Cloud Gate in Chicago

Chicago’s Cloud Gate, known as “The Bean”, is perhaps what most visualize when they hear “Chicago”.

One of The Windy City’s most popular sights, Cloud Gate is an oblong-shaped, stainless steel sculpture that sits upon the AT&T Plaza at 201 E. Randolph St. in Millenium Park. The famous downtown Loop structure reflects Chicago’s incredible skyline and surrounding Millennium Park. When you visit, you’ll want to snap a picture in front of "The Bean", which invites visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and marvel at its reflections of the city and its people.

Crowd gathered for Caroling at Cloud Gate in Chicago, IL, USA

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/MillenniumParkChicago/photos/gm.2488984804704872/10157847986266289

Who Built Cloud Gate?

Cloud Gate was designed by Indian-born British sculptor, Sir Anish Kapoor, who is internationally renowned for his large-scale works. The Bean was Kapoor’s first permanent public outdoor work in the United States and is considered his most famous. During the sculpture’s construction, renderings of the design were shared with the public who began to call it “The Bean”. Kapoor titled the piece “Cloud Gate” because its 12-foot-high arch serves as an entrance to the park through its concave chamber, as well as because it reflects the sky above the park. Moreover, the reflective silver surface was inspired by liquid mercury. 

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How Was The Bean Made?

Revealed in 2004 to the Chicago public, Cloud Gate stands 33 feet high, 42 feet wide, and 66 feet long. The stainless steel piece weighs about 110 tons. Cloud Gate was created “using computer technology to cut 168 massive stainless-steel plates into precise shapes which were then pieced together like a puzzle” and welded shut. Two large internal rings connect a truss that channels weight to two points at the base. Also, flexible connectors allow the stainless steel cover to expand and contract as weather conditions vary. 

Where to Park Near Cloud Gate 

There is ample garage parking near Cloud Gate, and many nearby hotels offer valet service. What’s more, some of the area hotels offer discounted parking or have packages available that include overnight parking.

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Public Transportation Near The Bean

Use any of these Chicago Public Transit routes to get to The Bean

  • By Bus: 147, 151, 56, 6
  • By Train: Exit at Millenium Station.
  • By Chicago “L” Subway:

From the Blue and Red Line subways, take the exit at Monroe or Washington and walk two or three blocks east. 

From the Green, Orange, Brown, Pink and Purple Line Express elevated lines, exit at Washington/Wabash and walk two blocks east.

Where to Eat Near Cloud Gate 

Breakfast & Coffee

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Lunch & Dinner 

Cultural Institutions Near The Bean 

Navy Pier

With so many attractions such as the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the iconic Centennial Wheel, theme park rides, and the Chicago Children’s Museum, guests of all ages will love the Navy Pier. You can also capture views of the river, the city skyline, play a round of mini golf, catch a movie in the Navy Pier IMAX at the AMC, and much more. Look out for concerts, free events, and seasonal events as well.

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Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile boasts incredible shopping, dining, accommodations, and entertainment choices that fit any budget. Whether you're searching for affordable fashion or designer boutiques, you can find it all strolling down North Michigan Avenue. This scenic district enables visitors to see attractions such as the Chicago Sports Museum, the Historic Water Tower, art galleries, theaters, bars, gourmet food, and beyond!

At the end of the day, stroll along the Chicago River and grab a bite at any of the dozens of eateries nearby. Also, you can find more than 70 hotels in or near the district.

view of chicago skyline at sunsetArt Institute of Chicago

One of the nation's most respected museums, the Art Institute of Chicago boasts incredible pieces by artists such as Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grant Wood, and Pablo Picasso. This world-class art museum reflects a myriad of mediums, genres, and time periods and is a must-see for any art lover. View celebrated collections of art, architecture, design, photography, decorative arts, and beyond. Home to over 300,000 pieces from across the world, guests can see iconic works as well as lesser-known gems. 

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Museum of Illusions Chicago

Prepare to experience mind-altering exhibits that will test your sense of reality at the Museum of Illusions Chicago. The center hosts over 80 incredible exhibits that seemingly clone, tilt, isolate, and shrink you and your friends, among other sensations.

Where to Stay Near Cloud Gate

If you’re looking for well-rated, comfortable hotels near The Bean, look into any of these popular Chicago options: 


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Written By Talena

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