1-Day Chicago Vacay

Day 1 You'll See:

There is so much to do in Chicago that it’s sometimes very hard to decide where exactly to go and when especially when you only have a day to do it. We have put together what we believe to be the very best 1-Day itinerary for you and your student group, a quick yet very memorable day of eating, sightseeing, and learning. What could be better than the Windy City in the summer, strolling the streets and seeing the sights?


9 am to 11:30 am (Set everything back 1 hour if you need more morning travel time.)
Your Choice of Shedd, Adler, Field - All of these museums and learning centers provide absolutely amazing and memorable experiences, all ranked as some of the nation’s very best. For this 2.5 hour span, your group may choose one place to focus on, or you may split your time to see two, maybe even three spots (very quickly, and you won’t see nearly half of the exhibits in any). Here is a quick summary of each spot:

Shedd Aquarium: A massive expanse of marine habitats and fantastic views of Lake Michigan will greet you at Shedd Aquarium, one of the most respected, and one of the oldest (1930) aquariums in the United States.
Adler Planetarium: If your group is most interested in astronomy, space history, and space exploration, this is the choice for you. Adler is dedicated to studying of astronomy and astrophysics,  founded in 1930 as well by Chicago business leader Max Adler.
Field Museum: A Chicago natural history museum that serves as one of the largest of it’s kind in the world, exhibiting such things as a Bug’s Life, the largest T-Rex in the world, the life of cavemen, and so much more dealing with science and invention over time.

12 pm to 3 pm
Navy Pier (Lunch at Giordano’s) - The Navy Pier is always an excellent option for student groups visiting Chicago, the important historic and cultural landmark the only of its kind in the U.S. Here you can spend time outdoors on the rides, one of the biggest Ferris wheels with the best views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan is the most popular. Inside you can visit Crystal Gardens, the indoor all-glass garden area, any of the many specialty shops, the Imax, Children’s Museum, or any of the Chicago-style eateries inside. Margaritaville and Giordano’s are our favorite choices for groups, Giordano’s probably your more safe choice for students overall. Enjoy the deepest deep-dish pizza in the city, an unforgettably delicious pizza pie experience all of your students are guaranteed to love.

3:30pm to 5:30pm
Magnificent Mile - Also known as the Mag Mile, this iconic stretch of retail, services, sights, and eateries in the Windy City is the premiere spot for shopping, theater, city tours, city events, parades, museums, and even spas. This area specifically runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side, a good amount of space to keep your group occupied for a couple of hours, though you can certainly spend much more time here trying to see it all.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for all the walking, and also bring your spending money, the shopping here is amazing.

6 pm to 7:30 pm
360 Chicago - Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, this 1923-built commercial skyscraper turned tourist attraction will provide your student group with the absolute best views of the city. The observation deck is 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, offering truly breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and lake. Students can shop in the souvenir shop, enjoy the informational exhibits throughout, or experience TILT, an enclosed moving platform that tilts you out over the edge of the building, literally! City history, culture, architecture, and sightseeing all in one, what better Windy City location to end your day with. Before heading home stop for dinner at the Bar and Cafe inside, or head back down to any of the many fine restaurants on the Mag Mile.