Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago , Illinois
Concierge.com's insider take:
This 24.5-acre park, built on top of a former rail yard beside the Art Institute, is a welcome oasis downtown. Although the focal point is Frank Gehry's dramatic Jay Pritzker music pavilion, the real attraction is Spanish artist Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain: Digital faces of Chicago residents are projected onto the side of a 50-foot-high tower, and periodically, often to the surprise of onlookers, the faces spit water into a shallow pool. British sculptor Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, another popular sight, is a 66-foot-long, 33-foot-high ovaline sculpture that looks like a silvery reflective bead of mercury; it reflects the Chicago skyline and clouds above like a fun-house mirror. The park has an ice-skating rink in winter and a 300-space bike garage where two-wheel commuters can park, take a shower, rent or repair bikes, and grab a snack.