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A perfect blend of high society and casual cool, America’s third-largest city has been making its case as a bucket-list destination for years. Architecture lovers can gawk at some of the world’s tallest buildings, while artists, sports fans and foodies will be busy soaking in their own world-class attractions. With a little something for everyone, the Windy City is a remarkable urban getaway that somehow hasn’t lost its small town feel.

Magic Mile

Considered one of the world’s great thoroughfares, the famed Magnificent Mile is the perfect introduction to the Midwest’s largest city. From high-end boutiques, to sights like the Historic Water Tower (now a gallery) and Pumping Station, a stroll down the flower-lined boulevard offers the chance to bask in Chicago’s low-key, but cosmopolitan vibe. Head to the observation deck at the top of the John Hancock Center – dubbed 360 Chicago – for panoramic views of the cityscape and lakefront. Millennium Park is another must-see: an iconic green space boasting public art, gardens, monuments, and the wildly photo-friendly sculpture known as the Bean.

Chicago's iconic lakefront statue, The Bean, at night


Loving the Lake

Head east from Millennium Park and you’ll quickly find yourself on the shores of Lake Michigan, where nature loving visitors can really let loose. Kayak Chicago offers paddleboard and kayak rentals that allow you to see the skyline from a whole new perspective, whether you’re in the open lake waters or cruising between the downtown high-rises on the Chicago River. Sunset and firework tours are available. Sport fishing is also on the menu as the many charters lining Lake Shore Drive are available for top-notch salmon and trout excursions. Of course, if you would rather stay on dry land, urban anglers can head to local hotspots along the Chicago River for plentiful bass, carp, crappie, and bluegill without leaving the city limits.

Hiking and Biking the City

Winding along the shores of Lake Michigan for 18-miles, the Lakefront Trail is heaven for hikers and bikers who want to stretch their legs while still taking in some of Chicago’s must-see sights. Spanning the relatively quiet scenery of Foster Beach in the north, to the country club feel of South Shore, the route passes by Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo and plenty of sandy stretches giving you ample opportunity to enjoy the ride at your own pace. The South Shore Nature Sanctuary and farther afield destinations like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Fox River Trail in Aurora make for excellent, nature-friendly day trips.

A view of the Chicago pier and skyscraper buildings


World Class Museums

No trip to Chicago would be complete without an afternoon exploring the acclaimed Museum Campus, home to some of the country’s top natural history museums. Featuring the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium, it’s a corner of the city where you can get lost for hours diving into plenty of interactive, hands-on exhibits, as well as other family-friendly programming. Thankfully, it’s also nearby to a number of famous Chicago-style pizzerias including outposts of both Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s, who regularly battle it out for best in the city.

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Chicago Tourism



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