Navy Pier is a 0.625-mile-long pier that is constructed on the shoreline of the beautiful Lake Michigan. Thousands of people visit Navy Pier every day and explore a wide variety of things like riding the Pier’s Carousel, play several games, tour lake Michigan, shopping, visit the famous Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, etc. There are a lot more things to do at Navy Pier and this article explains to you about each and everything that you should definitely know before going on a trip to the Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
There are a lot of things to do at Navy Pier like checking out the awesome Centennial Wheel, experience the views and go on to ride a boat on the amazing Lake Michigan, experience the summer fireworks, etc. Below are some of the best attractions that you shouldn’t definitely miss out on while touring the Navy Pier.
Top things to do at Navy Pier are –
1. Experience a show in the historic Shakespeare Theater
2. Check out a few comedy clubs namely The iO Theater, UP Comedy Club, etc.
3. Grab a beer at the LandShark Beer Garden
4. Check out Winter’s Jazz Club
5. Take a selfie with the Cloud Gate (Also known as The Bean)
6. Experience the beautiful Buckingham Fountain in the Grant Park
7. Pay a visit to Skydeck Chicago in the Willis Tower (third tallest building in the United States)
8. Check out the Magnificent Mile, a premium area full of popular shops, restaurants, & many more
9. Your Navy Pier tour will not be complete without paying a visit to the Millennium Park which is just 1.8 km away.
10. Check out the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s 9.3 km away from Navy Pier.
These are some of the best things to do at Navy Pier. The above things-to-do list includes nearby places which are very popular and are visited by almost every traveler. Millions of people who visit Chicago will visit these places at least once in their lifetime.
There’s no admission fee to visit Navy Pier. So, entering Navy Pier is free of cost. However, you will have to buy tickets for anything like any events & happenings that you want to participate. For example, if you want to ride Navy Pier’s Carousel, you need to buy a ticket that costs you $9.
Things you can do for free at Navy Pier are –
1. You can go fishing on the pier.
2. Visiting Navy Pier is free. So, you can walk the pier and have some great time watching sunrise and sunset.
3. You can participate in a free event or an art exhibition.
4. Experience the amazing summer fireworks. If you visit the Pier in the Winter season, you can watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks for free with your friends and family.
These are a few free activities you can do at Navy Pier. There will be many other attractions and activities to do but they come at some cost. For most of them, you need to buy tickets in advance.
Navy Pier got its name in the honor of the U.S Navy Personnel. Because, this pier was initially used as a dock for commercial & Passenger ships. So, people used to call it the Municipal Pier in the initial days of its launch in 1916.
Later, during World War I, the pier was used by the Navy Personnel to jail draft dodgers. After the war, in 1927, the pier was given the name “Navy Pier” in the honor of all those navy veterans who served for the nation.
The main purpose of constructing Navy Pier was to use as a dock for ships and was later turned into a place for navy officers during World War I and World War II.
During World War II, in 1941, Navy Pier was used to train the U.S Navy. Over 10,000 people got trained on this pier on which there used to be a theater with 2,500+ seats, a hospital, a kitchen, a salon, a gym, and many more.
Yes. You can walk the Navy Pier for free. There’s no admission fees to get into Navy Pier.
Navy Pier is highly known for its attractions like rides, games, restaurants, events, fireworks, awesome views of Lake Michigan, cruises, and lot more.
There are no free parking areas near the Navy Pier. It’s hard to find a parking lot that’s free of cost. You can park your vehicle at any of the two Navy Pier’s official parking garages for a price of $29. You will be charged additionally if the vehicle is parked for over 24 hours. The parking time limit is 24 hours at the above cost.
Yes. It’s worth seeing the Navy Pier. In fact, Navy Pier is one of the most celebrated areas in Chicago and the whole United States. It is home to several attractions that are worth seeing. A lot of cultural events happen here on a daily basis. So, it’s definitely worth visiting Navy Pier when you go on a tour to Chicago.
Navy Pier is an outdoor recreational spot that attracts over 2 million people from across the world every year. It’s a pier that’s built on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
If you want to experience a ride on the Pepsi Wave Swinger, you will have to buy a ticket that costs $9. During special events especially in April that cost will be cut down to $1 and sometimes it’s $6 per adult per ride.
A ride on the Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel will take about 15 minutes long. It’s really a great & fun activity to do when you visit Navy Pier with your friends or family.
Yes. It’s free to get in to the Navy Pier.
A Navy Pier Ferris Wheel ride is priced at $18. You can also buy the Centennial Wheel VIP Gondola tickets online at Navypier.org.
The cost of the VIP ticket is $50 per person.
The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel goes around 3 times. So, it’s 3 rotations per ride. While on a ride, you’ll get to see the awesome lake Michigan and beautiful landscape of the Chicago city.
Yes. It’s called the Centennial Wheel.
The current Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier is 196-foot tall. So, considering its height as the diameter, the radius of the wheel can be determined as follows –
radius = diameter/2
So, it will be r= 196/2 = 98 foot
Hence, the radius of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is 98 foot or 29.8 meters.
Yes. You will have an air conditioning system inside the 41 standard gondolas of the Centennial Wheel. So, you can ride the wheel in all weather conditions. The heating systems were installed in the new Ferris wheel which got opened to the public in 2015.
It’s 196-foot tall
Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is not the biggest in the world. The High Roller Ferris wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA is the tallest one with a height of 550 ft.
A new Ferris wheel by name Ain Dubai is currently being constructed in UAE is going to beat the High Roller in October 2020. This one is going to be 685 ft tall.
The food you need to experience at Navy Pier –
1. Eat some crispy and spicy fried chicken at Big City Chicken
2. Have awesome Mexican food at Chango Loco
3. Check out the AMRI Juice Bar
4. If you love Thai and Chinese food, you need to pay a visit to the Big Bowl Chinese Express
5. Have some seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
These are some of the best restaurants you need to check out at Navy Pier.
You can get to experience the fireworks at 9:30 PM on every Wednesday. On Saturdays, the time at which you can watch the Summer fireworks is 10 PM. Remember that these fireworks only happen when the weather is alright.
Popular restaurants on the Navy Pier are –
1. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a seafood restaurant
2. Harry Caray’s Tavern is a Barbecue restaurant
3. Billy Goat Tavern is a famous restaurant
5. Margaritaville Chicago
7. Riva is a seafood restaurant
These are the seven restaurants that are very popular at Navy Pier. You can also hangout at Miller Lite Beer Garden Grove with your friends & family.
Navy Pier was in the news recently due to a Stampede that injured more than a dozen people. As per the information on an article published by USAToday, the stampede was caused due to a false gunshot warning by a private security person. This happened in Navy Pier during the fourth of July fireworks celebrations in 2019.
Yes. Dogs are allowed. You are allowed to take a walk on the Navy Pier along with your dog but it should be kept on a leash. And also, only a few restaurants allow you to bring your dog. Remember that you aren’t allowed to walk your dog to places that aren’t dog friendly on the pier.
The parking is open for 24 hours. The cost of parking is $29. There are two parking garages – one on the west side and one on the east side of the Navy Pier.
Take the 124 Navy Pier bus at the Union Station Transit Center. There will be a bus every 30 minutes. Catch one and reach the Navy Pier Terminal in about 20 – 25 minutes. Then, you need to walk a 300 ft distance in order to reach the entrance.
Yes. There are 6 water taxis that run between Union Station and Navy Pier in two routes. You can buy a water taxi ticket in advance at shorelinesiteseeing.com.
Yes. The Navy Pier trolley is free. This trolley runs from the Art Institute of Chicago that is on Monroe Street. Other free trolleys will be available and operated during special occasions like on Memorial Day.
The cost of a taxi from Union Station to Navy Pier is around $15. Instead, you can catch a bus that is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority. Because the cost of the bus ticket is just $3.
Grand Ave. is the train stop that is near Navy Pier. It’s an “L” station that’s part of the CTA’s Red Line.
Yes. You can walk from Navy Pier to Millennium Park via the Lakefront Trail in just about 30 minutes. The distance between these two spots is 1.2 miles.
There is no particular schedule for these free trolleys. However, most commonly, the trolley will be available every hour. It’s really hard to say how often the trolley runs but the time at which it starts is 10 AM and the service stops 30 minutes before the Navy Pier closes. The timings of this trolley service will be different on special days.
These are the things you shouldn’t miss out on while going on a tour to the Navy Pier in Chicago. Make sure to note down some important information like trains, bus numbers, streets, etc in order to make it easy for you to experience a great trip. This is all you need to know about Navy Pier before you visit this highly popular travel spot with your friends & family.