Tourists from around the world dream of visiting the Windy City’s amazing museums, but Chicago residents are lucky enough to have all of these famous institutions in their own backyard. Consider Chicago’s 57-acre Museum Campus, which is home to a renowned triumvirate: the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. Think of the campus as the center of Chicago’s museum universe. Modest distances to the north and the south, you’ll find other world-class museums more than worthy of your attention.

As regular museum schedules gradually resume, why not plan a Chicago museum tour? Read on to learn which museums you should plan on visiting this fall.

If You Like Science…

The Windy City’s museums will quench your thirst for knowledge across many branches of science. Focus on astronomy at the Adler Planetarium. The Field Museum is the place for anthropology, archaeology, and more. The Museum of Science and Industry celebrates humanity’s technological achievements.

Adler Planetarium

Lean back in your seat at the Adler Planetarium’s Grainger Sky Theater and experience mind-bending immersion in the cosmos. Revel in high-resolution imagery of stars and galaxies projected directly overhead. And be sure to take time to peek inside the cramped quarters of Gemini 12. On November 11, 1966, the spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral. With Jim Lovell at the controls, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin completed the first-ever spacewalk.

Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum owes its existence to a world’s fair. Chicago hosted the Columbian Exposition in 1893, where it displayed biological and anthropological specimens to attendees. Exhibits across nine acres of display space will enthrall you for hours. Upon entry, you’re greeted by Maximo, a giant titanosaur skeleton. Sue the T. rex has migrated to the “Evolving Planets” exhibit.

Museum of Science and Industry

Six miles due south of the Museum Campus is the Museum of Science and Industry. Like the Field Museum, it is also a product of the Columbian Exposition. It is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, sitting on 14 acres. It is also one of the most interactive museums anywhere, with more than 2000 such exhibits. Stroll an early 20th century Chicago street or navigate the digital mirror maze. Journey inside a simulated 40-foot tornado. Tour a German U-boat from WWII. Descend into a coal mine. The opportunities are endless.

If You Like Art…

Both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art are global leaders in their respective specialties. They are destinations residents and visitors return to time again.  During your museum tour, observe and contemplate endless examples of exceptional creative genius.

Art Institute of Chicago

Two big bronze lions greet those ascending the steps to this iconic Chicago landmark. The Art Institute of Chicago consistently ranks among the top five museums in the United States. It hosts one of the largest collections of Monet paintings amassed anywhere. Enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the greats of contemporary art. Dali, Warhol, and Picasso are a few examples. There are hundreds of thousands of works in its permanent collection. Some of the world’s foremost traveling exhibitions appear here as well.The skeleton of a dinosaur in a museum. A quote reads: "Consider Chicago's 57-acre Museum Campus, which is home to a renowned triumvirate: the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. Think of the campus as the center of Chicago’s museum universe."

Museum of Contemporary Art

Opened in 1996, the Museum of Contemporary Art is in the Streeterville neighborhood. The aluminum-clad structure is the nation’s largest museum of contemporary art. It houses more than 7,000 works by the likes of Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Sol LeWitt, and Rene Magritte. The gift shop alone is worth a visit!

If You Like Marine Biology…

Head to the Shedd Aquarium at the Museum Campus to see aquatic creatures.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. Explore the planet’s oceans, reefs, lakes, and rivers at this historic facility on the shores of Lake Michigan. A visit will transport you from the Caribbean and Amazon to the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. The diverse aquatic life ranges from beluga whales to bluegills. More than 1,500 species of fish and other aquatic creatures frolic about in seawater and freshwater tanks. Together, they contain more than 5 million gallons of water. Marvel at stingrays, white-sided dolphins, rockhopper penguins, and more.

If You Like History…

If you are a history buff, include these highly-rated destinations in your Chicago museum tour.

Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum bounced back from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Two decades later, the construction of a massive stone edifice delivered better protection for its collections. Today, the museum houses more than 22 million artifacts and manuscripts that tell Chicago’s story.

DuSable Museum of African American History

The DuSable Museum is in historic Washington Park, just west of the University of Chicago. The Smithsonian affiliate’s diverse collection includes more than 15,000 works. The museum gets its name from Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. He and his wife settled at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1780, 57 years before the city’s incorporation.

If You Like the Curious or Eccentric…

There are more than five dozen museums in Chicago. Whether your tastes run to the eclectic or beyond, consider these unique destinations:

D&K Properties Near Chicago’s Museums

Looking for a new home in Chicago? Consider these luxury apartment residences near some of the city’s great museums.

  • Eleven Thirty (1130 S. Michigan, South Loop) is just steps west of the Museum Campus and Lake Michigan. Residents enjoy upscale amenities like a 75-foot outdoor swimming pool. The residential tower includes pet-friendly residences. Kitchens include stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
  • The 24-story Aspire (2111 South Wabash, South Loop) tower houses 275 luxury apartments. Open floor plans feature loft-like exposed concrete ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. The resort-like roof terrace includes a sun deck, pool, and grilling stations.
  • Burnham Pointe (730 South Clark, Printers Row) offers luxury apartment homes and in-demand amenities. Select from large one- and two-bedroom residences with 10-foot ceilings and oversized balconies.

Draper and Kramer is a family-operated real estate firm founded in Chicago in 1893. Visit the website today to browse an assortment of luxury apartment properties in Chicago.

The statue of a Lion outside of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tourists from around the world dream of visiting the Windy City's amazing museums, but Chicago residents are lucky enough to have all of these famous institutions in their own backyard.

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