Chicago Travel Guide, Illinois
Founded in the early 1800s, Chicago is positioned between civilization and wilderness and many aspects of modern life had their start here. Chicago really does have it all, with less infrastructural problems than its coastal rivals.
Though residents complain about the cold weather that lasts almost through the whole year, at least on a winter day, they can duck into such popular clubs as Andy's, where there's hot jazz even at noon. The best time to visit is between May and October when the weather is the most predictable. Then you could head out to ivy-covered Wrigley Field to catch baseball's Cubs in action, or take a cruise boat under the bridges of the Chicago River at sunset.
If you want to visit a vibrant, energetic city that's rich in heritage, culture, entertainment, and commerce, Chicago runs right up there with the big dogs. You could start by visiting downtown which is the center for government, finance, and commerce of Chicago and is encircled by The Loop, named for the elevated train tracks that loop around the central area. Tall skyscrapers such as the world's second-tallest building, the Sears Tower, and the Chicago Board of Trade are landmarks for this part of town. The North Side of Chicago encompasses Chicago's premiere shopping district, the Magnificent Mile, many historic buildings and residential areas, at least four important museums, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Chinatown is located in Near South Side and don’t leave out South Side home to the beautiful Washington Park, The University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Chicago is home to internationally recognized names in the entertainment scene: the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, and Steppenwolf Theatre, Gutsy Steppenwolf Theater regularly showcase the talents of remarkable local actors. The Grammy-laden Chicago Symphony Orchestra is appreciated both at home and abroad and the Lyric Opera's lavish productions boast world-class singers and conductors. And let’s not forget film criticism, TV talk (who doesn't know Oprah!) and Second City Comedy Club whose talented performers have included the brilliantly funny Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Jim and the late John Belushi, Bill Murray, and George Wendt.
Chicago's self-image with criminal syndicates, run by gangsters like Al Capone, has faded as, these days, the tourist authorities play down the mobster era.
From those who enjoy arts to those who want to take in all the major museums and attractions, this city can satisfy your every request. There is a wide range of excellent museums (many of which have one day of free admission per week), restaurants, sports and highbrow cultural activities. Live music with a phenomenal array of jazz and blues is played in many clubs. The rock scene is also present with a prolific number of bands.
An excellent advantage the city offers is that almost everything is noticeably less expensive than in other US cities. For example, eating out, costs much less than in New York or LA, but is every bit as good.
With its beautiful skyline and views of Lake Michigan plus award-winning restaurants, its many architectural treasures, and some of the finest museums in the world, Chicago is a city to return to again and again.
Things about Chicago you may be interested in
Browse Chicago Travel Deals
- 3-star hotels in Chicago $55
- 4-star hotels in Chicago $59
- 3.5-star hotels in Chicago $83
- 5-star hotels in Chicago $269
Read our members' reviews about Chicago
- Cemitas Puebla
review by Shawnosaurus posted more then 30 days ago
If you're in Chicago, have any ability to move around, and love Mexican food, then you should try Cemitas Puebla. It's not a fancy place by any means, but they serve fantastically tasty food. Definitely try the namesake Cemitas! They come in a variety of flavours and are a delicious...
- Curiosities about Chicago
review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
The structures of today's Chicago were laid out by a number of the most important architects reconstructing the metropolis after the Great Fire. Daniel Burnham planned the primary visionary of urban diagram for a city, the 1909 Chicago plan. It was nicknamed 'Paris on the Prairie' and built-in...
Read our members' travel tips about Chicago
- Deep Dish Pizza
travel tip by cipristb posted more then 30 days ago
Deep Dish Pizza is the pride and speciality of Chicago. It appeareed in the 1940s in pizzerias and is very popular ever since. It was first done by a texan named Ike Sewer but now it is served in almost all the pizzerias of Chicago....
- Rossi's Liquors
travel tip by zangazanga posted more then 30 days ago
Rossi's Liquors is my favorite place in Chicago. It was very cosy and I loved it when I was there. It's the best dive bar I've been into, so far. The best thing is that it doesn't try to be anything that it's not, nothing more and...
- Coast Sushi Bar
travel tip by tibi posted more then 30 days ago
It is a great place for Sushi with average prices, so if you like Japanese food, here is a great possibility. You have to make sure you reserved a table before you would dare go there, otherwise you would have to wait a lot, there are...
Chicago City Ratings
Members Who Have Been to Chicago
Community Galleries About Chicago
Recent Chicago flights found by Travelgrove users
- $170 American Airlines
flighthub.com check price
From To Departure Time Columbus, OH (CMH) Chicago, IL (ORD) 10/01/2013 12:55 pm Chicago, IL (ORD) Columbus, OH (CMH) 10/16/2013 06:55 am
- $187 American Airlines
flighthub.com check price
From To Departure Time Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) Chicago, IL (ORD) 10/22/2013 02:30 pm Chicago, IL (ORD) Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) 10/29/2013 06:25 pm
- $221 Multiple Airlines
flighthub.com check price
From To Departure Time Philadelphia, PA (PHL) Chicago, IL (ORD) 07/09/2013 08:39 am Chicago, IL (ORD) Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 07/16/2013 01:50 pm