago’s stunning architecture as a backdrop. The park is also host to many free cultural programs, concerts and family activities. Plus, there's alfresco dining in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.
Chicago River Architecture Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Chicago River Architecture Tour is a 60-minute journey through the heart of the city. Led by an architectural expert, this in-depth tour traces the history and innovations of urban architecture in Chicago.
Combined Lake and River Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Combined Lake and River Tour offers a comprehensive overview of Chicago, with breathtaking views of the magnificent skyline and an up-close perspective from the Chicago River.
Chicago at Sunset Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The setting sun gives way to the city's nightly light show as each building begins to shine. For two hours you'll be treated to what's been called the world's most beautiful skyline.
Charnley-Persky House Museum
Designed by Louis Sullivan with assistance from his junior draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Charnley-Persky House is recognized as a pivotal work of modern American architecture. Docent-led tours of the exterior and interior of the Charnley-Persky House (1891-1892) are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. The National Historic Landmark building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Photos by David Schalliol.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Frederick C. Robie House
Recognized as an architectural masterpiece, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House is located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust offers guided tours of this quintessential Prairie-style home, which the American Institute of Architects named one of the 10 most significant buildings of the 20th century.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Experience Chicago's world renowned architecture with one of 80+ different tours offered by The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Explore by boat, foot, bus, bicycle or Segway, and choose from tours such as the Devil in the White City tour, Lights, Camera, Architecture! Tour, the Daniel Burnham Tour and many others. Interested in the boat tour? Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn more at www.cruisechicago.com. Also offered: FREE exhibitions, programs and workshops, youth education, family programs and an architecture and design-themed retail store. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9:30-5:00.
Tour Chicago's legendary Merchandise Mart, which houses an estimated 1,800 contract and residential showrooms. Guides conduct 1 1/2-hour tours that highlight that Mart's fascinating history, showrooms and design floors. Two floors of stores.
Chicago Greeter Service
Explore Chicago with a friendly, knowledgeable Chicago Greeter as your guide! Visitors can register for a free 2-4 hour guided walking tour of a neighborhood or special local interest of their choice. This free service matches an individual, family or small group of friends with one of over 200 enthusiastic volunteer Greeters who love sharing their expertise and passion about the city and all there is to see and do here. For more information, visit http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/tours/tourism/chicago_greeter_tours.html.
The Signature Room at the 95th
Enchanted dining experiences await guests at this contemporary American restaurant. Located atop the John Hancock Center, it offers the best view of the city of Chicago. Live jazz, elegant dark wood and marble tiled artdeco interior compliments the mood.
City Segway Tours - Chicago
Chicagoland's first guided Segway tour provides an informative ride with unique and fascinating Chicago stories, fantastic photo ops and the chance to ride the coolest machine in the world.
Mies van der Rohe Society Tours
The Illinois Institute of Technology's Mies van der Rohe Society offers dynamic tours of its architecturallly significant campus. Architects Mies, Koolhaas and Jahn are all represented here.
Chicago Board of Trade
The LaSalle Street Financial Corridor is one of the most visually stunning districts in the city. A long canyon of buildings, unlike any other area of Chicago, terminates at the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the 1930 Art Deco masterpiece by Holabird & Root. A sparkling, stainless-steel sculpture of Ceres, the goddess of grain, by John Storrs (1885-1956) caps the composition, visually focusing this whirling financial district on the commodity that enabled so much of Chicago’s growth. The Board of Trade was named a Chicago Landmark in 1977 and listed to the National Register in 1978. Copy and descriptions courtesy of AIA Illinois and the 150 Great Places in Illinois www.illinoisgreatplaces.com
360 Chicago - TILT
360 Chicago's (formerly John Hancock Observatory) epic new attraction that will forever change the way visitors see Chicago. TILT debuts in the spring of 2014, providing the ultimate window to the Windy City. A one-of-a-kind experience, TILT is an enclosed, glass and steel moveable platform that holds up to eight visitors per cycle. Once safely situated inside, the platform slowly tilts outward to an adventurous angle, generating downward-facing views of Chicago – from one thousand feet above The Magnificent Mile®. TILT gives thrill-seekers an exciting and safe way to take in unsurpassable views of the city, from a never-before-seen angle. Check website for opening dates and hours.
Chicago Architecture Foundation/ ArchiCenter
Chicago: You Are Here, a permanent exhibition, is free and open to the public daily in the ArcelorMittal CitySpace Gallery from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Designed to encourage visitors to explore the architecture and infrastructure that make up the environment of Chicago, You Are Here includes a scale model of the Loop, along with bold images, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. Temporary, architecture-themed exhibitions throughout the year. Free and open daily. Check website for details. Full schedule of lectures, workshops, special events and presentations at noon, evenings, and weekends throughout the year. Free or low cost. Check website for listings.
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
Located in Hyde Park, this stunning Gothic chapel (funded by a gift to the University of Chicago by John D. Rockefeller) hosts regular performances by the Rockefeller Chapel Choir and visiting musical artists.
Noble Horse Carriage Ride
Let Noble Horse make your day or evening special. See the city from a lovely antique horse carriage ride. Noble Horse Carriages are available at 2 locations: Michigan Avenue: 820 N. Michigan Avenue, the corner of Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue and Old Town: 1410 N. Orleans Street, the corner of Schiller and Orleans.
Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours
Try a segway tour, where you'll enjoy fantastic views of Chicago's famous attractions. Explore Chicago by day or night with friendly tour guides.
Chicago Union Station
This architectural gem has been featured in many movies over the years, including Derailed. But it's the marble staircase here—featured in the climatic scene from The Untouchables—that still attracts visitors over 20 years later.
Bobby's Bike Hike Chicago Tours
Tour Chicago on a cool cruiser-style bicycle and follow a guide who makes brief stops at the most popular sights, providing light-hearted commentary that will keep you entertained. Some fun rides include the Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, Bikes, Bites and Brews Tour, and the Southside Gangster Tour.
Chicago's First Lady Cruises
Join us on Chicago's #1 architecture tour! Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn about the architecture and design of over 50 buildings as described by CAF-certified Volunteer Docents/Guides. Don't settle for imitations, look for the CAF logo. Cruises depart daily. Open-air and air-conditioned seating is available. Full Service Bar onboard each vessel. Cruising April - November. Visit our website for full schedule. For a truly unique CAF Cruise experience, join us for our specialty river cruise experiences, including: Capture Chicago Photography Cruise, summer Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9am; Twilight Cruise, summer Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings at 7:30pm; American Girl Dinner + River Cruise, select summer afternoon and evenings. For more information, visit www.cruisechicago.com/architecture_tours and view our "NEW for 2014" tab.
Mercury's Urban Adventure Cruise
Immerse yourself in Chicago's rich history with a live commentated, family-friendly 90-minute tour cruising the Chicago River and Lake Michigan aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline. Learn fun facts and hear fascinating tales as you cruise amongst the city's famous architectural giants. Capture incredible photos as only can be experienced from the unique vantage point of the Chicago River, and marvel at incredible skyline views from the expansive waters of Lake Michigan. Cruises depart daily, May through October.
Chicago Neighborhood Tours
These half-day bus excursions celebrate the history, stories, traditions, and most importantly, the people of our great city. Tours departing weekly from the Chicago Cultural Center. Explore Chicago's neighborhoods with local tour guides. All tours are conducted by motorcoach and by foot, and depart from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. Check in at 9:30 am in the main seating area behind the Randolph Cafe. Unless otherwise specified, tours do not include lunch or refreshments. All tours are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors/students/children, with the exception of Taste of the Neighborhoods ($50/$45). Cash and major credit cards are accepted. Chicago Neighborhood Tours is presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture.
Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field Tours
Get an insider’s look at this historic American landmark that has enchanted baseball fans for almost a century. Each 90-minute guided tour shows guests the clubhouses, bleachers, press box, dugout, field, and more.
Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, this 264,000 sq. foot building provides a new home for the museum’s renowned collections of modern painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography. Be among the first to see this dramatic addition that makes the Art Institute of Chicago the second largest art museum in the United States.
Chicago Private Tours
Provides tours in nine languages. Each tour comes with a chauffeur, expert guide, and luxury vehicle. Group tours available.
Segway Experience of Chicago
Chicago's only Segway-authorized touring company has locations at Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, plus certified tour docents who will ensure a memorable, safe experience.
The city’s second-tallest building, located at 200 E. Randolph St., rises 82 floors. Interestingly, the structure was first clad entirely in marble, but the slabs turned out to be too thin and were later replaced with thicker slabs of white granite.
This complex, designed by Bertrand Goldberg, includes two corncob-shaped residential towers perched along the Chicago River. Designed to be a “city within a city,” Marina City includes a restaurant, theatre, bowling alley, and a marina for 700 small craft.
S.R. Crown Hall
Located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, S.R. Crown Hall is widely regarded as Mies van der Rohe's masterpiece, and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th century Modernist Movement.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Architect Frank Gehry designed this spectacular outdoor concert venue in Millennium Park that is home to the Grant Park Music Festival, along with other free concerts and events.
Chicago Savvy Tours
Chicago Savvy Tours specializes in architectural and historical tours of Chicago, and offers a variety of services for both private and group tours.
Chicago Photo Safaris
A professional photographer takes visitors to a landmark Chicago destination while giving tips on composition, lighting and exposure. These sessions are for photographers of any skill level with any kind of camera, digital or film.
Experience history and culture through educated commentary and multimedia on iPads while exploring stories and places even locals don't know about. Highly trained guides share forgotten stories from the past on regularly scheduled tours.
Located in the center of the Magnificent Mile, and steps from the Michigan Avenue Bridge, The Wrigley Building has been a hallmark of Chicago’s skyline since 1920. Designed as the headquarters for the successful chewing gum, the building was modeled after the Seville Cathedral’s Giralda Tower in Spain. Today, it is still home to Wm Wrigley Jr. Company, and is perhaps best known for its dazzling white towers that illuminate the city at night.
Home of the Chicago Tribune newspaper offices, this Gothic-Revival landmark features flying buttresses and gargoyles This is a result of New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond M. Hood's design that was chosen as a winner out of 263 entries from twenty-three countries during an international architectural competition to immodestly "erect the most beautiful building in the world" in 1922.
Located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, S.R. Crown Hall is widely regarded as Mies van der Rohe's masterpiece, and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th century Modernist Movement.
Harold Washington Library Center
The creation of Harold Washington Library Center is a product of a widely publicized architectural competition. Designed by Tom Beeby, the red brick, granite, and glass composition uses traditional design motifs to establish itself as a civic structure. A two-story battered granite base supports a five-story brick body punctuated by five arches along State Street and three facing Congress and Van Buren. The Harold Washington Library Center is a hybrid design that reflects the conflicting architectural ideas that characterized the late 1980s.
Chicago Historic Water Tower
One of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire, the Historic Water Tower is an icon on North Michigan Avenue and houses the City Gallery, which showcases Chicago photography. The tower was built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington.
Richard J. Daley Center & Plaza
This powerful, 31-story tower was designed by Jacques Brownson (b. 1923) of C. F. Murphy Associates. Composed of three massive structural bays, each an unprecedented 87-feet wide and nearly 48-feet deep, and supported by warren trusses at every floor, the building achieves incredible structural integrity and interior flexibility. The exterior wall plane consists of 12-foot-high windows with amber-tinted glass and 6-foot-high panels of self-weathering Cor-Ten steel, which has aged to a rich brown color. The large public plaza features a 50-foot-tall Cor-Ten sculpture of 1967 by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), gifted by him to the city of Chicago. The Daley Center plaza is one in a line of three important public plazas in the heart of the Loop (see also the Federal Center and Chase Bank Plaza). Photo courtesy of AIA Chicago, Wes Urschel. Copy and descriptions courtesy of AIA Illinois and the 150 Great Places in Illinois www.illinoisgreatplaces.com
John Wellborn Root designed the Rookery in 1885-9, which reflects the development of new structural systems for large urban buildings during that time. It holds one of the most spectacular interior spaces in the state, an elaborate main lobby and light court that were renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) in 1905. The Rookery was named a Chicago Landmark in 1972, listed to the National Register in 1970, and named a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Copy and descriptions courtesy of AIA Illinois and the 150 Great Places in Illinois www.illinoisgreatplaces.com
Carson Pirie Scott & Company
Carson Pirie Scott & Company’s former flagship store, designed by Louis H. Sullivan (1856-1924) was also built in stages, beginning in 1899, 1903, augmented by an addition by D. H. Burnham & Co. in 1906, and ending with a 1961 addition by Holabird and Root. Although Carson’s wide windows and narrow piers are expressive of the internal steel frame, the building is more famous for its exquisite ornament by Sullivan. The embellished storefronts, newly restored decorative cornice, and ornate columns capitals on the interior all bear Sullivan’s personal style of ornament. It was both named a Chicago Landmark and listed in the National Register in 1970. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Copy and descriptions courtesy of AIA Illinois and the 150 Great Places in Illinois www.illinoisgreatplaces.com
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
A thirty story court house and a forty-five-story office building, the federal building was completed after Mies' death in 1969. The building's sober black and gray exterior expression, the steel mullion and glass model, counterpoints the curving forms and bright red paint of Alexander Calder's sculpture. Photo courtesy of AIA Chicago, Wes Urschel.
The Auditorium Building original configuration combined a theater seating, a four-hundred-room hotel, and 136 offices and stores. The hotel lobby with a notable interior is now Roosevelt University. The Auditorium Building is one of the best-known designs of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and it was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 15, 1976.
Andersonville & Edgewater: Chicago Neighborhood Tours
Discover the gay-friendly shops and restaurants of Andersonville, then head to Edgewater to see Art Deco and Tudor Revival architecture in the Bryn Mawr Historic District. Tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center.
Skydeck Chicago - The Ledge
Step out and enjoy a view like you’ve never experienced before at Skydeck Chicago’s The Ledge. Located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the Ledge’s glass boxes jut out from the side of the skyscraper, offering unparalleled views of Chicago and four neighboring states.
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline offers 90-minute tours for the whole family that include lake and river cruises, fireworks cruises, canine cruises and night cruises all departing from the landscaped dock on Chicago’s Riverwalk at the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Cruising season May - October.
American Sightseeing / Gray Line Tours
Offers sightseeing tours in more than 150 destinations on six continents and is widely recognized as the world's leader in sightseeing tours, ground transportation, charter service, airport transfers, and convention services.
Kayak through canyons of skyscrapers and architectural wonders, or explore the waters just off beautiful Lake Michigan. Kayak Chicago is Chicago’s premier full-service outfitter, offering a variety of tours with certified instructors and guides. It’s a truly unique way to experience the urban landscape.
The Chicago Riverwalk trail in downtown Chicago is an easy way to experience the vibrant city while exploring some of its more nature-oriented offerings. This trail is rated as easy, and will take you only 2.5 hours or 4.2 miles round-trip to complete.
Chicago Food Planet Tours
Take the 3-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours, which combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago’s most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you’ll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.
Civic Opera House
The world-renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago performs in one of North America's most beautiful opera houses, the Civic Opera House. The decorative character of the entire building is a hybrid of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Comedy-tragedy masks and cornucopia of instruments abound as playful ornaments around entrances, inspired by the Paris Opera House designed by Jean-Louis-Charles Garnier. The famous painted fire curtain (depicting the parade scene from Aida) and the interior decoration details of the Civic Opera House were created by American artist Jules Guerin in a palette of salmon pinks, roses, olives, golds and bronzes.
Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co.
We operate Chicago’s premier Hop On Hop Off ® city sightseeing tours in the classic red & green Trolleys and fun-filled Double Decker buses. We also offer private group transportation for special events such as weddings, parties, and corporate outings. For 19 years the Hop On Hop Off® sightseeing tour has been the gold standard for entertaining and informative tours. Covering 13 miles and 14 stops, the Signature Tour is an eye-popping adventure through the heart of Chicago, giving you the option of Hopping On and Off at your choice of stops to visit the hottest retail, cultural, and family attractions. Summer tours include neighborhood tours and night tours.
Chicago Pedway Tour
The Chicago Pedway Tour will lead you through the Pedway, the backdrop for an amusing and enlightening tour of some of the hot-spots (or a least warm-spots) of downtown Chicago. The tour focuses on interesting anecdotes and tales about some of the great buildings downtown, but it’s also a study of the city underneath the city. The Pedway is a strange and wonderful place and adds so much to the city’s personality. These are great tours for Chicagoans who want to learn more about the city and for tourists who want a full Chicago experience without ever going outside. The tour is 90 minutes and is $20. Monday/Thursday/Saturday at 10:30 am. Please note: the start location for the Monday and Thursday tour is at 40 W. Lake St. in the “Gallery of Shops.” The start location for the Saturday tour is at start at Block 37 – 108 N. State St.
Museum Campus is a 57-acre museum park that sits near Lake Michigan and surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; and the Field Museum of Natural History. It is also known for holding the Soldier Field football stadium and the Lakeside Center of the McCormick Place.
Raue Center for the Arts
Theatergoers love that every seat is a great seat at The Raue Center for the Arts in downtown Crystal Lake. Since its restoration a decade ago, Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Raue Center has become a destination in the heart of a bustling downtown area chock-full of pre- or post-show dining and shopping options.
Dole Mansion at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park
Black walnut doors, detailed wood carvings in the Eastlake style, amazing marble fireplaces: there's so much to see on a tour of the historic Dole Mansion and the original Crystal Lake Country Club (now the Creative Arts Center).
Historic Fischer Theatre, owned by the Vermilion Heritage Foundation, was built as the Grand Opera House in 1884. From Lillian Russell to silent movies, this theater provided entertainment to the community until it's closing in 1982. As work continues toward the goal of complete restoration, the lobby is used for many public events. The theater also houses the "Stage Presents The Fischer Gift Shop" where you will find creations by local artists and artisans, as well as products highlighting the area's famous stage, movie and vocal artists.
Carmelite Campus National Shrine of St. Therese
The National Shrine of St. Therese is a Roman Catholic shrine, chapel, and museum dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese outside of France. The Shrine chapel celebrates Mass every weekday at 11:30 am. Tours are available for groups of 20 or more, including a private tour of an exact replica of St. Therese's monastery cell in France. The shrine sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Carmelite Spiritual Center, offering meeting room rental, lodging, meals and spiritual retreats as well as organized Shrine tours.
The Egyptian Theatre hosts film festivals, special movie screenings, and live entertainment events. This theatre is a 1929, fully restored Egyptian Art Deco movie palace and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Egyptian is also available for rentals, tours, weddings, graduations, parties and receptions. Capacity: 1,419 Raised stage with dressing room below; balcony and lobby space.
Bea Gurler was nine years old when her father George moved his family into the house in 1893. Her cousins, the children of her father’s brother Henry, had been living since 1888 in the Ellwood Mansion. Everyone said it was magnificent. Bea’s parents George and Zillah, evidently shared a taste in homes that favored the elegance of simplicity. It was the unimposing yet dignified structure on Pine Street–where the back door was always open. George and Henry Gurler were both prominent businessmen, and joint owners of a number of dairies. They quickly became world-famous and respected by many dairy farmers. Bea eventually made it a goal of hers to renovate The Gurler House to be the home that she once new and loved. The Gurler House hosts an annual Folk Music Festival every summer, where people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music. While you are at The Gurler House, make sure to take a walk through their beautiful garden.
First National Bank of Dwight
Famed architecht Frank Lloyd Wright designed and engineered this bank in 1905, and it is the only one of his three designed banks still standing.
Pioneer Gothic Church
Built in 1857, this church is a fine example of Carpenter Gothic Architecture. Pointed arched windows and doors as well as board and batten frame construction characterize this style. King Edward VII worshipped at the church in 1860, while on a hunting expedition in the area. The church was named as one of the “150 Architectural Treasures” in the State of Illinois by the Association of Illinois Architects in 2007, and is listed on the National Historic Register.
Northwestern University Walking Tours
Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is a renowned educational institution rich in history and architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various 30-minute walking tours.
Levere Memorial Temple
Home of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity headquarters, this beautiful Gothic building features stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Galena Carriage Co.
Historic carriage rides, dinner rides, "romance and roses" rides. Friday-Saturday evenings, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Seasonal sleigh rides. Reservations recommended.
Galena Trolley Tours
City tours of Galena, tour of homes and nightly ghost tour. Group services and charters. Original tour company since 1988.
Galena Main Street Walking Tours with General Grant
Partake in an one-hour tour with one of Galena's most notable citizens, General Ulysses S. Grant, and explore the historic highlights of this award-winning Main Street. The tour also features the 'Field of Dreams' movie locations that were captured in downtown Galena. Reservations are not required to join in the tour.
Two-Story Outhouse at Gays
Arguably one of the most famous outhouses left on the planet is located in the town of Gays, IL, located just five minutes from Mattoon. The existence of outhouses in general are rare, but certainly a two-story version is a unique oddity that the small rural community of 300 has capitalized on for quite some time. Stop by anytime for this great photo opportunity!