Things to Do Near Chicago Amtrak Station

Willis Tower

Taking train trips not only gives you a spectacular view of the natural landscapes through its big windows, but it also lets you visit many cities at once. Take the Union Station in Chicago, for example. It’s a popular station for layovers, which means you get to walk around the Windy City while on your way to your next destination. Don’t worry about being crunched for time because there are plenty of tourist-friendly attractions around the Chicago Amtrak Station. All you need are your shoes for walking and you’re ready to go!

Willis Tower (0.5 mi)

Less than four blocks from the station is the western hemisphere’s tallest building—the 110-story Willis Tower—formerly named Sears Tower. Get awestruck by the spectacular views of the four states on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower—the Skydeck. Test your fear of heights and walk on the Ledge, a glass balcony extending 4.3 feet outside the Skydeck. Willis Tower is open every day of the year day and night and you can order your tickets online!

Pillar of Fire (0.9 mi)

A tall bronze sculpture of stylized flames called “Pillar of Fire” by Egon Weiner was erected in front of the Chicago Fire Academy in 1961. The iconic location symbolizes the site of the origin of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, which killed hundreds and destroyed 3.3 square miles of property.

Pillar of Fire

House of Blues (1.1 mi)

Located in the historic Marina City complex on the Chicago River, the House of Blues Chicago opened in 1996 and has been showing legendary acts from famous artists, classic and contemporary. While there, check out the “Crazy Quilt” and the metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi below the stage.

American Girl Place (2 mi)

For some shopping and dining splurge, enjoy the luxurious offerings of American Girl Place located at the famous Water Tower Place. Young females will love the doll stores featuring Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins. And you can also have a sumptuous meal at the American Girl Café whether it’s brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner.

Water Tower (2 mi)

For a more mature shopping experience, head to the Water Tower Place, a large urban mall in a 74-story building. You’ll get dizzy with all the stores and brands they carry, plus there are lots of quality restaurants too if you fancy a meal. The Water Tower is a great sightseeing option for you especially if the weather is too unfriendly for walking.

Second City (2.7 mi)

Have some comedy while on your tour and head on to the Second City, which has been delighting audiences for more than 50 years in Chicago and Toronto. The “Comedy Empire”, as named by the New York Times, also offers historic and hilarious walking tours of the Old Town every Wednesdays and Sundays. Check their website for the schedules.

It won’t hurt to be prepared. Download the Amtrak Chicago Travel Map so you won’t miss more nearby attractions near the Union Station. It’s all fun while on and off the train! For package tours and train vacations, check out America by Rail.

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