With over 2,500,000 residents, and 35,000 tourists visiting each year, Chicago is never a quiet town. The Windy City is home to a melting pot of cultures with plenty of activities and events to keep visitors entertained. Vacations can often feel like they fly by, so here are some of Chicago’s ABC’s to get a well-rounded experience during your trip.
A is for Art
Chicago is home to a well-known art scene. The Art Institute of Chicago holds one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings and several famous pieces such as Water Lilies by Claude Monet and American Gothic by Grant Wood. Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater at the Navy Pier is home to the playwright’s classics as well as many other traveling performances. Do not forget to head down to Millennium Park and see your reflection in the statue Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, better known as “The Bean.”
B is for Buildings
The Willis Tower and John Hancock Tower both offer an amazing view overlooking the entire city, and each has recently made thrilling new additions. The Willis Tower hosts floating glass boxes that you can walk out onto, and The John Hancock Tower has “The Tilt,” a contraption that tilts you 45 degrees towards the buildings below. Book a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago like the Intercontinental Chicago or the Omni Chicago Hotel, and stay right off of Michigan Avenue, which is in walking distance to all of the major attractions.
C is for Chicago Grub
The city is home to some amazing restaurants owned by celebrities and talented chefs. You cannot go wrong at swanky places like Next and Michael Jordan’s Steak House. You can get some great Chicago grub on a budget too. Check out Portillo’s for a classic Chicago style hot dog or grab some delicious deep dish pizza at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company. There are also many local breweries in the area such as Goose Island Pub and the Atlas Brewing Company. Call ahead to book a tour to see the behind the scenes of how these craft beers are made.
D is for Dolphins (and other animals)
While Chicago is an urban city, tourists can still enjoy seeing a wide array of wildlife. At the Lincoln Zoo, you can visit everything from giraffes, lions, and monkeys, to domestic animals like cows and pigs. They host special events often, so check before you visit to see if they are hosting events like an “Adult’s Night Out,” or safari tours. Across town, near the Navy Pier, you can visit the Shedd Aquarium – an indoor aquarium home to over 8,000 animals. Check out the aquatic show and see flips and tricks by the beluga whales, sea lions, and dolphins.
And “E” is for Everything Else! The attractions above are certainly not the only things to see and do in Chicago! Go shopping on the Magnificent Mile or catch a baseball game at Wrigley Field. While planning makes for a smooth trip, Chicago is also a great city to just walk around and explore. You never know what you might stumble upon in the Windy City.