Chicago, or “The Windy City” as it is often called, has all of offerings you’d expect from a major city: world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts, great nightlife districts and fantastic cuisine. According to a recent study by air charter company, StratosJets, Chicago is more friendly to tourists than any other city in the US.
We’re making our own trip to Chicago this week to take part in the Henry Stewart DAM Conference, and wanted to share a list of our ten favourite things about the city. If you’re in town, stop by our booth at the conference, or perhaps we’ll run into you at one of our favourite hotspots:
- Lakefront trail – Running along 18 miles of Lake Michigan, the Chicago Lakefront Trail connects a plethora of beaches and amenities. This trail is a must-see for cycling enthusiasts and runners.
- Oak Street Beach – A Chicago hotspot during the summer, Oak Street Beach boss several cafes, volleyball courts and spectacular views of the city skyline.
- Lincoln Park Zoo – One of the oldest zoos in the United States, Lincoln Park Zoo is spread out over 35 acres near North Lake Shore Drive. The zoo’s exhibits include big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, monkeys and other species totally nearly 1,100 animals.
- Chicago-style pizza – You can’t visit Chicago without enjoying an authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. We recommend checking out Pizzeria Uno, Pizano’s Pizza, The Art of Pizza and Burt’s Place.
- Taking selfies in front of “The Bean” – Formally known as Cloud Gate, this public sculpture by Indian-born British artist, Anish Kapoor, is the centrepiece of AT&T Place at Millennium Park. If you visit Chicago, you must make time to stop by to take a selfie or two.
- Lyric Opera of Chicago – The Lyric Opera of Chicago offers a full opera season, from October to March, with well known classics.
- Second City comedy theatre – The Second City is a comedy dynasty started in Chicago and later spread out to Toronto and Los Angeles. The Second City has produced television programs in both the United States and Canada including SCTV. The Second City has launched some of this generation’s greatest comedians and comediennes. Check their lineup and order tickets to see a great comedy show while you’re in town.
- Intelligentsia Coffee – Started in Chicago in 1995, this coffee hotspot is known by locals as having some of the best brewed coffee and lattes in town.
- Art Institute of Chicago – Located in Grant Park, this institute features a collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art in its permanent collection. Current exhibitions include Charles Ray, Deana Lawson, Liz Larner and James McNeill Whistler. If you’re looking for something different – check out The Oriental Institute Museum, featuring finds from excavations in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Israel.
- Garrett Popcorn – Most Chicagoans have no doubt been to a Garrett Popcorn shop. The popular popcorn chain just celebrated a 66th anniversary this week. While you’re in town, make sure you pick up a bag of one of their wildly popular flavours like CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn.
Bonus tourist tips:
– Don’t want to give yourself away as a tourist? If you buy a hot dog from a street vendor and squirt any ketchup on it, you’ll probably get dirty looks. Chicagoans do not under any circumstances put ketchup on their hot dogs.
– Don’t buy Cubs tickets in advance. Show up shortly before the first pitch for a discount.