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Navy Pier, Chicago

3.7
#1 of 21 in Theme Parks in Illinois
A cool place to spend a hot day on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier extends for over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) along the lakefront. Designed by city planner Daniel Burnham and built in 1916, the pier first served as a cargo facility for lake freighters, with a network of warehouses stretching along the shoreline. In the pre-air conditioning years, the pier also served Chicagoans as one of the coolest places in the city, quickly becoming a popular venue for public gatherings and entertainment. Now the city's top tourist attraction, the pier features a children's museum, fountains, fast-food eateries, souvenir vendors, and a Ferris wheel. The older crowd can enjoy lakefront views, boat cruises, and a range of live shows. To visit Navy Pier on your trip to Chicago, use our Chicago vacation planner.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
10,697 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    First time to Navy Pier, and would go back. So much going on! All the indoor options of food vendors and novelty/souvenir shops, plus a few great restaurants. A lovely tropical atrium, complete with f...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Enjoyed walking along the water and people watching. It was a busy Saturday night but we never felt crowded or rushed.  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Walked inside and out, thou I don't think too thouroughly. The Bob Newhart bronze statue was a riot. The Ferris Wheel is amazing and apparently new. Did see other family oriented activities thou not s...  more »
Google
  • July 7, 2017
    Very dissapointed. Not sure what I expected, but this turned out to be a giant shopping mall; not my idea of a good time. Views were nice, Mirror maze was fun, and the swings were cool - just expected way more rides and fun activities for the family. I have heard the Children's museum is great; wish we could have tried it out - it's probably worth the trip alone for younger kids.
  • June 13, 2017
    Had a really nice time here, but it is not the same NAVY PIER I grow up with... All the fun shops that made the experience at Navy Pier worthwhile are gone and replaced with bars and repetitive restaurants. I couldn't even find the STAINED GLASS MUSEUM?? Where did it go??... Anyways, I talked this place up to the teenagers and it was all gone... But they still had fun...
  • July 8, 2017
    Underwhelming. We had a short visit and I wish we didn't use our time going here during our trip. It was a bit dirty and boring. I got crazy sticker shock when I saw prices for rides. $35 to ride a Farris wheel? No thank you. Most of the shops there were typical mall shops or sold t-shirts with Navy Pier on them. It was a let down. I wish we would have used our time somewhere else. Definitely not visiting again.
  • June 8, 2017
    Been here a few times. One time during spring there were hundreds of kids there on field trips so it was packed. Another time I went it was not as crowded but it usually is busy if the weather is nice so be prepared. I would suggest a visit. It was fun!
  • June 19, 2017
    A must-go-to when visiting Chicago! You will recognize Navy Pier from different movie scenes, for example from "Divergent". The walk around the pier is not just really nice, but also offers a great view and many different options to eat. A visit of the Tropical House can also be higly recommended.

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The Midwest's major center for business conventions, Chicago boasts many affordable places to stay, with most hotels located around the airport and the city's central business district. To discover the city from a comfortable base within walking distance of most tourist attractions, aim for one of the big chain hotels in the downtown area. If you're traveling on a limited budget and wish to get a deeper sense of Chicago's many diverse neighborhoods, consider staying away from the pricey city center and explore suburbs on a commuter train line for easy city access.
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