0.7 miles, Half day
Chicago's Museum Campus was created in 1998 when the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive were re-routed slightly west to make it possible to link three of Chicago's world-class museums—the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium—in a 57-acre lakefront park located at the south end of the Monroe Street Harbor.
Obviously, the museums are the big draw here. It's possible to spend several hours (or more) in each. But it's also possible to spend several hours strolling around this green space, enjoying the city views, watching the sailboats on Lake Michigan and admiring the outdoor sculptures that dot the area.
Although general admission tickets to each of the three museums are relatively affordable, if you want to see special exhibits or enjoy the shows, the all-inclusive tickets start to get expensive.
If you think you might want to return for a second day, consider buying a membership to the museum. Memberships allow you access to everything and generally pay for themselves in two visits.
Or if you want to visit all of the museums, consider buying a CityPass or GoChicago card sold at the campus and at each museum. It gives you a discount entry and allows you to bypass the very long entrance lines.
The Museum Campus is easily reached by cab, CTA bus (buses 12 and 146 stop at the Museum Campus) or L (the Red, Orange and Green lines all stop at Roosevelt Road and it's a short walk east to the Museum Campus).
If you drive, go early and look for one of the coveted spots at a parking meter along Solidarity Drive. Bring plenty of quarters to feed the meters. Or park in one of the outdoor lots, but those fill up quickly too.