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9 Places to Take Awesome Selfies in Chicago that Are Not the Bean

June 21, 2016 by CJ Schwartz
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Yes, we fully acknowledge that The Bean is amazing and a prime selfie spot, but, you’re anything but basic, so why should your Instagram feed look like everyone else’s?

Here are our top picks for some spots where your selfies will look great even with #nofilter.

Cindy’s Rooftop Bar

Photo Cred: https://www.instagram.com/caseyandrews77/
Photo Cred: @caseyandrews77

The “jewel in the crown of The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel”, Cindy’s is their acclaimed rooftop restaurant and open-air terrace which just happens to have panoramic views of Millennium Park, the Art Institute, and Lake Michigan. Opt out of the Willis Tower deck and snap a photo from this insanely gorgeous view of the city instead.

Address: 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Lincoln Park Zoo – South Pond Pavilion

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/aljotambourine/
Photo Credit: @aljotambourine

The South Pond Pavilion at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is a stunning architectural statement designed by Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects. The boardwalk and prefab pavilion are both good to look at and good to the environment. What more can you ask for?

Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Fulton Market Gateway

Photo Cred: https://www.instagram.com/jjlee.pixels/
Photo Credit: @jjlee.pixels

Tucked between rail tracks, I-90/94 and the Chicago River, Fulton Market is quickly turning from an industrial warehousing district to a hipster paradise. While this beautiful gateway and sign was initially a divisive issue, now that its installed, you may as well take advantage of it and grab a great pic before exploring the neighborhood.

Address: Fulton Street near Halsted Street

Kinzie Street Bridge

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/slots216/
Photo Credit: @slots216

The Kinzie Street Bridge is a single leaf draw bridge on the North Branch of the Chicago River. This designated Chicago Landmark is the site where the first bridge to cross the Chicago River was located. Snap some pics for both a great view of the river, and, the criss-crossed industrial vibes that dreams are made of.

Address: North Branch of the Chicago River

Milton Lee Olive Park

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/photographybygreenbird/
Photo Credit: @photographybygreenbird

Olive Park is located on the western side of the James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant on a man-made peninsula just north of Navy Pier. Lush grass. Amazing skyline views. The most serene spot in the city. It’s also a city favorite for engagement photos and you can see why.

Address: Adjacent to the Ohio Street Beach and Addams Park.

Pilsen 16th Street Murals

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/provokeculture/
Photo Credit: @provokeculture/

The best and most highly concentrated street art in Chicago is in Pilsen on 16th Street along the train tracks. These diverse and jaw-dropping murals are facilitated by Art in Public Spaces – a curatorial collaboration between
the Chicago Urban Art Society, National Museum of Mexican Art, and Pawn Works. You’d be hard-pressed to explore this vibrant art and not pose for pictures.

Address: The area bounded by 16th street to the north, the Chicago River to the east and Western Avenue to the west.

Belmont Harbor

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BHTRtUEgXCW/?taken-by=elabobak
Photo Credit @elabobak

Belmont Harbor, in the heart of Lincoln Park, is one of the largest harbors in the Chicago Harbors system. So throw on your best sailor or pirate garb, dip your toes into the water, and snap some pictures while musing on what you’d name your boat if you ever had one.

Address: 3600 Recreation Drive, Chicago IL, 60613

The Adler Planetarium

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/nick_ulivieri/
Photo Credit: @nick_ulivieri

A planetarium on an island with a breathtaking view of the city? What’s not to love? After you’ve gotten a gorgeous sunset picture head into the planetarium and check out their Adler After Dark programming.

Address: 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Agora Statues at Grant Park

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/agnes_a/
Photo Credit: @agnes_a/

So you’re in Grant Park and need help fighting the pull of The Bean? Head over to Agora — a group of 106 headless and armless iron sculptures at the south end of the park designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. You’ve never looked artsy-er or more fun than when you took playful pictures posing with these weird iron legs.

Address: S Michigan Ave & E Roosevelt Dr, Chicago, IL 60605