Illinois Bucket List ~ Chicago and Beyond Region

Today we finish out the state of Illinois with the largest list as we hit the Chicago area. Tomorrow we begin to explore the regions of Wisconsin. Some things in this Chicago region we visited quite a few years back, but there are still many other things we need to return and see!


  • Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum: Located on the Museum Campus, this is a fun museum to explore all things space.
  • American Writers Museum: A museum that inspires all genres of writing.
  • Art Institute of Chicago: Explore many famous paintings in this museum. The one I most want to see is American Gothic!
  • The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery: I adore Dr. Seuss, so this is an absolute must see for me!
  • Chicago Architecture Center: Explore architecture and why it matters!
  • Chicago Historic Water Tower: Check out one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire.
  • Chicago History Museum: Hands on museum that allows you to explore the history of this great city.
  • Chicago Maritime Museum: Explore Chicago’s maritime history.
  • Chicago Sports Museum: Celebrates the many sports teams located in the area.
  • Douglass Tomb State Historic Site: Monument honoring Senator Stephan Douglass, best known for his debates with former President Lincoln.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Visitor Center: Interactive displays that describe the function of the Federal Reserve.
  • Field Museum: Huge museum of natural history best known for “Big Sue.”
  • Lincoln Park Zoo: 4th oldest zoo in the U.S. and one of few that offers free admission!
  • Millennium Park: You have to stop by here for a picture with the iconic “Bean”.
  • Museum of Broadcast Communications: Explore everything there is to know about the history of television and radio.
  • Museum of Science and Technology: My most favorite museum in Chicago! Everything is hands on!
  • National Hellenic Museum: Museum dedicated to Greek history and culture.
  • Obama Family Home: See the home of the former president and his family.
  • Pullman National Monument: Explore the first planned industrial community in the United States.
  • Shedd Aquarium: Fun aquarium that features several different sea animals.
  • Skydeck Chicago-The Ledge: Zoom to the top of Willis (Sears) Tower and step out on the ledge overlooks.
  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery: Explore this large Starbucks located along Michigan Avenue.
  • Swedish American Museum: Explore the history of Swedish immigrants to the area.
  • wndr Museum: An immersive art and technology experience.


  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden: Beautiful Garden located off Main Street in Rockford.
  • Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens: This area features beautiful indoor gardens, sculptures, and a lagoon area.
  • Rock Cut State Park: Rocky area which includes two lakes just off the interstate.


  • Matthiessen State Park: Beautiful canyon area with waterfall.
  • Starved Rock State Park: Known for its steep canyons and waterfalls.

All attractions found on


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