Chicago is a city of museums and galleries, attractions large and small, awesome architecture and vast city parks, magnificent shopping and a constant line up of events and festivals for just about every age and palate. The Windy City, as it is often called, also has much to offer in the sporting sphere and let's not forget the beautiful lakefront beaches.
Visit the Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the USA, and step out onto The Ledge, a suspended glass box at the Skydeck Chicago observatory that is more than 1,000 feet in the air. Or, head to 360 Chicago and brace yourself for TILT!, a moving glass enclosure that leans you over the edge of the John Hancock Centre. If you prefer to view Chicago's architectural wonders from a lower level, consider a boat tour along the Chicago River or on Lake Michigan.
Many cruises depart from Navy Pier, a tourist hotspot which features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and Pier Park, where you'll find a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, an old-fashioned swing-ride and a whimsical musical carousel.
With more than 40 museums that engage and enlighten, you're sure to find something that sparks an interest. On Chicago's Museum Campus you can visit the bottom of the sea at the Shedd Aquarium, or soar to the moon at the Adler Planetarium, before heading to the Field Museum whose exhibits include the most complete T-rex skeleton. Art aficionados can check out the large collection of works at the renowned Art Institute of Chicago or try the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
During the summer months Chicago's lakefront beaches and parks are popular haunts. The North Shore is particularly renowned for its spectacular sandy beaches, lively playgrounds and scenic jogging or biking trails. You'll also find the Chicago Botanic Garden here along with amazing retail offerings at Westfield Old Orchard, Northbrook Court and the Glen Town Centre. Millennium Park is Chicago's premier green space and includes the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the interactive Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden and the Cloud Gate sculpture.
Chicago is a passionate sporting city, with top teams and star players. Wrigley Field has been home to the Chicago Cubs since 1916 and the stadium is one of the oldest ballparks in operation. Soldier Field is another legendary sporting arena, being home to the Chicago Bears, and on weekdays behind the scenes tours are available.
Any shopping adventure should begin on the Magnificent Mile, a history-packed section of Michigan Avenue that teems with shops, restaurants and entertainment gems. Chicago's Loop is anchored by State Street, where you can stroll through Macy's, while other retail treats await you in tree-lined Lincoln Park, the bustling Lakeview districts or eclectic Wicker Park and Bucktown.
- Awesome architecture
- Superb museums
- Lakefront beaches
- Innovative parks
- Magnificent shopping
- Iconic sporting venues