Chicago, Illinois

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago as seen from the Chicago river (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They don’t call Chicago “The Windy City” for nothing!  Located in the northeastern United States on the shores of Lake Michigan (one of the Great Lakes), Chicago is a city that has much to offer those looking for an excellent vacation destination.

From its awesome architecture to its scenic waterfront and hopping night clubs, Chicago definitely has something to offer everyone.  It has the third largest population in the United States with only New York City and Los Angeles being larger.

Once the home of the Potawatomi Indians, this area of the United States was then settled by French and American colonists who slowly built a city to meet all of their needs.  The city burned to the ground in 1871, which allowed city planners to create an entirely new city, and one which was for years on the cutting edge of developing architecture and design.

While its reputation for being miserable during the winter is well earned thanks to the arctic winds that tend to bear down on it out of Canada, during the spring, summer and autumn the Chicago area is quite lovely and perfect for those who like to spend lots of time out of doors.

No matter what your tastes or interests, Chicago is bound to have something that you will enjoy.  Indeed, a visit to the Windy City can definitely be the highlight of your vacation.

Key Facts About Chicago

  • Location – In the northeastern United States in Cook County, Illinois on Lake Michigan.
  • Time –  GMT/UTC – 06:00
  • Climate – Humid Continental Climate (extreme arctic winds in the winter)
  • Size -234 Square Miles
  • Religion – There is no state religion in Chicago or the United States.  Christianity is the most widely recognized religion.
  • Currency – United States Dollar
  • Safety – Chicago is considered to be a safe destination in many regards, though standard precautions regarding behavior in large cities are recommended.

Things To Do In Chicago

Willis Tower – only THE tallest tower in the United States, this tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) provides a fascinating view of the entire Chicago skyline.

Lincoln Park – second only to New York City’s Central Park, Lincoln Park provides residents and tourists alike with a large swath of wilderness right in the middle of downtown Chicago.

The Chicago Loop – this famous section of city streets houses some of the best restaurants, shops and businesses in the entire Chicago area.  You can take a bus tour of the loop to get a real feel for it.

Art Institute of Chicago – only one of the most world renowned art institute’s, this is a premier location for budding artists and to see the works of masters.

Steppenwolf Theater Company – This theater company produces some of the most well-received theater productions in the United States.  If you can manage to see a production, you will not be sorry.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra – if you enjoy classical music, don’t miss out on a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Garfield Park Conservatory – this conservatory houses the largest collection of tropical plants in any US City and can provide you with hour’s worth of amusement.

The Chicago History Museum – this museum is definitely worth visiting and houses one of the most extensive collections of historic paraphernalia ever collected.   Everything from archeaological finds to Indian artifacts can be found here.

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