There are many reasons a person may visit Chicago, including one’s leisure time, a vacation destination and one’s need to conduct business. During that visit to Chicago, there are many things to see and do. Here are some of the highlights of the city which may guide one to best spend his or her time in the Windy City.
First and foremost, Chicago has entertainment in many forms. Chicago is a great destination for finding musical entertainment in the form of concerts and club performances, live theater, and other forms of live entertainment. Nightlife includes clubs and bars to pass the night away as Chicago – unlike most other cities throughout the world - stays open very, very late. Sports fanatics have their pick, if they time it right. With Chicago’s Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Fire, and more – including university sports teams – there is likely to be something sports-wise going on when one is in town.
Culturally, Chicago offers the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, the Broadcast Museum, and so many more offerings. The skyscrapers and incredible buildings throughout the city – primarily in the downtown area – have open sky decks to view the city from up high. The entire eastern edge of the city is bordered by Lake Michigan which gives fantastic views of the waters, the boats, and – depending on where one is along the coastline – the city’s skyline. Visiting some of the countries’ finest educational facilities is a possibility as well, with UIC, Northwestern, and DePaul all within a reasonable distance of the downtown area. A visitor can take a walk down one of the world’s most famous financial districts right in Chicago’s loop by venturing down LaSalle Street past the banks and a visit to the Board of Trade.
Naturally, Chicago hopes you’ll spend some time shopping and dining while in the city. The top shopping area in the city is the famed Magnificent Mile – Michigan Avenue. From the well-known stores to the local shops, one finds Michigan Avenue to be a haven for the born-shopper. There is Navy Pier located not far off the Magnificent Mile for more shopping and entertainment experiences. Restaurants throughout the city, many known throughout the world, are available to Chicago visitors. Of course, there is a wide selection of restaurants to experience authentic Chicago-style deep pan pizza which is a favorite among locals as well as visitors. Chicago also has some of the world’s finest hotels waiting for those who will be spending extended time in the city.
Chicago has unlimited touring opportunities. Tours and travels can be taken by bus, horse and buggy, a networked bicycle system, the CTA – including the famous “L” trains (elevated trains), taxis seen just about everywhere, and more. Heading in any direction from the downtown (loop) area, there are neighborhoods throughout the city. Many of the neighborhoods have their own culture. Venturing out of the downtown area, one can see Chinatown to the south, the Hispanic area in Little Village with Chicago’s second-busiest shopping district along 26th Street on the southwest side, the Polish neighborhood to the city’s northwest area, the Asian communities to the north, the Hyde Park neighborhood to the south near President Barack Obama’s Chicago home in Kenwood, and more. Every community has its wide assortment of churches and religious facilities available for viewing and visiting.
Those who prefer to stay outdoors during their visit have many choices besides walking from store to store in the shopping districts across the city. Chicago has several public beaches along Lake Michigan for summer visitors. The city is also well-known for its public parks including Grant Park at loop/downtown level where there are many public offerings including the Taste of Chicago as well as concerts and fests that occur throughout the spring, summer and fall. A tourists’ and locals’ favorite is a stop at Buckingham Fountain which engages its brilliant display from spring through fall. To the north along the lake, there is Lincoln Park Zoo located in the well-known and vast Lincoln Park area of the city.
Of course, if one visits the city during one of Chicago’s many celebrated holidays, there is probably a parade to be viewed – where you just might see some of Chicago’s and Illinois’ most famous as well as infamous politicians. Anytime, one can see where Chicago’s and Illinois’ often-infamous politics takes place at City Hall and the James Thompson Center in the loop. City, state, and Cook County forms of business are all conducted in the center of the city.
Of course, if you are new to Chicago, there may be some unpleasant surprises in store, as well. For that reason, the article “Bad Chicago” has been published as well. Knowing what to avoid or watch out for can make one’s trip to Chicago a much more pleasurable experience. Please take time to view “Bad Chicago” to have a safe and hopefully less-costly time in Chicago.
This is a developing project. Check back for more of "The Best of Chicago" soon.