Chicago, aka The Windy City, is probably best known worldwide for its economic and cultural influences. There are famous architectural points, think Sears Tower and The John Hancock Building and of course the successful TV series ER, Chicago Hope and The Untouchables, continuing the Al Capone connections. Chicago in the state of Illinois has also featured in a wealth of acclaimed movies over the years.
The largest city in America’s Midwest actually has a 15 mile stretch of public beach and 29 miles of lake frontage which offers sporting opportunities aside from the Ryder Cup Golf which is held biennially at Medinah. Tuck into a Chicago-style hot dog or pizza and immerse yourself in the local culture and history;
Chicago is the home of a wide variety of music and concerts and is probably most famous for its blues and jazz scene. Several concert halls have been constructed throughout the city, such as the United Center and the House of Blues. Large facilities aside, depending on the time of year of the travel several music festivals take place in Chicago yearly. The Blues Fest, which is the largest free blues festival, takes place every year in Grant Park in June. Twisted, Mayhem Fest, Lollapalooza, and the World Music Festival all make stops in Chicago every year.
Because of Chicago’s large size, there are a wide variety of local bands. Several small bars in the downtown area have performance stages that feature up and coming bands. The Subterranean, Double Door, and the Empty Bottle feature bands several times a week and have schedules available online. Chicago is the city that gave us singing icons across all genres such as Peter Cetera, Anastacia, Lupe Fiasco and Curtis Mayfield. Get here for St Patrick’s Day and you’re guaranteed a fantastic time!
There are many museums located throughout Chicago, but the majority of them are located on Museum Campus. Museum Campus is located right on Lake Michigan, is beautifully landscaped, and close to train and bus stops. The campus contains several large museums including the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.
The Field Museum of Natural History is the most diverse museum on the campus and offers guests several nature and animal related attractions. The museum’s most famous attraction is Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most complete T-Rex on display in the world. The Nature Walk is also located inside the museum and features a variety of preserved animals in replicated habitats.
Sports and Activities
Several sports arenas are located in Chicago and house a variety of teams. The Chicago Bears play football in Soldier Field and the Chicago Bulls play basketball in the United Center.
Bike Cycling companies rent out bikes on a daily basis throughout the city and there are many bike paths located around the lake and Navy Pier. More paths for transportation are available near several parks and bus routes. Guided bike and food tours are also readily available.
Chicago-style pizza is a favourite among tourists and there are wide selections of restaurants to choose from, including Gino’s East, Giordano’s Pizza and Lou Malnati’s Pizzaria. Each slice is over two inches tall with rich tomato sauce placed on top of the cheese, rather than under it.
Several food festivals also take place in Chicago, primarily in the summertime. Most are specific food categories, such as Perogi Fest, Sausage Fest Chicago, and Roscoe Village Burger Fest.
Chicago is also home the Taste of Chicago. The Taste is the largest food festival in the entire world and hosted in Grant Park every June.
Chicago has established itself as the third biggest location of the movie industry in the US with some international hits and cult movies produced here.
Chicago is a featured in a countless movies and bus tours are available to take movie-lovers all around Chicago. These tours ensure that not only all of Chicagoland can be seen quickly. Guides point out locations where popular moves such as “Batman Begins”, “The Blues Brothers”, and cult favourite “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” were filmed. Tours usually last a few hours and travel through downtown, Chinatown, and Navy Pier.
By Julie Bowman