Navy Pier: Midwest's premier travel destination

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 7:57 PM CDT
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Believe it or not summer is starting to wind down. But there's still plenty of time to get in a last minute getaway, and you don't need to travel far to find the perfect escape.

"It’s a real treat, it's a treat and it's a treat just to come here even for someone who's only an hour and a half away,” said Rockford resident Carolyn Redenius.

You don't have to travel far from the Rockford area to find a last minute getaway.

“You don't see this in Rockford, let's put it that way,” said Rockford resident Diane Elliott.

Rockford residents Carolyn Redenius and Diane Elliott find Chicago’s Navy Pier the perfect place for a quick day trip.

"We were here a couple of years ago and it wasn't the same. There's a whole lot more I think, more things to do a lot more restaurants, a lot more people,” said Redenius.

"A lot of redevelopment's happened in the last few years. We've renovated the pier quite a bit. So, if you've been to Navy Pier a few years back and you're coming back to take a look again, it's a complete different place,” said Navy Pier Spokesperson Payal Patel.

The organization renovated the inside of the pier with a new, contemporary vibe. It's packed with more shopping and food options, but iconic features like the Centennial Wheel remain the focal point of the popular destination.

"You’re literally ascending, floating up into the clouds and getting an amazing view of the city skyline and the Lake Michigan, so truly there's nothing like it from that aspect. We are upgrading everything so that people can experience a little bit of today with a little splash of history as well,” said Patel.

"No matter how many times you come, something else looks new and there's a change,” said Redenius.

"We love taking the boat out into the lake and then seeing back into the city and navy pier and the Ferris wheel and the colors on the Ferris wheel and all that it's just wonderful,” said Navy Pier visitor Frank Larsen.

While the pier added several attractions over the years, construction is far from over. A seven story, 220 room hotel is in the works set to open next year.

"People in the Midwest, Chicago, and beyond have recognized that this a very unique place with a lot to offer and a lot of attractions. You can make a whole day out of it and then once the hotel is complete you can make a whole night out of it, you can extend your stay,” said Patel.

Whether you're from Florida or Rockford, Navy Pier is at the top of everyone's travel must- sees.

"As time goes along we'd probably come again because we know things are going to be a little different and there's going to be more to see,” said Redenius.

Chicago is a great city, Navy Pier is a great destination and I'd recommend it to anyone,” said Larsen.

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