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Chicago, the "Windy City" as it is often called, lies along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is known for its vibrant arts scene, numerous cultural attractions, excellent shopping, and interesting architecture. Steely skyscrapers, top chefs, rocking festivals – the Windy City will blow you away with its low-key cultured awesomeness.

Chicago knows how to rock a festival. Between March and September it throws around 200 shindigs. The specialty is music. Blues Fest brings half a million people to Grant Park to hear guitar notes slide and bass lines roll, all for free. During the three-day Lollapalooza mega-party, rock bands thrash while the audience dances in an arm-flailing frenzy. Smaller, barbecue-scented street fests take place in the neighborhoods each weekend – though some rival downtown for star power on their stages (oh, hey, Olivia Newton-John at Northalsted Market Days).

Chicago is a maniacal sports town, with a pro team for every season, the Chicago White Sox and Cubs in baseball, the Chicago Bears in American football, and the Chicago Bulls in basketball. Watching a game is a local rite of passage, whether you slather on the blue-and-orange body paint for a Bears football game, join the raucous baseball crowd in Wrigley Field's bleachers, or plop down on a bar stool at the neighborhood tavern for whatever match is on TV. Count on making lots of spirited new friends. Should the excitement rub off and inspire you to get active yourself, the city's 26 beaches and 580 parks offer a huge array of play options.

The city enjoys a worldwide reputation as a focal point of 20th century architecture and art, with architects such as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, and artists like Picasso, Mirõ, Dubuffet, and Chagall having left their mark.

High-flying architecture is everywhere, from the stratospheric, glass-floored Willis Tower to Frank Gehry's swooping silver Pritzker Pavilion to Frank Lloyd Wright's stained-glass Robie House. Whimsical public art studs the streets; you might be walking along and wham, there's an abstract Picasso statue that's not only cool to look at, you're allowed to go right up and climb on it. For art museums, take your pick: impressionist masterpieces at the massive Art Institute, psychedelic paintings at the mid-sized Museum of Mexican Art or outsider drawings at the small Intuit gallery.

  1. Art Institute of Chicago - The Art Institute of Chicago is a world class museum with hundreds of thousands of artworks. The diverse collection spans thousands of years and includes pieces from a variety of media including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, architectural drawings and more. The Institute is known for its collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings including Georges Seurat's 1884 "A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte," Renoir's 1879 "Acrobats at the Circque Fernando" and numerous paintings by Claude Monet.The main building, designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge in beaux-arts style, was built for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Several other buildings have been added on over the years and today the complex measures 400,000 square feet.
  2. Millennium Park - Millennium Park is located in downtown Chicago bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North and Monroe Street to the South. The main features of Millennium Park include the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue; the interactive Crown Fountain; Lurie Garden; and the Cloud Gate sculpture on the AT&T Plaza.
  3. Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile - Michigan Avenue is probably one of the most attractive boulevards in America. The city's famous Magnificent Mile is a section of Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River, with numerous galleries, boutiques and luxury shops. Some of the attractions along here include the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower. Michigan Avenue splits between North and South designations at Madison Street.
  4. Navy Pier - The Navy Pier originally opened in 1916 as an amusement area and shipping facility but is now one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. Today, the Navy Pier is made up of 50 acres of gardens, attractions, shops, restaurants, concert venues, and parks. There is a 150 ft Ferris wheel and an historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Visitors can also watch a film at the 3D Imax Theater, watch actors perform the classics at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or visit Crystal Gardens, a one-acre, six-story, indoor botanical garden. Also located here is the Chicago Children's Museum. The Pier hosts year-round festivities, including the Chicago Festival in August. Cruise ships leave from here on various sightseeing excursions.
  5. Wrigley Field - Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, was built in 1914. The stadium seats 39,000 people and is the second-oldest ballpark in the majors.
  6. Shakespeare Theater - The Shakespeare Theater in Chicago has a permanent facility at the Navy Pier. The seven-story, glass curtain-walled theater houses a 500 seat courtyard theater and a 200 seat flexible black box theater.
  7. Museum of Science and Industry - At the north end of Jackson Park is the Museum of Science and Industry, founded in 1933, and arguably the most impressive museum in Chicago. It is devoted to the application of natural laws in technological and industrial development. The museum is thought to be the first in the U.S. to incorporate the idea of "hands-on" exhibits. Visitors are encouraged to interact with hundreds of exhibits. The MSI features permanent and changing exhibits, as well as an OMNIMAX theater.
  8. Field Museum of Natural History - Originally called the Columbian Museum of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History was founded in 1893 to showcase the biological and anthropological collections gathered for the World Columbian Exposition. The name changed in 1905 to honor Marshall Field, the department store owner, art patron, and major benefactor of the museum. The permanent collection features approximately 20 million artifacts and specimens covering a variety of disciplines including geology, botany, zoology and anthropology. Of special note are the permanent displays on Ancient Egypt and the cultures of North, Central and South America and "Sue," the world's largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Special rotating exhibits take place on a regular basis throughout the year.
  9. Lyric Opera of Chicago - The Lyric Opera of Chicago offers a full opera season, from October to March, with well known classics. It began in 1954 and is today world-renowned.
  10. Oriental Institute Museum - The Oriental Institute Museum, located on the University of Chicago campus, is dedicated to the archeology and art of the Near East. Some of the antiquities on display include finds from excavations in Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Turkey, and Israel.
  11. Willis Tower SkyDeck - Until 1996, when the Petronas Towers were built in Kuala Lumpur, the 110 story Sears Tower, now Willis Tower, was the world's tallest office block. While there are now several taller buildings, the view from here is incredible. On a clear day you can see 40 to 50 miles over four states, and gain a bird's eye view of Chicago's impressive architecture.The Willis Tower took three years to build and was opened to the public in 1974. The building is 1,453 feet tall with an observation area, called the SkyDeck, on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet above the ground. A glass box with a glass floor, known as the Ledge, juts out from the SkyDeck, where visitors can stand and look directly down at the city below.If this is your first visit to Chicago, the SkyDeck is a must-do. Buy your Chicago SkyDeck Tickets in advance to experience the Ledge, explore the exhibits, and watch a short video on the history of the building.
  12. Garfield Park Conservatory - Built in the early 1900s, the Garfield Park Conservatory is an historic, publicly owned botanical garden, operated by the Chicago Park District. The gardens grow plants which are used in the numerous city parks and gardens. The glass and metal prairie-school structure was designed by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen. His revolutionary design has been referred to as "landscape art under glass".Some of the highlights include the Children's Garden, the Demonstration Gardens, and the Monet Garden, based on Claude Monet's garden at Giverney, France.
  13. John Hancock Center -The John Hancock Center stands 1,125 ft high and is easy to recognize by its dark metallic looking exterior and cross-braced steel design which runs up the outside of the building. As well, two 345 ft high telecommunications aerials project up from the roof. Visitors can enjoy the views from the 94th floor observatory. The building, constructed in 1970, contains a variety of shops, offices and apartments.
  14. Lincoln Park - Lincoln Park is a 6 mile stretch of green space along the edge of Lake Michigan, and Chicago's biggest park. This popular park is home to the lovely Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country. Also located here are the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Chicago History Museum. For those who simply want to enjoy the outdoor space there are playing fields, bike trails, jogging paths, and beaches. Visitors can see a number of significant statues and pieces of public art within the park grounds including Augustus Saint Gaudens' Standing Statue of Lincoln (1887).
  15. The Rookery Building - The Rookery Building was designed by architects Daniel Burnham and John Root in 1888, but the interior lobby and patio were remodelled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. This 12 story building has a Roman Revival and Queen Anne style facade but it is the inside and courtyard that are the true gems. The Rookery, named for the large number of pigeons that frequented the building, is listed on the Register of National Historic Places.
  1. Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar - Hybrid liquor store & neighborhood tavern supplying a large rotating menu of rare craft beers.

Address: 960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608, USA. Phone:+1 773-890-0588

  1. The Violet Hour- Cocktail Bar

Creative cocktails & small bites define this sophisticated, stylish bar.

Address: 1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA. Phone:+1 773-252-1500

  1. The AviaryBar

Swanky cocktail lounge with intricate drinks in super creative presentations & clever small bites.

Address: 955 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA. Phone:+1 312-226-0868

  1. Three Dots and a Dash. Cocktail Bar

Tiki drinks (flaming options included), 200+ rums & luau bites in a retro Polynesian-island setting.

Address: 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA. Phone:+1 312-610-4220

  1. Delilah's ChicagoBar

Bar with more than 300 varieties of whiskey plus movie nights & DJs spinning punk/rock/ska music.Address: 2771 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. Phone:+1 773-472-2771

  1. AlineaAmerican Restaurant

Chef Grant Achatz draws foodies with New American tasting menus featuring highly creative plates.Address: 1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, USAPhone:+1 312-867-0110

  1. The Purple PigAmerican Restaurant

Adventurous small plates plus house-cured meats & a lengthy wine list in small, lively quarters.

Address: The Shops at North Bridge, 500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Phone:+1 312-464-1744

  1. Au Cheval, American Restaurant

The open kitchen at this upscale "diner" works with ingredients ranging from bologna to foie gras.

Address: 800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA. Phone:+1 312-929-4580

  1. Girl & The Goat, Brunch Restaurant

Hot spot where Stephanie Izard serves up innovative small plates from a dramatic open kitchen.

Address: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA. Phone:+1 312-492-6262

  1. Acadia, American Restaurant

An airy, upscale restaurant serving seasonal New American dishes inspired by coastal Maine.

Address: 1639 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. Phone:+1 312-360-9500

Chicago is a walking city with an easy-to-navigate downtown grid. Madison Street divides the city north and south, while State Street divides it east and west. The State/Madison intersection marks the origin of Chicago's address grid system. Addresses are relative to the distance from that mark, with eight blocks to every mile. So an address of 3600 North Clark means that it is 36 blocks north of Madison.

CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the nation's second largest public transportation system – serving the City of Chicago and 40 neighboring communities by rail and bus. Pay cash for single trip rides or purchase a reloadable Ventra Transit Card or Unlimited Ride Pass for added savings.

L' Trains: Not all of Chicago's eight ‘L' lines are "elevated." They do, however, connect the city via above-ground, street-level and subway trains and serve 144 rail stations all over town, making the ‘L' one of the most efficient and affordable methods of transportation available. Two lines operate 24 hours a day: the Blue Line, which connects the airport and downtown, and the Red Line, with service between the North and South Sides via downtown.

Buses: More than 100 routes lace the city; buses stop every few blocks. Several lines operate 24 hours a day. Exact change is required for cash fare.

Acceptable on buses using exact change only in dollar bills or coins; no transfers available.

Single ride: $2.25

TAXIS- Taxis are plentiful and easy to hail downtown, at the airports and throughout many Chicago neighborhoods. You can also electronically hail (E-Hail) a taxicab through a mobile app. CHICABS offers safe and secure options for a Chicago taxicab ride. CHICABS approved apps ARRO and CURB also let passengers electronically pay (E-Pay) for the taxicab fare through the app.

Credit cards are accepted in all taxi cabs by city mandate. It is standard to tip the driver about 15-20% of the fare, plus $1-2 per bag if the driver helps you with luggage. Sample taxi fare between downtown and O'Hare Airport is $40-50, and between Midway Airport is $30-35 (tip not included).

WATER TAXIS - For fast, affordable and fun connections between Chicago's top tourist destinations, Chicago Water Taxi by Wendella Boats and Shoreline Water Taxi are the perfect combination of sightseeing and convenient transportation. During the warm weather season, travel on these fun water rides to popular visitor sites such as Chinatown, Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue, Union Station and more.

Fares : Single ride: $3.00-8.00 and Day pass: $11.00-29.00

  1. Art Institute of Chicago:Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Phone:+1 312-443-3600
  2. Millennium Park:Address: 201 East Randolph Street, Chicago. Phone:+1 312-742-1168
  3. Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile:Address:Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USAPhone:-
  1. Navy Pier:Address: 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago Phone:+1 312-595-7437
  2. Wrigley Field :Address:1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA. Phone:+1 773-404-2827
  1. Shakespeare Theater:Address: 800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago. Phone:+1 312-595-5600
  2. Museum of Science and Industry:Address: 5700 South Lakeshore Drive, Chicago Phone:+1 773-684-1414
  3. Field Museum of Natural History:Address: 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Phone:+1 312-922-9410
  4. Lyric Opera of Chicago:Address: 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago. Phone:+1 312-332-2244
  5. Oriental Institute Museum:Address: 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago Phone:+1 773-702-9520
  6. Willis Tower SkyDeck:Address: 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago Phone:+1 312-875-9447
  7. Garfield Park Conservatory:Address: 300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago Phone:+1 312-746-5100
  8. John Hancock Center:Address: 875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Phone:+1 312-751-3680
  9. Lincoln Park:Address:North Side, Chicago, Illinois Phone:-
  1. The Rookery Building:Address: 209 South LaSalle Street, Chicago Phone:+1 312-553-6100
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Your Best Choice for Accommodation in Chicago