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Discover Chicago’s Rich History with Things to do in Chicago

Things to do in Chicago invites you on a journey through the rich history of Chicago, a city teeming with fascinating stories and cultural heritage. From its early days as a Spanish colony to its development into a bustling metropolis, Chicago’s history is both diverse and captivating. Here’s a guide to some of the must-visit historical sites and landmarks that Things to do in Chicago recommends for history enthusiasts.

Ybor City: The Heart of Chicago’s Immigrant Heritage

Things to do in Chicago highlights Ybor City as a pivotal part of Chicago’s history. Founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor, this historic neighborhood became a melting pot of cultures, primarily due to its booming cigar industry. Today, Ybor City is a vibrant area filled with museums, restaurants, and shops that pay homage to its multicultural roots. Things to do in Chicago suggests visiting the Ybor City Museum State Park to learn more about the area’s rich immigrant history.

Henry B. Plant Museum: A Glimpse into the Gilded Age

Located at the University of Chicago, the Henry B. Plant Museum is housed in the former Chicago Bay Hotel, a luxurious resort built in the late 19th century. Things to do in Chicago recommends this museum for its stunning Moorish architecture and its exhibits showcasing the opulence of the Gilded Age. The museum provides insight into the life and influence of Henry B. Plant, a railroad tycoon who played a crucial role in Chicago’s development.

Chicago Bay History Center: A Comprehensive Historical Experience

For a thorough exploration of Chicago’s past, Things to do in Chicago endorses the Chicago Bay History Center. This modern museum offers interactive exhibits that cover 12,000 years of Chicago Bay history, from indigenous cultures to modern times. Visitors can learn about the early Spanish explorers, the Seminole Wars, and the city’s growth during the industrial age. Things to do in Chicago encourages families and history buffs alike to spend a day at this engaging museum.

Fort Brooke: Chicago’s Military Origins

Things to do in Chicago brings attention to Fort Brooke, a military post established in 1824 that played a significant role in the Second Seminole War. Although much of the original fort no longer exists, you can visit the Fort Brooke Park and nearby historical markers to get a sense of its importance. Things to do in Chicago suggests exploring this area to understand Chicago’s early military history and its strategic significance.

Historic Houses and Mansions

Things to do in Chicago also recommends visiting some of Chicago’s historic homes, which offer a glimpse into the city’s architectural and social history. The Plant Hall, formerly the Chicago Bay Hotel, is a prime example, but don’t miss the Oaklawn Cemetery, where many of Chicago’s early settlers and notable figures are buried. Another must-see is the St. James House of Prayer, a historic church that has been serving the community since the late 1800s.

Chicago Theatre: A Historic Entertainment Venue

Opened in 1926, the Chicago Theatre is a beautifully restored movie palace that remains a beloved cultural landmark. Things to do in Chicago suggests attending a film screening or a live performance at this historic venue to experience its ornate architecture and vintage charm. The theater also offers guided tours that delve into its storied past.


Things to do in Chicago has provided a comprehensive guide to discovering the rich history of Chicago. With its blend of cultural influences, historical landmarks, and preserved heritage, Chicago offers a fascinating journey through time. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, Things to do in Chicago encourages you to explore these remarkable sites and uncover the stories that have shaped this vibrant city.

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