WordCraft: Experience Chicago

Freelance article for content creation WordCraft, for travel-specific clients.

Experience Chicago Like an Instagrammer

Visually, Chicago is exciting. It’s worth capturing those iconic moments, with photogenic experience to last a lifetime. The Windy City, with its diverse urban and lake-side landscapes, cultural landmarks and historic hotspots, is photo-worthy from nearly every angle. There’s so much to see and experience, with posing opportunities around every corner. Be sure to keep your lens free of any fingers as you explore these places of interest—some of the best, most Instagrammable spots in Chicago.

Willis Tower Skydeck

233 S. Wacker Dr. | Chicago, IL 60606 | theskydeck.com

With the world beneath your feet (literally), there’s no better chance to snag a picture towering over the city of Chicago. Formally known as the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower has a one-of-a-kind experience waiting at the top floor, 108 stories above the ground. The Skydeck gives visitors an elevated perspective, with heart-racing views, from street to sky. Tours and private events are available.

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. | Chicago, IL 60605 | sheddaquarium.org

All that sits between Shedd Aquarium visitors and 32,000 aquatic animals is a clear layer of glass. This must-see Chicago attraction is home to 1,500 species, including the likes of fish, reptiles, birds, marine mammals, insects, and amphibians. The aquarium has tours, 4-D shows, live presentations, rotating exhibits, events, and a multitude of animal-meeting experiences—including a penguin, sea otter, or beluga. Posing is easy with such a vibrant, colorful, and conservation-focused background at the Shedd Aquarium.

Wrigley Field

1060 W. Addison St. | Chicago, IL 60613 | mlb.com/cubs/ballpark/information

Grab your baseball glove and hat and head to one of America’s favorite stadiums. Home to the Cubs, Wrigley Field is a site wrought with history, since its first pitch back in 1914. Instagram-worthy shots include a diamond picture at a home game, a snap of the ivy-covered brick outfield wall, the iconic red marquee over the entrance, the hand-turned scoreboard, or just a simple seventh-inning stretch selfie.

Cloud Gate (The Bean)

201 E. Randolph St. | Chicago, IL 60602 | shorturl.at/afmTV

Nothing quite says “Chicago” like Cloud Gate, lovingly referred to as the Bean—a giant, shiny, iconic sculpture located in Millennium Park. Inspired by liquid mercury, this stainless-steel piece of art was created in 2006 by artist Anish Kapoor, and both reflects and distorts the surrounding city skyline. It’s Instagrammable in every sense—both aesthetically as a work of art, and as a free-spirited reflection selfie. You can’t go wrong with a capture of the beautiful Bean.

Garfield Park Conservatory Palm House

300 N. Central Park Ave. | Chicago, IL 60624 | garfieldconservatory.org

Botanical junkie or not, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a green oasis. This Chicago staple is a year-round habitat for lush and exotic flora, with thousands of plant species on display. Known as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory has much to offer, including eight indoor display gardens and 10 acres of outdoor grounds. The Palm House is an especially scenic escape. It’s the conservatory’s largest room, with 35-foot glass ceilings that create the ultimate artistic photo subject. The namesake comes from the room’s assortment of over 70 graceful palm varieties—it’s a tropical vacation right in Chicago. Admission is free, though donations are encouraged.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

7600 S. Yale Ave. | Chicago, IL 60620 | allmenus.com/il/chicago/476988-fred-jacks/menu/

No Instagram feed is complete without a coveted foodie shot; for visitors, that means the Chicago-style hot dog. Though there are hundreds of recipes to choose from, the standard Windy City recipe includes yellow mustard, white onions, relish, a pickle spear, peppers, salt, and tomatoes, on top of a beef hot dog. While there are tons of hot dog-slinging restaurants, Fred and Jack’s has been a local South Side favorite since opening their doors in 1946.

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St. | Chicago, IL 60614 | lpzoo.org

With rolling hills, seasonal lights, impressive city views, and animals (of course), the Lincoln Park Zoo is a picturesque attraction, with many shots to choose from. There are numerous things to love about the Lincoln Park Zoo, starting with the price of admission: it’s free. In addition to being wallet-friendly, the zoo includes an impressive 35 acres, with around 1,100 animals—from big cats to gorillas to monkeys to polar bears, and many species in between. It’s also one of the oldest zoos in America, founded in 1868. This urban oasis is pretty as a picture, and has been long before Instagram ever existed.

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611 | navypier.org

You don’t have to be a seaman to appreciate the dazzling sights of Chicago’s Navy Pier. Located in the Streeterville neighborhood in the Near North Side area, the Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long dock sitting on the shoreline of the glimmering Lake Michigan. This attraction—which is considered one of the top destinations in the Midwest and Chicago’s number one visitor hot spot—is full of things to do; there’s nearly 50 acres worth of shops, restaurants, exhibits, gardens, and family-friendly rides. Can’t miss pictures include the Ferris wheel, Funhouse Maze, Crystal Gardens, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

“Greetings From Chicago” Mural

2226 N. Milwaukee Ave. | Chicago, IL 60647 | greetingstour.com

Street art is always a welcome sight on any Instagram feed. Located in Logan Square, “Greetings From Chicago” might just take the cake for an iconic mural. The painting, which spells out the word “Chicago” using block letters filled with Chicago-inspired images, was created in 2015 by Victor Ving as part of the United States Greetings From Tour.

“Greetings From Chicago” surmises everything it means to exist in the city: some of the included imagery are hot dogs and deep dish pizza, the recognizable skyline, Logan Square Monument (the neighborhood in which the mural lives), the Chicago flag, Amuse 126 Art, the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox sports teams, an ode to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Cloud Gate. Sitting near elevated tracks, “Greetings From Chicago” is just about as iconic as it gets.