Navy Pier | Chicago, IL

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Navy Pier | Chicago, IL
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Bert Kaufmann

Everything you need to know about visiting Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave, Chicago IL 60611)

This tourist hot spot features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and a bevy of sightseeing boat tours. Pier Park is home to a 200-foot-high Ferris wheel, a beer garden and public art exhibitions galore. You'll also find the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and a rotating roster of live entertainment on the Family Pavilion Stage. Most offerings may not turn locals on, but the seasonal events, indoor activities and great people-watching provide plenty of entertainment, no matter what the weather.

Plenty to eat and drink

You may not think of Navy Pier as an obvious foodie destination, but the tourist mecca boasts some legit eats including Big City Chicken, DMK Burger and Fish Bar, Goddess and the Baker, the Original Rainbow Cone, Snow Dragon Shavery and many more. Guests who are 21 and over are allowed to take their boozy beverages to go while they walk around the Pier, and several restaurants even offer take-out windows with food and drink options.

See a show

Whether you have the kids in tow or are looking to entertain adult visitors, there's entertainment for everyone at Navy Pier. The little ones will get a kick out of the Chicago Children's Museum, which boasts a water playground, DIY spaces and educational exhibits. Chicago Shakespeare Theater offers exceptional renditions of the classics and new works fit for the whole family. To get your fix of live music with an ice-cold brew in hand, look no further than that Miller Lite Beer Garden, which offers a summer music and dance series throughout the warmer months.

Our Chicago editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Chicago at your fingertips. Chicago was most recently updated with new tips on June 26, 2017.

Posted:

Venue name: Navy Pier | Chicago, IL
Contact:
Address: 600 E Grand Ave
Chicago

Cross street: at Streeter Dr
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 10am–8pm; Fri, Sat 10am–10pm; Sun 10am–7pm. See website for extended seasonal hours.
Transport: Bus: 29, 65, 66.
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tastemaker

Navy Pier gets a bad rap because Chicagoans (I am a Chicagoan- I'm allowed to say this) inherently despises tourism (even if it makes the city as beautiful as it is.) They've spent a lot of time and money on the renovations and it looks amazing. It's fun for kids and teens. Not a date spot or a place to visit with friends but if you are walking by, why not take a (long) stroll down ther pier? Something you can do once a year. 


Navy Pier has changed so much for the better! The restaurants and attractions have all been updated and are a great time. The summer is a really busy time though and I try to stay away from this tourist attraction that gets VERY crowded.

moderator

Forget everything you think you know about Navy Pier. So much is changing at this tourist attraction, from being able to drink beer on the pier to new restaurants opening up. As always, it's one of the top spots for catching a boat tour, too. 

Tastemaker

While Navy Pier is definitely touristy, and they don't have the best food options (though I hear they're working on it...) Not many cities can boast an attraction like this. Every year or so I take someone who is visiting from out of town and they are always super impressed. In the summer they often host some great bands at the end of the pier as well!


Yeah yeah yeah, we all know it's a tourist spot. But it's getting a bigger Ferris wheel and upping its restaurant game (and a dedicated cocktail bar this summer? Yes please.). So spend some time at Navy Pier, maybe catch an IMAX movie before watching the boats.


Navy Pier is a great place to see a variety of architecture, shops and people. There are many things to do from shows, to art exhibits, to great eats.