Chicago Top Tips
Tip 1: John Hancock Center
Boasting spectacular 360° views of four different states (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin) the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center is home to a restaurant where you can enjoy dinner with a view of the entire city and Lake Michigan!
Tip 2: The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago was opened in 1866 and is known to house over 300,000 works of art. The museum also has the largest permanent Impressionist collection outside of Paris.
Tip 3: Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is the second oldest ball park in Major League baseball. The field celebrated its 100th birthday last year. Should you have time, a ball game is a must! The Chicago Cubs will be playing the Kansas City Royals on the 29th, 30th and 31st of May.
Tip 4: Lincoln Park Zoo
Located within the sprawling Lincoln Park, this 35-acre zoo is one of the only remaining free zoos in the world. The zoo contains more than 1,000 species, its biggest attractions being big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles and monkeys.
Tip 5: Navy Pier
A 3,300 foot-long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier is host to several restaurants and shops. The ferris wheel on the pier was built as a replica of the very first ferris wheel, which debuted in Chicago in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exhibition.
Tip 6: Go for a run!
For those with slightly less time, but a desire to see the city at its best, you can’t go wrong with a run along the lake, north of the Navy Pier. Be careful of the breezes though; it is the Windy City after all!
There are also several organised runs taking place on Sunday, 31st May:
- Dash for Detection: 5K walk/run for pancreatic cancer (Grant Park)
- OCF Walk/Run: 5K for oral cancer (Redmond Park – 30 min drive)
- North Shore Half Marathon: half-marathon or 5K for the Misericordia Heart of Mercy charity (Highland Park – 30 min drive)
Tip 7: Millennium Park
Home to the famous Cloud Gate (or ‘big bean’), Millennium Park is a collection of architecture, landscape design and art that houses hundreds of free events such as concerts, exhibitions and tours.
Tip 8: Chicago Architecture Boat Tour
Sail around Chicago and find out about the architecture in the city, much of which had to be rebuilt after The Chicago Fire of 1871. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn and started the fire, and that the extreme pollution of the Chicago River made the river virtually flammable, allowing the fire to spread across the city. A walking tour is also available for those who prefer to sightsee by foot.
Tip 9: Tuck into Chicago’s finest... deep-dish pizzas!
Believed to have been invented in 1943, Chicago’s signature dish is a must-eat when you’re in the city! The crust is very deep, meaning the pizza resembles a pie more than the traditional flat bread. Choose Chicago recommends Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Giordano’s Pizza and The Original Gino’s East of Chicago. Happy eating!
Tip 10: Experience true Chicago blues
Chicago has its very own form of the urban blues, which developed during the times of the Great Depression. Chicago’s North River side hosts many blues bars where you can immerse yourself in Chicago’s musical heritage. Choose Chicago recommends Buddy Guy’s Legends, Blue Chicago, Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S.