Navy Pier

Navy Pier has been a Chicago staple since the 1920s. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. It's packed with exciting attractions and activities, making it a great place to visit Chicago.

If you're a tourist or from the city but haven't visited, here's a handy guide to Navy Pier activities and attractions you shouldn't miss.

Ferris Wheel

Your first stop is the iconic Ferris wheel. Standing at 150 feet tall, this impressive structure provides sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. The Ferris wheel is open year-round, and the experience is worth it regardless of the weather. If heights aren't your thing, there are plenty of other things to do, including rides like the carousel and swings, as well as miniature golf on one of three courses.


If shopping is more your speed, Navy Pier has you covered with over 50 stores, ranging from souvenir shops to high-end boutiques. One of the most popular stores is the Chicago-based City of Big Shoulders, which sells a range of apparel and accessories with local designs.

Food and Drinks

Navy Pier is home to over 20 restaurants and bars, offering something for everyone. Dine at the iconic landmark Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville or get a taste of Chicago with classic deep-dish pizza from Giordano's. If you prefer to grab a bite on the go, there are plenty of quick food options, such as Big Bowl Chinese Express and even Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor.


When it comes to entertainment, Navy Pier really shines. Every summer, an outdoor concert series with big names like The Killers and John Legend performs on the grand stage overlooking Lake Michigan. Live theater performances also feature Broadway musicals like Mamma Mia and Lion King.


Navy Pier also houses a few museums, including the Chicago Children's Museum and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. The latter showcases one of the world's largest public collections of stained glass windows. If you're feeling extra daring, there's even a museum dedicated to vampire lore!

Navy Pier is more than just an old pier—it's an exciting destination with plenty to do for all ages. Whether you want to stroll around, shop, eat, or be entertained, Navy Pier has something for everyone. So make sure you check it out when visiting Chicago!