What do you get when you mix 3,300 feet of boardwalk, a musical carousel, movie theater, children’s museum, shopping, sightseeing tours and more than a dozen restaurants? Navy Pier and Navy Pier Park, of course.

Navy Pier features a variety of attractions, so tourists would be remiss to visit Chicago without checking out the historic pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

I recently became a Navy Pier tourist and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of activities the park offers for children and adults of all ages. Families with children will enjoy the dazzling rides in Navy Pier Park, while adults will appreciate the educational water taxi and sightseeing tours. With either option, visitors will be sure to catch some truly impressive views of downtown.

Couples can take advantage of romantic evening voyages by Entertainment Cruises. One ship, Odyssey Chicago, recently underwent a 2-million dollar renovation earlier this year. I’ll be visiting again later in the month, so be sure to check back soon for a post about my dinner cruise experience.

For those who prefer onshore dining, Navy Pier offers a broad mix of restaurants and eateries. However, if you go expecting the very best that Chicago has to offer in quality or value, you’ll probably be disappointed.

In fact, my favorite aspect of my visit to Navy Pier surprisingly had nothing to do with food. Indeed, the best part of my outing was ending it with a bang. Navy Pier displays fireworks on throughout the year. Check their calender for dates and times.

All Active Duty, Reserve, and Guard Military, as well as Military Families are welcome to take advantage of Navy Pier attractions at a discounted rate.  For more information about Navy Pier, including frequently asked questions, please visit www.navypier.com.