Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- 1. The Bean (aka Cloud Gate)
- 2. Crown Fountain
- 3. wndr Museum
- 4. Street art
- 5. Hotel rooftop bars
- 6. Chicago Architecture tour
- 7. Art on the Mart
- 8. North Avenue Beach
- 9. Willis Tower Skydeck and John Hancock's TILT
- 10. Lawn area by the Adler Planetarium
- 11. Navy Pier
- 12. Famous marquees
- 13. Food and drinks
- 14. Famous art
- 15. 3 Arts Club Cafe at RH
- 16. The airplane
- 17. Rookery
- 18. Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago’s beauty is impressive in person, and as social media users will attest, it’s also impressive on Instagram. Here’s a list of some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Chicago.
Chicago is packed with Instagram-worthy photo ops of its art, architecture, skyline and famous marquees guaranteed to get some IG love.
Here are some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Chicago:
1. The Bean (aka Cloud Gate)
Chicago’s iconic public art piece is a massive bean-shaped mirror sculpture in Millennium Park. If you get up close, you’ll get some cosmic curvy reflections. In addition, you can ice skate in front of The Bean in winter.
2. Crown Fountain
Next to The Bean are two 50-foot towers featuring human faces. Take a video, because when the person’s mouth opens, water pours out of the mouth onto the squealing kids below. Crown Fountain and The Bean are both included in my story on Things to Do With Kids in Millennium Park.
3. wndr Museum
This new, kid-friendly West Loop art museum was made for Instagram, with an Infinity Mirror Room and a sequin tunnel.
4. Street art
Giant, colorful murals decorate buildings all over the city. Instagram faves include the Welcome to Chicago mural at 2226 N. Milwaukee Ave. and the giant pink flamingo mural outside The Flamingo Rum Club in River North. Venture out to the Pilsen neighborhood and you’ll find dozens of gorgeous building murals with poignant stories behind them. Here’s a good guide to help you find them. These murals are included in my story on 12 Best Free Things to Do in Chicago with Kids.
5. Hotel rooftop bars
Just about every downtown hotel has a swanky rooftop bar or lounge where you can take selfies with a skyline backdrop (especially beautiful at night). Some rooftop standouts include Cindy’s, the restaurant at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel; LH Rooftop at LondonHouse Chicago hotel; Godfrey Hotel’s bar I|O (which has adorable, outdoor igloos in the winter); and the bars at Robey House in Wicker Park.
6. Chicago Architecture tour
The renowned Chicago Architectural Foundation boat tour, that cruises through downtown on the Chicago River, will give you lots of cool architectural and skyline photos for your Instagram story. For a cheaper and shorter option, ride the Chicago Water Taxi through downtown. There won’t be a guide, and it’s only a 10-minute ride. But it’s enough time to snap pics of the glimmering buildings, bridges and water. Here’s my guide to Getting Around on the Chicago Water Taxi.
Architecture buffs also will want to check out the University of Chicago campus and surrounding Hyde Park neighborhood. I might be biased because I work there, but it’s filled with gorgeous neo-gothic and mid-century buildings. Some are by famed architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robey House.
7. Art on the Mart
Grab a viewing spot on the Riverwalk and watch this moving light show on the iconic Merchandise Mart building. The shows start after sunset and run for approximately two hours.
8. North Avenue Beach
One of Chicago’s most expansive beaches also has a concrete boardwalk that juts into Lake Michigan, offering picturesque lake-and-skyline views.
9. Willis Tower Skydeck and John Hancock’s TILT
If you dare to step into these glass boxes that jut out more than 100 stories over Chicago’s famous skyscrapers, you’ll get fun photos.
10. Lawn area by the Adler Planetarium
Pretty much anywhere along the Museum Campus, especially the lawn in front of the Adler Planetarium, will give you clear, full-length views of the skyline. You can sit in the grassy area, or climb down onto the lakefront rocks for skyline-and-lake selfies.
11. Navy Pier
Is this pier with a Ferris wheel touristy? Yes. Does it have great, Instagram-worthy views? Also yes.
12. Famous marquees
Day or night, the iconic Chicago signs in front of Wrigley Field (where the Chicago Cubs play) and the Chicago Theatre (downtown) look great on social media.
13. Food and drinks
Many Chicago restaurants have creative presentations. Everything at Barton G. is over-the-top, like two-foot-high cotton candy served on a mannequin’s head. Cookies and doughnuts hang off the cups and straws in the milkshakes at Bombobar. In addition, Sugar Factory, which is especially popular with teens (and made my list of 22 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago), serves smokey drinks and things like a tiny cheeseburger stacked on a milkshake.
Even a slice of deep dish pizza being pulled out of the pan, with the cheese stretching, will be a good Chicago Instagram post. So will a photo at the famous pink neon “Rose All Day” sign behind a wall of greenery at Hampton Social.
14. Famous art
Give your Instagram feed a cultural feel with some classic or thought-provoking pieces in the city’s many art museums, including The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
15. 3 Arts Club Cafe at RH
Not only can you take selfies in the cafe’s charming atrium, but you are free to hang out in the stylishly decorated rooms of this multi-floor Restoration Hardware furniture showroom. Perfect fodder for fun Instagram photos.
16. The airplane
Get a window seat when you fly in or out of Chicago, because on a clear day or night, the skyline view is mesmerizing.
Any book you pick up about art in Chicago features the stunning ceiling and staircase of this historic landmark building.
18. Chicago Cultural Center
Point the camera up into this building’s two beautiful stained-glass domes for artsy Instagram pictures. The Chicago Cultural Center is right off Michigan Avenue, across from Millennium Park. In addition, it hosts free, family-friendly music, dance, art and theater events.