"While the cheesy majesty of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza leaves the town divided (I am firmly in the Giordano's camp but many folk swear by Lou Malnati's buttercrust), Chicago's neighborhoods really come into their own with international cuisine from every corner of the globe. Look out for great local cafes like Uncommon Ground (with outlets on N Clark and Devon) and local breweries -- any Goose Island outpost is a good sign -- for a real flavor of the city."
"Grab a free copy of the Chicago Reader (available at most big supermarkets and on street corners). It lists upcoming events, attractions and gigs across the city - and many times the summer festivals and local community events are free. Also check out the Chicago Cultural Center (the former library hall across from the Bean and Millenium Park) for talks, concerts and other cultural affairs."
"Chicago's parks are perfect for family outtings. Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Botanics (about 25 miles north of downtown) make perfect day trips for exploring. Shedd Aquarium is a world-class experience, as are most the museums nearby on Museum Campus, and will easily hold the attention of everyone from 7-70! The dolphin show and short film screenings break up the exhibitions nicely, and the cafe has a stellar view and decent kids meals."
"Kayak rental in summer is easy to come by, both downtown and on the northern neighborhood beaches. Get out on the big lake and get the city's best view. If you're brave, you can also visit the top of the Wills (aka Sears) Tower -- 108 storeys tall -- and stand in the glass boxes which slide out of the side of the building, giving you a unique birds eye view of the surrounding area!"
"Everyone should walk down the Miracle Mile (Michigan Avenue between Wabash and Oak) -- it's not only a quick hit guide to downtown, passing the famous Water Tower, Wrigley, Trump and Tribune Buildings, but gets increasingly upscale as you head north. Duck down the side streets at that end (toward Rush) and you'll find outposts for BHLDN, Tory Burch and Hermes, alongside red carpet mainstays such as Michael Kors, Prada and their ilk."
Affixed by stunning Lake Michigan and laden with awe-inspiring architecture, Chicago is more than just a big city. Besides its vibrant downtown area, which includes some of the tallest buildings in the world, Chicago has 26 miles of uninterrupted lakefront, hundreds of lively parks and 77 unique neighborhoods. It's this truly distinctive mix of incredible attractions and cultural allure that make Chicago one of the friendliest, most livable cities in America.
Chicago's neighborhoods represent more than 100 countries, and it's through this diversity and profound international culture that we are able to develop the country's best restaurants, theaters and museums.
Chicago has also developed a reputation as a must-visit destination for foodies. In fact, Chicago is one of only three cities in the country to have its culinary chops rated by the Michelin Guide, and in 2015, Chicago will have the honor to host the prestigious James Beard Awards for the first time in the foundation’s 25 year history.
With incredible shopping on The Magnificent Mile, world premiere performances in its famed Theater District and one of the country's most active nightlife scenes, Chicago is always buzzing. The city also vaunts more than 40 museums, five regional Tony Award-winning theaters and, no matter the season, there's always a professional sports team to cheer to victory. Chicago has it all for the urban explorer to discover.
As Chicago sits squarely in the center of the country and is equipped with two major international airports, visiting is easy. From sleek downtown properties to luxury boutiques, you will discover outstanding vacation rental accommodations for every style, family size, and budget.
Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, delicious deep dish pizza and the nostalgia of Wrigley Field are all compelling enough reasons to visit Chicago, but the city's most endearing quality is its people. With classic mid-western hospitality in abundance, it's easy to feel right at home in Chicago.
Enjoy your visit to Chicago.
Information provided by: Choose Chicago