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The Top 10 Chicago Sights to See from Lake Michigan

Chicago’s shoreline neighbor, Lake Michigan, provides some of the most breathtaking views of the city. While walking or cycling through Chicago will surely give you a specific perspective of the architectural grandeur of our home, you can’t truly experience Chicago unless you get out on the water.

Chicago’s location on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan is integral to the city’s identity. The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, Mud City, the City that Works: Chicago wouldn’t be Chicago without Lake Michigan, and vice versa.

Although about 12 million people live along Lake Michigan, if you look out in one direction, all you’ll see is the water meeting the sky, an expanse that covers about 22,300 square miles. When you turn back to look at the city, make sure you don’t miss these sights:

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd aquarium

Chicago has excellent seafood, but you can’t eat the marine life in Shedd Aquarium, sorry. Gifted to the city by philanthropist, John G. Shedd, since its opening in May of 1930, the aquarium has been a well-loved cultural fixture.

From the water, you’ll notice the unmistakable neoclassical architecture. Inspired by a specific style within classic Greek architecture called Beaux-Arts, Shedd Aquarium boasts bold Doric columns at its entrance, marble and terra cotta detailing, and its signature octagonal dome.

Shedd Aquarium is home to over 32,000 of species, from small fish to sharks and whales. It draws interest from tourists and researchers alike. Some important work conducted by Shedd researchers includes the treatment and handling of beluga whales.

The Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History, also known as the Field Museum, is located on the same campus Shedd Aquarium. Built in 1921, the Field Museum is one of the premier natural history museums in the world. Boasting about 2 million visitors each year, there are permanent and rotating exhibits ranging from ancient artifacts to dinosaur reconstructions. If you are a natural history buff, this museum is not one to miss.

Interestingly enough the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White designed and built both the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium in the same neoclassical Beaux-Arts style. This architectural firm produced some of Chicago’s most famous structures, including Union Station, the Wrigley Building, and the Civic Opera Building.

875 N Michigan Ave

Formerly known as the John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave is one of Chicago’s taller skyscrapers. If you look up, you’re likely to see it. With 100 floors, it is 1,128 feet tall and has a large observation deck called 360Chicago, where you can get a panoramic view of the city, Chicago River, and Lake Michigan.

Northerly Island

The manmade peninsula, Northerly Island, like many landmarks in Chicago, is accompanied by a particularly interesting history. In 1909, city planners Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, authors of Plan of Chicago, envisioned Northerly Island to be a public park. After its construction in the 1920s, the plan for Northerly Park evolved and eventually the lakefront airport, Meigs Field was constructed and opened in the 19040s.

In 2003, Meigs Field airport was demolished, and Northerly Island was converted back into the space that city planners initially envisioned: a destination for the public. The island, adjacent to the Museum Campus that includes both the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium has been turned primarily into a hybrid destination of parkland, nature preserve, and a concert venue.

Adler Planetarium

Alder Planetarium

Northerly Island is also home to Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium opened in the United States and the western hemisphere for that matter. Since 1930, the Adler has been part of the Museum Campus’s appeal, indulging interests in physics and astronomy while inviting all visitors to get a better look at the great beyond. Pro tip: if you ever make it into the Adler, it also offers one of the city’s best views of the Chicago skyline.

The architectural style of the Adler Planetarium is a marked departure from the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum’s neoclassical style. Designed by Ernest Grunsfeld, Jr., the architectural style of the Adler is considered to be Art Deco. As you pass by the Adler from Lake Michigan, you’ll notice the structure’s streamlined geometric design with a touch of opulence. This style was incredibly popular in the 1920s.

Willis Tower

The Willis Tower, also commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, was completed in 1973. It is one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers standing at 1,729 feet. After the One World Trade Center in New York City, Willis Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the United States.

In 2009, the structure was renamed from Sears Tower to Willis Tower. This same year significant renovations were performed on the sky deck. If you ever make it up there, we hope you’re not afraid of heights.

Navy Pier

Navy pier chicago

One of Chicago’s more famous landmarks, the Navy Pier was built in 1916 and has had many purposes within that time. Before 1927, Chicagoans referred to the pier as the Municipal Pier. It was only after World War I that it was renamed in honor of naval veterans.

Now a destination for entertainment and recreation, the Navy Pier was initially a dock for both freight and passenger ships. While the pier served as a dock a couple of decades, in 1941, the pier became home to nearly 10,000 Navy sailors training for World War II.

The Centennial Wheel, one of the pier’s most iconic features, is noticeable from both land and the water. The current Ferris wheel which is relatively new, was unveiled in May of 2016 after its predecessor was retired the previous summer.

Grant Park 

As you cruise along Lake Michigan, you’ll see one of Chicago’s most famous parks, Grant Park. Named after Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park covers over 300 acres and is also home to numerous famous Chicago landmarks like Millennium Park, the Cloud Gate sculpture also known as “The Bean,” the Petrillo Music Shell, the Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, and many other historic sites. The Museum Campus and Northerly Park are included in the larger acreage of Grant Park, but in our humble opinion, those spots deserved some extra consideration.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is an international tourist draw for the whole city. The institute is one of the premier museums and art schools in the United States. People visit from all over to see priceless works of art created by the likes of Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Mary Cassatt.

Petrillo Music Shell

Chicago is famous for many things, our pizza, the Cubs, the Bears, the White Sox, the El Train, Second City, and most of all, our music. Inspiring the genre of Chicago Style jazz, and the source of inspiration for blues and jazz artists like Muddy Waters and Nat King Cole, Chicago has a rich musical history.

If you’re focused on all things music during your Chicago pilgrimage be on the lookout for the Petrillo Music Shell as you pass by Grant Park. First opened in 1931, countless concerts and festivals have been held at this outdoor venue in over the years.

 See Chicago From Lake Michigan!

Like other iconic American cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., Chicago has its own culture, architecture, myths, and customs. Join us on the water and experience it for yourself!

We genuinely believe that everyone will enjoy sightseeing from the waters of Lake Michigan. Get in touch with Anita Dee Yacht Charters today at (312) 379-3191 to rent one of our luxury yachts for your sightseeing adventures.






How to Plan Your Private Yacht Event

When planning any event, there’s always the fear that what you envision will not become reality when the day comes to greet your guests. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of hoping for the best, why not guarantee that it is something special by planning your next event on a private yacht in beautiful Lake Michigan?

Booking a yacht is a great way to take your event to the next level without adding stress to your life. At Anita Dee Yacht Charters, we make it easy to host the best event ever by recommending handpicked caterers, decorators, photographers, and entertainment.

Of course, if you have someone else in mind, we can work with that, too! The important thing is making sure your event is what you want it to be. Here are some of our tips for doing just that:


Whatever the reason for celebration, make sure you book your date early. There’s nothing worse than finding out too late that the date you wanted is already taken. When picking a date, keep in mind the weather and how long you’re going to be out on the water, as well as what time of day you want to embark.

Anita Dee offers breakfast, lunch, and late-night cruises so that you’re not tied down to any specific kind of event. For example, breakfast times can be great for corporate events. If you’re looking for an evening or night out, however, you might want to plan around seeing the Chicago firework displays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s always a big hit, and a show like that is sure to stay with your guests long after they step foot on dry land again.


While the Chicago skyline seen from Lake Michigan is already quite the view, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure that you set the perfect mood for your event through the decorations and floral displays you choose.

If you’re looking for a florist for your event, all of Anita Dee’s preferred florists are beautifully creative, customer-oriented, and comfortable working on our vessels. Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that your event’s backdrop will already be beautiful.


Don’t let a moment slip by! Hiring a photographer is crucial to making sure that your big day is remembered forever. While your guests snap selfies, let a professional capture the big moments – the things you won’t want to be behind a camera for. Anita Dee’s preferred photographers will keep your event alive through beautiful pictures and videos you’re guaranteed to love.


As anyone knows, the best part of a party is the food. You’ll want to plan ahead to get the best caterer for your event. Of course, sometimes this can depend on what kind of event it is and what time of day it’s taking place. Is it a company breakfast meeting? A wedding rehearsal dinner? Maybe a Sweet 16, or even a prom? Anita Dee can accommodate up to 400 guests for an event on the water.

Whatever the occasion, the right food can turn a good party into a great party. All of Anita Dee’s preferred caterers serve delicious, inventive meals without sacrificing customer service. And with full-service galleys on both of Anita Dee’s vessels, you already have the perfect setup.


No party is complete without a little entertainment. Whether it’s a DJ or a band, you’ll want someone who’s able to get your guests on the dance floor. Anita Dee’s preferred entertainment companies can do exactly that. Our vessels also come with state-of-the-art sound systems, ensuring that your guests are entertained no matter where they are on the yacht. When planning your event, make sure not to skip over this crucial element. The importance of getting amazing music for your event just can’t be overstated.

Schedule a Memorable Event With Us Today

The most important thing to remember is that great people are the best part of any get-together. We know you want your event to be something that wows the people in your life, and we want the same thing. That’s why we offer completely private yachts, outstanding service, easy access to trustworthy Chicago companies, and even an on-board event coordinator to help you with all the details.

Booking a private yacht for your event is easy, and your guests will talk about it for years to follow. For more information on Anita Dee Yacht Charters, feel free to contact us at (312) 379-3191, or send us a message online.

Five Reasons to Choose a Yacht for Your Next Party

An event is only as good as its venue, as event coordinators and veteran party throwers know all too well. You want to set your event apart from others while impressing your guests with a certain amount of class, luxury, and comfort. For many looking for new and exciting venues, chartering a yacht is the perfect solution as it provides stunning views, classy catering and cocktail options, and impressive amenities. There are countless reasons why you should choose a yacht for your next party, five of which are listed below.

  1. Impress your friends. Yacht parties are instantly high-class, so impress your friends and rent a yacht for your next party. Show off with catered hors d’oeuvres and tasteful cocktails as you sail Chicago waters and enjoy the company of up to 400 of your closest friends.
  2. Enjoy the Chicago skyline while sipping drinks on a yacht deck. The Chicago skyline is one of the most stunning in the country, and this view, paired with an evening of tasteful food, drinks, and music, makes for the perfect venue for any of your celebratory needs. Charter one of our yachts during a firework showing to make your event all the more spectacular.
  3. When split between friends, it’s an affordable change of venue for parties. Chartering a yacht may seem out of reach, but when split between friends it is an affordable alternative to other party venues. Your dream yacht excursion is within reach and only a phone call away.
  4. The Anita Dee II can hold up to 400 people, so it’s great for events. From weddings to high school reunions to anniversary celebrations, chartering a yacht will set your event apart from others of its kind and make a memorable experience for everyone involved.
  5. It’s a yacht—need we say more? Yachts have always represented a certain standard of luxury and pleasure, and having your event on a yacht will only enhance the experience of your guests and make your event the talk of the town.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a venue that your guest will never forget, Anita Dee Yacht Charters has you covered. Our chartered yachts are specially designed to exude class, distinction, and luxury, and are perfect for practically any event. Make your event an experience that your guests will remember for years to come and enjoy a relaxing excursion on Chicago’s beautiful waters. For more information or to book your yacht today, please contact Anita Dee Yacht Charters at (312) 379-3191 today.

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Anita Dee Yacht Charters 200 N Breakwater Access Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 379-3191
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