Chicago, Illinois is a great place to spend a day or a week. America’s third largest city is home to several world class museums, two great zoos, acres of terrific waterfront parks and many other great family attractions. Known as the "birthplace of the skyscraper", Chicago’s skyline is loaded with many of the world’s tallest buildings and architectural wonders, including Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower... America’s tallest. Chicago’s downtown area, "The Loop" is remarkably clean and compact for a city of its size.
The city’s bustling waterfront is home to countless museums and attractions. Three waterfront museums are within a very easy walk of each other. The renowned Adler Planetarium features the restored Gemini 12 Spacecraft flown by astronauts Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin. The Shedd Aquarium boasts sharks, jellyfish, corals and over 1500 species of marine life on the Lake Michigan Shore. The Field Museum of Natural History is home to "Sue", the world’s largest intact Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
Recently renovated, The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection include the famous "American Gothic" as well as Piccaso, Dali and other famous works. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Skydeck provides a stunning 360-degree view of Chicago from the 103rd Floor of the country’s tallest building. Glass-bottomed ledges have been added to heighten the excitement. The Hancock Observatory offers yet another view from above. A 140-second ride aboard the world’s fastest elevator transports riders to another panoramic view of the Windy City skyline.
The Navy Pier is one of America’s most bustling entertainment complexes. Built in 1916 to serve both recreational and commercial boats, this huge pier has undergone many incarnations before being renovated as a family entertainment destination in 1995. The Navy Pier has a diverse array of unique shopping and dining opportunities. The center of the pier includes a carousel and many other family amusement rides, with a 150-foot tall ferris wheel as its centerpiece. Music and entertainment is provided at a number of venues and there are free fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday night..
Most of Chicago’s many boat tours originate from the Navy Pier. The Tall Ship Windy is a great family adventure. The pirate-clad crew aboard this 4-masted schooner flies the Jolly Roger and allows their young passengers to fire the cannon and help hoist the sails on a one-hour Lake Michigan sail. "Shoreline" offers a quick half-hour Skyline Tour on Lake Michigan as well as a narrated Architectural Tour up the Chicago River past some of Chicago’s tallest and most interesting buildings.
Gray Line offers several tours which allows visitors to see much of the city in a short period of time. Gray Line provides a Grand Tour of Chicago as well as North Side, South Side and hop-on/hop-off trolley tours.
Every one of these attractions are accessible with the "Go Chicago" card from Smart Destinations. Available in 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 day versions, the Go Chicago Card allows visitors to visit Chicago’s top attractions at one special price with savings of up to 55% of the price of individual tickets. In addition to the attractions already mentioned, the Go Chicago card includes admission to the famous Brookfield Zoo, the Lincoln Park Zoo Carousel and Childrens Train, Legoland Discovery Center, Chicago Childrens Museum, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Architectural Foundation, Kohl Childrens Museum of Greater Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Museum of Contemporary Art, Arlington Park and much more. The card also provides many other discounts, freebies and perks at some of Chicago’s top stores, shops and restaurants like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and the House of Blues Chicago. The Go Chicago Card is ideal for families and those who spend their leisure days "on the go". To learn more about the Go Chicago card and any of the other Go Cards, visit smartdestinations.com or enter "Go Chicago Card" into your favorite browser.
Chicago is home to two Major League baseball teams, the Cubs and the White Sox. The Cubs play in the storied Wrigley Field. Built in 1914 at a cost of $250,000... Wrigley Field is situated in the middle of an early-1900s residential north-side neighborhood. The ballpark is surrounded by streets just a sidewalk’s width away on all four sides. The immediate neighborhood is filled with taverns and nightlife enjoyed by Cubs fans both before and after each game.
The White Sox play at US Cellular Field, formerly New Comiskey Park on Chicago’s South Side. The park opened in 1991 next to the site of the original Comiskey Park which had been the White Sox home for 81 years. In contrast to Wrigley, US Cellular Field is surrounded by spacious parking lots. While neighborhood nightlife is not as plentiful, fans are permitted to tailgate before each game.
Although the Cubs and White Sox rarely played each other before interleague play was introduced in 1997... their rivalry has simmered for more than a century, and their fans are intensely loyal. Chicago baseball fans are loyal to one team or the other... not both.
While Chicago can be difficult to navigate by automobile, its public transit system (The "L") is clean, inexpensive and easy to use, even for first-timers. Both US Cellular Field and Wrigley Field are easily accessible by the L’s Red Line.
Chicago has its own distinct music scene, particularly blues music. Small famous clubs like Blues Chicago, Buddy Guy’s Legends and B.L.U.E.S. dot the downtown streets. The House of Blues Chicago is another popular hotspot.
Music, history, culture, architecture, family entertainment... Chicago has it all.
CHICAGO PHOTOS - CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGES FOR FULL-SIZE IMAGES...
|CHICAGO SKYLINE||SKYLINE FROM CHICAGO RIVER||CHICAGO SKYLINE||THE "L"||THE "L"|
|ADLER PLANETARIUM||ADLER PLANETARIUM FROM AQUARIUM||GEMINI 12 - ADLER PLANETARIUM||GEMINI 12 - ADLER PLANETARIUM|
|SHEDD AQUARIUM||SHEDD AQUARIUM||SHEDD AQUARIUM||FIELD MUSEUM||"SUE" THE T.REX - FIELD MUSEUM|
|NAVY PIER||NAVY PIER||NAVY PIER||TALL SHIP WINDY - NAVY PIER||NAVY PIER FROM HANCOCK BUILDING|
|HARBOR TRAFFIC||HARBOR TRAFFIC||CNA BUILDING||SKYLINE||SKYLINE|
|MILLER'S PUB||SOLDIER FIELD||SKYLINE FROM WILLIS TOWER||SKYLINE FROM WILLIS TOWER||WILLIS TOWER - FORMERLY SEARS TOWER|
|LINCOLN PARK ZOO||MILLENNIUM PARK||"CLOUD GATE" SCULPTURE A.K.A. "THE BEAN"||SKYLINE FROM LAKE MICHIGAN|
|SKYLINE FROM HANCOCK BUILDING||SEURAT - ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO||DALI - ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO|
Wrigley Field - Home Of The Cubs...
US Cellular Field - Home Of The White Sox...