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Chicago (Illinois) Hotels and Apartments
Commonly known as the ‘Windy City’, more so for its past than for its weather conditions, Chicago is the second most visited city after New York within the states. With many visitors flocking to the city during its hot and humid summers and exploring the city under the crispy clear blue skies, the city certainly knows how to keep its visitors entertained with festivals, events and numerous attractions. Why not spend an afternoon enjoying the summer ambiance in Millennium Park taking silly pictures with the ‘Bean’ or relax on the beach before heading up the Hancock or Willis towers to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Chicago’s skyline. The sub zero temperatures throughout the winter might be tolerated by those looking for lower hotel rates, shorter queues to attractions and a skyline littered with icicles and snowy rooftops, perfect for a long Christmas getaway.
Whatever taste or budget, Chicago affords a collection of restaurants that is sure to leave your taste buds satisfied and your stomach bulging! The city is renowned for its deep dish pizza with its thick buttery crusts acting as a bowl to the large chunks of tomato and copious amounts of cheese. Giordano’s (730 North Rush Street) and Pizzeria Uno (29 E. Ohio Street) are just two of many restaurants serving the scrumptious pizza but be sure to get there early to avoid queues and with an empty stomach! Another of the city’s specialities is the Hot Dog, which was firstly introduced in 1983. Forty years later the Great Depression spurred on the true Chicago style Hot Dog with the full works including yellow mustard, green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear, peppers and celery salt all folded on a steamed seed bun. Superdawg, located on 6363 N. Milwaukee Av, is one of hundreds of restaurants offering these delicious snacks as well as many street vendors found throughout the city. The stereotypical diners and fast food restaurants can be found on practically any street corner. However, for those wishing to sample a more diverse range of global cuisine such as Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French and Cajun, branch out into the ethnic neighbourhoods for local restaurants and food markets offering these delicious delights. If you enjoy fine dining, panoramic city views, an inviting atmosphere and excellent service is more your thing, the Signature Room situated on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building, will definitely not disappoint. Afterwards, why not head over to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor to enjoy more of the spectacular views over refreshing cocktails.
Walking (or rather shopping) the ‘Mag’ mile ....
Chicago is a haven for serious shoppers looking to enjoy the upscale malls, designer boutiques, major department stores and quaint shops with every budget accommodated for. Head onto Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) for over 400 shops and department stores from high street to designer, the long stretch provides it all. The Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Avenue) provides 8 floors with over 100 shops from French Connection to Abercrombie & Fitch as well as a delicious Food Court designed to satisfy any hungry stomach. If unique boutiques and independent stores are more up your street then shopping in Old Town and Lincoln Park affords just this. Old Town offers Jumbalia (1429 N. Wells Street), a one of a kind store offering funky gifts, crafts and jewellery along with Lincoln Park providing the finest chocolate truffles at Vosges Haut Chocolate (951 W. Armitage Avenue), a chocolate lover’s paradise. Both neighbourhoods supply more than just shops and makes for a great afternoon exploring the gems hidden behind each corner. Located on Oak and Rush streets, the Gold Coast area should not be missed with stores such as Barney’s New York (15 E. Oak Street), Jimmy Choo (63 E. Oak Street) and Prada (30 E. Oak Street) as well as the fabulous architecture and views of Lake Michigan.
Zoo’s, beaches, stadiums, parks, museums.....is there anything this city doesn’t have?
Visitors will never be bored whilst staying in Chicago, with a range of attractions, sights, museums, beaches and a pier; it will be hard to fit everything in throughout your stay! Chicago takes a unique twist on the natural space provided in a city setting with Millennium Park. Presenting more than just an ice skating rink in the winter months, Millennium Park plays host to over 525 free festivals throughout the year. The kids will be entertained with the 50 foot glass block towers of the Crown Fountain spurting out water or fascinated with the ‘Bean’ sculpture, perfect for some interesting holiday snaps. The lively atmosphere of Navy Pier is one not to be missed. Greeting customers at the entrance is Pier Park, with its 150 foot ferris wheel and musical carousel, creating a lively carnival atmosphere. Further along the pier, live music, restaurants, shops, a theatre, cinema and several boat trips offering magnificent views of the Chicago skyline from the lake can also be found with many events scheduled throughout the year. Chicago is certainly one of the best cities in America for sports enthusiasts to visit with baseball, American football, basketball and hockey teams all providing their sports grounds in and around the city including Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks playing at the United Centre. People of all ages will enjoy spending time at the Lincoln Park Zoo, with the elephants, giraffe’s, rhinos and chimpanzees all on show daily and for free! After a busy morning exploring the many attractions and sights around the city, why not relax and soak up a few rays in one of the many beaches littering the shoreline of the city. Each one provides its own personality from the centrally located North Avenue Beach, prefect for beach volleyball or Ohio Street Beach, great to enjoy a spot of swimming. A trip to Chicago is not complete without taking the plunge onto ‘The Ledge’ sky deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). Four glass boxes extending 4.3 feet from the skyscraper, the ‘Ledge’ offers never seen before views of Chicago for an unforgettable experience.
Destinations in Chicago (Illinois)
Chicago (Illinois) Reviews
24 June 2011
Barry Trump, Newcastle UK
Fantastic city. NY, NY with manners
15 July 2011
Chicago beats New York for a city break.
Rob Anderson, Bedford, England
New York will always be special to me, as it was the location of my first trip to the States in 2000. However, I'd choose to go back to Chicago over NYC. It's quick & easy to get about on foot, the river is a great viewing point for the city's stunning architecture, and the lakeshore offers a further dimension. Shopping opportunities are many and various, and the range of restaurants and bars offers something for everyone, whilst the vibrant music scene is sensationally eclectic.
The best thing about my stay was ...
A photographer's dream