Breathtaking views, amazing architecture, a gigantic ferris wheel and much more — it’s no wonder why so many people fall in love with Chicago.
Start your trip out with the best views of the city, which are 412 metres or 103 floors up on the Skydeck Willis Tower — formerly known as the Sears Tower. The iconic building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. Its 103rd floor glass viewing platform, known as The Ledge, attracts more than 1.3 million visitors every year. The best time to visit is just after opening or after 5 p.m. For more information visit www.theskydeck.com.
After taking in the magnificent views prepare to hit the vibrant retail scene. The city is home to more than 250 Chicago-based fashion designers and 400 independently owned boutiques.
A Chicago shopping spree must include a visit to the famed Magnificent Mile along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Located on the mile are Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s alongside hundreds of specialty shops and boutiques. On nearby Oak Street is an international selection of apparel from Paris, Milan, New York and local selections from Chicago. This street is lined with intimate buildings and shops including Prada, Nicole Miller and more. State Street is in the heart of the loop, with flagship Macy’s. The store is an architectural and historical marvel with 10 floors of shopping.
If shopping is not your thing, there are plenty of other activities to choose from, including ballet, baseball, classical music, modern architecture to museums.
Sports nuts can take in a history of outstanding athletes by visiting the iconic Michael Jordan statue outside United Center, watch the Bears play on the lakefront in the dazzling combination of traditional and modern architecture that is Soldier Field or visit one of the oldest parks in the National League where the Cubs play in Wrigley Field.
Glorious Navy Pier is also a perfect example of Chicago’s glittering attractions. Visitors will enjoy more than 50 acres of parks. Each season offers great reasons to go a little overboard — from the thrilling 150-foot ferris wheel and AeroBalloon experience to special events like the Chicago Flower and Garden Show and Winter WonderFest.
When it’s time to give your feet a break, stop by the iconic Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain. The major display occurs every hour for 20 minutes and sprays water to a height of 150 feet from the ground. At dusk, the fountain’s water display is accompanied by a light and music display.
Don’t worry about going hungry while in Chicago. You could eat at a different restaurant every day for 20 years and never eat at the same one twice.
With more than 7,300 restaurants, Chicago’s sure to have many that suit your taste, budget and mood. Whether you’re looking for Chicago-style hotdogs or French haute cuisine, steaks or seafood, perogies or pizza, you can find them in Chicago. And they’ll be good.
For more information on planning a trip to Chicago visit www.explorechicago.org.