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Navy Pier, Chicago: A Carnival/Art Gallery/Mall

Can’t decide whether you want sculptures, shopping, a thrill ride, or just a cold beer? The Navy Pier has it all covered and more—there are more than 50 acres of parks, promenades, and attractions!

Start off your visit with a ride on the Ferris wheel. From the top, you can plot out everything you want to see and do at the pier. Then it’s time for some culture—the Pier features an annual free outdoor art exhibition called BIGart. This year, BIGart is showcasing Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke Group sculpture.

Once you’ve worked up a thirst and an appetite, head to the Landshark Beer Garden, where you’ll find lager of the same name, plus traditional Chicago food like deep-dish and bratwursts. Finally, check out the Pier from a new viewpoint, by boarding one of the many sightseeing cruises docked nearby.

Where is it? On the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Fly to O’Hare International Airport (check prices).

Where to Stay? The nearby MileNorth hotel, which also has a great rooftop to check out the Chicago skyline from.

What Else Should I Know? This year’s BIGart exhibition is only around until October.

Who’s it For? Who isn’t it for?

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