Chicago's Navy Pier is the city's most popular tourist attraction. On the outside, it looks like any other tourist trap - shops, ferris wheel, food etc. I would argue though, that the view from Navy Pier is better than many other tourist attractions... sweeping views of both the skyline and Lake Michigan. What you might not know is that the pier actually housed Navy personnel during World War I, hence it's current name.
Today, Navy Pier attracts nearly 10 million people annually and serves as a major source of entertainment, shopping, and dinning. During the summer months, every Wednesday and Saturday Navy Pier hosts a spectacular fireworks show. You can view them for free on the dock, or hop aboard one of the piers evening cruises and enjoy the show from a boat with a one of a kind skyline in the background.
Navy Pier Fireworks: Every Wednesday (9:30pm) & Saturday (10:15pm) during the summer.