The Windy City is home to countless fun and unique tourist destinations, so much so that a singular visit isn’t nearly enough to experience all that the city has to offer. Museums, shows, sporting events, restaurants, and nightlife draw thousands upon thousands of visitors to Chicago each year, and most of them barely scratch the surface when it comes to uncovering what this gem of the Midwest has to offer. No matter what has brought you to stay with the University of Chicago La Quinta Inn and Suites, be sure to dedicate some time for recreation and leisure during your visit. To do so, there is no better place to soak up the best of Chicago than Navy Pier.
Navy Pier officially opened in summer of 1916 and served as an all-purpose dock for freights and passenger traffic, housed recreational opportunities for visitors, and held large events. Since it’s early days, the pier has a storied history as a jail for draft dodgers in 1918, a training center for the U.S. Navy in 1941, classrooms for the University of Illinois at Chicago in the mid 1940s, and so much more. In 1995, Navy Pier was reimagined as a space for the public to eat and drink, explore various museums, shop, relax, and enjoy beautiful Lake Michigan. Today, following a redevelopment in 2014, Chicago’s Navy Pier proudly stands as one of the top visited leisure destinations in the Midwest and is second only to Millennium Park as Chicago’s number one tourist attraction. And for good reason!
Chicago’s Navy Pier offers something for everybody. Sightseeing, sunset, and dinner cruises on Lake Michigan are an excellent way to experience the Great Lakes and soak up Chicago’s famed skyline. A handful of carnivalesque rides line the pier to the joy of both kids and adults. A one-acre botanical garden in a beautiful six-story glass atrium provides the perfect green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Chicago Children’s Museum is home to an extensive collection of exhibits and activities to help kids learn and grow. Countless art installations, restaurants, and shops are scattered down the 3,300-foot long pier and are always abuzz with locals and visitors alike. If you happen to be staying with us during the summer months, be sure to check out the weekly Navy Pier fireworks displays on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
If your stay with the University of Chicago La Quinta Inn and Suites is short and you want to maximize the fun you can have in the Windy City, bump Navy Pier to the top of your must-see list. This staple of the Chicago shoreline has something for everyone and guarantees a good time. From historic buildings, museums, games and rides, shops, restaurants, and live music Navy Pier will not disappoint. Only a short five minute drive from our hotel, it provides the perfect destination for an afternoon of fun and adventure.