Join us in Chicago to see the highlights of one of America’s treasured cities. From the art and architecture of this cosmopolitan city to the astronomy collections of the Adler Planetarium, you’re sure to gain new insights. 

Starting at: $3,490 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The city of Chicago, renowned for its modern and contemporary architecture  Chicago skyline

The Arts of Chicago

6 days from $3,490

Join us in Chicago to see the highlights of one of America’s treasured cities. From the art and architecture of this cosmopolitan city to the astronomy collections of the Adler Planetarium, you’re sure to gain new insights. 

or Call 855-330-1542


Join us in cosmopolitan Chicago for a highlights tour of one of America’s treasured cities of art and architecture.

Highlights Include

  • Architecturally Themed River Cruise: Sit back and view many of the city's important buildings in all their glory as an expert provides fascinating stories, background, and context.
  • Architectural Masterpieces: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Chicago Symphony Center designed by Daniel Burnham, visit Millennium Park with the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Music Pavilion, and take a walking tour of the Univeristy of Chicago campus with its neo-Gothic buildings and iconic Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House.
  • Renowned Public Art: Tour the famous collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and visit the stunning Driehaus Museum, a palatial Chicago home built during the Gilded Age.  

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.


Day 1 — Arrive Chicago

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart their home city for Chicago. Transfer to the deluxe Palmer House Hotel in Chicago’s Loop. At the hotel, each traveler will receive a customized welcome kit containing general information about Chicago, as well as a map of the city. The Smithsonian Journeys travel director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program to offer suggestions regarding tours, restaurants, and independent activities. In the late afternoon, join fellow travelers at an introductory presentation by the Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Later, get together with fellow travelers at a Smithsonian Journeys reception and dinner at the Palmer House. (R,D)

Day 2 — Chicago

A full breakfast will be served each morning at the hotel during your stay. Join the Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an informative presentation. Your day features a city highlights tour by coach, featuring a variety of neighborhoods. See well-known buildings in the Loop, inclulding the Merchandise Mart and Chicago School of Architecture buildings such as the Reliance Building and the Carson Pirie Scott Building. Visit the city’s Hyde Park area, where you'll take an architectural walking tour of the University of Chicago campus, passing neo-Gothic buildings like the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel; the Robie House, an iconic example of Frank Lloyd Wright design; and Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture, Nuclear Energy, which commemorates the birthplace of atomic fission. After lunch near Chicago’s Museum Campus, continue to the Adler Planetarium, an important Smithsonian Affiliate. The Planetarium showcases one of the most complete collections of astronomical artifacts. See the most exciting exhibits, which include the fully restored Gemini 12 spacecraft, on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This evening gather with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for lively discussion in the Smithsonian Journeys corner. (B,L)

Day 3 — Chicago

Attend an engaging presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert this morning. Then set out for a walking tour full of diverse highlights. First, walk a few blocks to the Art Institute of Chicago where a musuem docent will tell you about the museum and its treasures. Enjoy a highlights tour featuring some of the museum’s extensive collections, followed by some free time to explore on your own. Lunch will be served at a restaurant near the Art Institute of Chicago. Just a short distance away is the Chicago Symphony Center. Here, you’ll enjoy a private tour of the inner workings of the concert hall and its backstage areas. Originally built by Daniel Burnham in the Georgian Revival style, the building is home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with its remarkable six-story rotunda. This afternoon, explore Millennium Park to see its elegant architecture and innovative sculpture. See Frank Gehry’s dazzling Pritzker Music Pavilion and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture also known fondly as "The Bean." And stop to admire the Crown Fountain sculpture by Jaume Plensa. Dinner this evening will feature famous Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Chicago

Begin the day with a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Then travel by coach along Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River. Here, you'll visit the stunning Driehaus Museum, which provides a fascinating look at a palatial Chicago home built during the Gilded Age. See beautiful rooms and galleries furnished with authentic period pieces and art from the extensive Richard H. Driehaus Collection. Enjoy lunch at a nearby café. Then enjoy a Chicago River architectural cruise, a true highlight of a trip to Chicago. Sit back, relax, and take in some of the city's most important architecture as your boat plies the Chicago riverways. Your expert guide provides fascinating stories, background, and context of many of Chicago’s most influential buildings and skyscrapers, including the gleaming white Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, and Marina City, which are easily seen in all their glory from the river. (B,L)

Day 5 — Chicago

The day is free to follow your own path and explore the city on your own. This evening Smithsonian Journeys travelers will get together for a farewell dinner at a local Chicago Steak and Chop House. (B,D)

Day 6 — Return Flights to U.S. Gateway Cities

After breakfast, transfer to O’Hare International Airport for return flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)