Chicago's Top Attractions -Chicago's thriving business environment, enhanced by its diversity of culture, arts and recreation, make it one of the most exciting, influential cities in the world. Third largest city in the nation, Chicago is a seat of commerce with a powerhouse economy, a burgeoning business district, top Fortune 500 companies, and the largest merchandise mart on
Gold Coast District -Chicago's Gold Coast district is a prestigious, historic neighborhood lined with exciting shopping, dining and cultural endeavors. One of the most vibrant areas in Chicago for nightlife and dining, the Gold Coast boasts chic restaurants and trendy bars, particularly on Rush St and Division Street -just a few steps away. Home of the Magnificent Mile's shops, restaurant and boutiques, Chicago Gold Coast offers elite stores including Diesel, Prada, Adidas and Barney's New York. The Gold Coast also sports many fine art galleries, Gold Coast River North Art Fair, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the area features the city's oldest and most unique architecture, historic homes and stone mansions, such as the Charnley Persky House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Navy Pier -Chicago's playground on Lake Michigan, Historic Navy Pier is a lively entertainment destination with 50 acres of promenades, parks, gardens, restaurants, attractions, shops, entertainment, recreation, exhibitions and events. Ride the 15 -story Ferris wheel, see a movie at the IMAX Theatre, and explore Chicago Children's Museum, Family Pavilion, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and Crystal Gardens -an indoor botanical park. Take a cruise boat ride from Navy Pier's South Dock, dine at great restaurants, and enjoy live entertainment -dancers, acrobats, theater, blues, jazz, and rock 'n roll -at the Pepsi Skyline Stage. Check out the musical carousel, an old-fashioned swing ride, and the 18-hole miniature golf course. Visit www.navypier.com.
Old Town -Old Town's stately brick townhouses helped this quaint neighborhood survive the Great Chicago Fire. Today, the neighborhood is home to Chicago's best comedy clubs, including Second City, which counts several Saturday Night Live cast members among its famous and funny alumni.
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) -A towering icon of Chicago's financial district skyline, at a colossal 1,450 feet and 110 stories, Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and second tallest in the world. A triumph of innovation, Sear Tower features 3.5 million square feet of office and retail space and seven wonderful restaurants -from fine to casual dining. This quintessential Chicago attraction offers interactive displays of Chicago, colorful murals, children's attractions, and the Skydeck, which affords spectacular views of the Chicagoland. Visit www.thesearstower.com or www.theskydeck.com.
Rush Street -Chicago's party intersection, Rush and Division streets are Downtown Chicago's energetic nightlife strips. Rush Street is lined with restaurants, hip bars and trendy dance clubs which offer all types of music, from 70s classics to funk to lounge to swing. Stop by Jilly's Piano Bar, founded by Frank Sinatra's friend Jilly Rizzo, and popular restaurant such as the Rush Street Restaurant, Tavern on Rush and Phil Stefani's 437. Known for its energy, lights, and late -night crowds, Rush St. is rockin' long after midnight.
Lincoln Park Zoo -The wildest spot in Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo highlights a world of wildlife in the shadow of skyscrapers. Set in Lincoln Park, the historic -and free -zoo houses over 1,000 mammals, reptiles and bird and is a natural oasis to see gorillas climb trees, hear a lion's roar, and roam tropical rainforests, forests and savannas. Explore Pritzker Family Children's Zoo where kids meet animals native to North America. Swing by the Regenstein Center for African Apes and stand nose to nose with silverback gorillas and chimpanzees, and Regenstein African Journey, where monkeys swing, hippos swim, and giraffes graze. See the polar bears at the Levine Family Polar Bear Plaza and enjoy a magical journey on the Ameritech Endangered Species Carousel. Visit www.lpzoo.org.
Adler Planetarium -Explore space at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum -the first planetarium in country -t hrough a renowned collection of exhibits and artifacts from the history of astronomy. The Adler fuels your imagination with state - of - the - art computer technology in the world's first StarRider Theater. Don't' miss the Adler's latest attraction, Cosmic Collisions, narrated by Robert Redford. This attraction launches you on an awe-inspiring trip through space and time, beyond the night sky to explore the hypersonic impacts that drive the evolution of our Universe. The first Friday of every month is Far Out Friday, 9am -10pm. Visit www.adlerplanetarium.org.
Shedd Aquarium -A Chicago icon and the world's largest indoor aquarium for more than three -quarters of a century, Shedd Aquarium inspires and connects people with more than 19,000 aquatic animals from around the world. Descend into the award-winning exhibit -Wild Reef -and get a diver's eye view of a giant sharks, gardens of iridescent corals and eels. Follow a green sea turtle, eek at a moray eel in a rocky crevice, and watch regal rays glide by at the Caribbean Reef. Other exciting exhibits include: Oceanarium, Waters of the World, Amazon Rising, and Lizards and the Komodo Dragon - where the world's largest lizard makes its first appearance in Chicago. See the wonders of Shedd with the All Access Pass, which includes the aquarium building, Wild Reef, Amazon Rising and the Oceanarium. Visit www.sheddaquarium.org
Field Museum of Natural History -Chicago's Field Museum displays over 20 million biological and anthropological specimens and collections of natural history through innovative exhibits and educational programs. Meet Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex ever found. Discover how DNA works and what it tells us about life on Earth in the hands-on exhibition: DNA Discovery Center! Get inside natural disasters - from earthquakes to tornadoes - to discover how nature's forces shape our planet in Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters. Descend into an Egyptian tomb, watch a glowing lava flow, get a bug's - eye view in Underground Adventure, come nose - to - nose with the man - eating lions of Tsavo, and learn about the world's environments. Visit www.fieldmuseum.org.
Art Institute of Chicago -One of the world's greatest art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago features an inspiring collection of world art dating from 3,000 B.C. through the present. This incredible museum highlights over 300,000 works of art, including world-famous French Impressionist paintings and drawings, 30 by Claude Monet, and a famed collection of 20th - century art. Galleries also feature: fine and decorative arts from America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America; Old Master drawings; Chinese jades; photography, textiles, and architectural drawings; and medieval armor- all illustrtaing art of the world's diverse cultures. Visit www.artic.edu/aic.
Museum of Science and Industry -Roam 14 acres of hands - on fun and learning at the Museum of Science and Industry - largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. This landmark building features engaging, interactive exhibits that spark your imagination and indulge your curiosoity. From the Coal Mine to the latest temporary exhibit, you'll be exposed to bold science and interactive learning experiences in an eye-opening environment. Get a real - time view of planet Earth in the new permanent exhibit Earth Revealed. Enter Networld, and become immersed in the internet with 30 computers, 25 projectors and various systems all humming at once.Enjoy scientific adventures in Chicago's only five - story, wrap - around Omnimax Theater and see eye-popping 3D films such as Grand Canyon Adventure, Sharks 3D Movie and Dinosaurs Alive! Visit www.msichicago.org.
Chicago Children's Museum -The anchor of Navy Pier, the Children's Museum is where play and learning connect. This playful museum features engaging, interactive exhibits and fun activities that educate and entertain kids of all ages. Dig deep in the Dinosaur Expedition, make a splash at WaterWays, climb to the crow's nest on the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner and enjoy art workshops at the Kraft Artabounds Little tots have fun in the Playmaze and Treehouse Trails. Permanent Exhibits include: Design Your Dreams & Play it Safe. Thursdays are Free Family Night from 5pm - 8pm. Visit www.chichildrensmuseum.org.
Museum of Contemporary Art -One of the nation's largest venues devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art features exhibitions of the most thought - provoking and innovative art created since 1945. Overlooking Lake Michigan in the heart of downtown Chicago, MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Take a free guided tour, stroll through the barrel - vaulted galleries, browse the bookstore, enjoy lunch at Puck's at the MCA, shop in the fun - filled MCA Store, see a film in the 300 - seat theater, and wander through the terraced sculpture garden with spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Visit www.mcachicago.org.
John Hancock Center -Located on North Michigan Avenue, the 100 - story John Hancock Center is the 10th tallest building in the world at over 1,100 feet. This unique Chicago attraction on Chicago's skyline is recognized around the world for its distinctive, high - tech architecture and iconic style. With Chicago's open - air Skywalk - 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile - the Hancock Observatory offers spectacular 94th - floor views spanning 80 miles and four states. Enlivened with plantings, a 12 - foot waterfall and seasonal outdoor dining, the Center's elliptical - shaped outdoor plaza is an oasis for North Michigan Avenue workers, shoppers and tourists. Visit www.johnhancockcenterchicago.com.
Chicago Botanic Garden -One Chicago's top tourist attractions and a place of ever - changing natural beauty, the Botanic Garden features 23 beautiful gardens and three native habitats set on 385 acres of rolling hills and tranquil lakes. Highlights include three lush greenhouses, art exhibits, and educational activities. Walk through the magnificent Rose Garden or learn about what the Garden is doing to save the world's plants from extinction at the Rice Plant Conservation Science Center. Visit.
Water Tower Landmark -Built in 1869 to house a 138 - foot - tall standpipe, the Water Tower is the only building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 due to its construction of limestone blocks. The glamorous Gothic Revival style exterior of this historic Chicago landmark resembles a medieval castle and is a modern testament to Chicago fierce drive to continue. The Water Tower houses the City Gallery, Chicago's official photography gallery. Call 312-744-2400.
Business & Events in Chicago -Chicago's thriving business environment, enhanced by its diversity of culture, arts and recreation, make it one of the most exciting, influential cities in the world. Third largest city in the nation, Chicago is a seat of commerce with a powerhouse economy, a burgeoning business district, top Fortune 500 companies, and the largest merchandise mart on the planet.
McCormick Place Convention Center -The nation's largest convention and event center, Chicago's McCormick Place is the center of business in Chicago. Comprised of the state - o f- the - art South and North buildings and Lakeside Center, McCormick Place features 2.2 million sq. ft. of exhibit halls, 112 meeting rooms, assembly seating for 10,000 people, three 345 - seat theaters, the largest ballroom in Chicago, and the 4,249 - seat Arie Crown Theater. McCormick Place is linked by the Grand Concourse, a massive pedestrian promenade with diverse retail shops, restaurant and Chicago attractions. Visit www.mccormickplace.com.
Merchandise Mart -The world's largest commercial office building, Chicago Merchandise Mart is a private exhibit center that produces world - class trade shows, conferences, and special events in over 4.1 million sq. ft. of permanent and temporary showrooms. The Mart is home to the world's largest Contract Furnishing Show - Neocon - the country's largest Casual Furniture Market, Chicago's Antique Fair, the Chicago Design Show, two Gift and Home Markets and 10 clothing shows a year. The Mart also houses a bank, a U.S. Post Office, an "EL" train stop, currency exchange, a food court and several retail shops. Visit www.merchandisemart.com.
"The Loop" (Chicago's Business District) -The historical center of downtown Chicago, The Loop is the second largest downtown business district in the country. Bordeered by Lake Michigan, Chicago River, and Roosevelt Road, The Loop District is characterized by architecturally unique high - rises and many historic buildings, such as Willis Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the country, and the Home Insurance Building, the first skyscraper built.
Chicago Shopping -Spend your afternoons exploring Chicago's exciting shopping venues- from downtown's stored-lined avenues and shopping centers to quaint boutiques and neighborhoods. Nestled in Chicago's Golf Coast, Hotel Indigo is walking distance to the Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place, and outstanding art galleries and antique houses.
Michigan Avenue/Magnificent Mile -The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue is Chicago's vibrant urban shopping, dining, and entertainment strip. The "Mile" features more than 460 world-class stores - along eight downtown Chicago blocks - four shopping centers, including Chicago Place and Water Tower Place, wonderful restaurants, unique shops, museums, theaters, art galleries, outdoor festivals and spectacular skyline views. Shoppers can browse Chicago favorites like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, American Girl, Niketown, Crate & Barrel, Saks 5th Avenue and FAO Schwartz. Visit.
Water Tower Place -The pinnacle of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place is Chicago's ultimate shopping and dining destination. Its stunning eight-level atrium features a mix of distinctive specialty shops, boutiques, department stores, restaurants and a themed food court. A high - energy urban shopping experience anchored by Marshall Field's and Lord & Taylor, Water Tower Place features and more than 100 popular stores like Banana Republic, Eileen Fisher, J.Jill, Nine West Lifestyle, The Sharper Image, GAP, Jacadi, and STUDIO Sterling Works. Dine at eateries such as California Pizza Kitchen and Mity Nice Grill.
900 North Michigan Shops -This fashionable and architecturally stunning shopping center features six levels of upscale retailers, such as Bloomingdale's department store and 70 specialty retailers such as Gucci, Mark Shale, J.Crew, Stuart Weitzman, Coach, and Williams-Sonoma Grande Cuisine. The 900 Shops also offers several restaurants, including OakTree, Tucci Benucch, Baisi Thai and Seasons Restaurant, a full-service salon and spa, a fitness facility and attached parking.
Chicago Place -At 700 North Michigan Avenue in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, Chicago Place features eight floors of over 45 exciting stores and restaurants, including national retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Talbots and Ann Taylor, a number of wonderfully unique shops like Chiaroscuro and A New Leaf, as well as Michigan Avenue's largest Food Court and a gourmet grocery store.
The Shops at North Bridge -Located on Michigan Avenue, The Shops at North Bridge is home to Nordstrom, one of the finest department stores in Chicago, and features 50 world - class specialty shops, children's stores, Spa Nordstrom, an upscale food court and eclectic restaurants including Buca di Beppo and Cosi.
State Street -Chicago's main drag, State Street is the unparalleled shopping, dining and entertainment center of Chicago - famous for landmark department stores, such as Marshall Field and Carson Pirie Scott, the Midwest's largest jewelry district, Chicago Theater, and the historic Reliance Building. Enjoy dining at Walnut Room in Marshall Field, Trader Vic's, Berghoff Restaurant and Billy Goat Tavern, known for its juicy cheeseburgers. Stroll down State Street during the holiday season to see the colorful decorations and lights.
Oak Street -The glamorous boutiques and brand name stores of Oak Street take you to a sophisticated shopping world. Lake Michigan and the city skyline are beautiful backdrops to the plethora of chic, upscale shops that make your shopping excursion on Chicago's Oak Street so spectacular.
American Girl Place and Café -Overlooking Lake Michigan, American Girl Place is Chicago's dream destination for young girls. Browse colorful shops, boutiques, bookstores and rooms filled with dolls, doll clothes, and accessories - where the worlds of the American Girls come to life. You'll find contemporary, historical and baby dolls, as well as clothes, furniture, accessories and books. Enjoy lunch, dinner and afternoon tea in the whimsical American Girl Cafe, overlooking Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Enjoy an original live musical at the American Girl Theater, or get your doll a new style at the Doll Hair Salon.
Westfield North Bridge -Anchored by the Midwest's flagship Nordstrom, North Bridge is a four-level shopping concourse lined with 50 world-class specialty shops where you'll find fashion, jewelry, accessories and children's wares. This elegant specialty mall at 520 North Michigan Avenue also features a Spa Nordstrom and scores of great restaurants in an upscale food court setting.
Chicago Sports & Event Venues
Wrigley Field -Enjoy a Chicago Cubs baseball game at historic Wrigley Field, a legendary ballpark and one of the Chicago's most cherished attractions. Built in 1914, Wrigley Field will be playing host to Major League Baseball for the 95th season in 2008 and to the Cubs for the 93rd year. The second - oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, Wrigley Field is one of the classic pillars of Chicago. Wrigley Field has been the site of many historic baseball moments, including Babe Ruth's "called shot," when Ruth pointed to the bleachers during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series and then hit Charlie Root's next pitch for a homer. For tickets, call 773- 404-2827 or visit www.chicago.cubs.mlb.com.
U.S. Cellular Field -Replacing one of baseball's most historic ballparks, Comiskey Park, U.S. Cellular Field is the high-tech home of the American League's Chicago White Sox. One of the most high - tech stadiums in the game, US Cellular Field has a special atmosphere for baseball fans. The first new baseball - only stadium built in the American League since 1973, the new ballpark holds 44,321 fans and features a White Sox Hall of Fame on the stadium's main concourse behind home plate. Call -312- 674-1000.
United Center -The largest arena in the country, United Center is home to the NBA's Chicago Bulls and NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. The United Center hosts over 200 events and concerts each year and has presented such blockbuster events such as 1996 Democratic National Convention, Rolling Stones, The Who, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Great Eight Classic, DePaul College Basketball, and Champions on Ice. See the life-sized bronze statue teams or photos of Bull's superstar Michael Jordan. Hockey and basketball begin in the fall and playoff games extend in to the spring. For tickets, call 312-455-4000, or go to www.united - center.com.
Soldier Field -Since the 1930's, the Chicago Bears has played championship football at Soldier Field, now home of the Bears and Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, south of downtown, Soldier Field is a legendary part of Chicago sports history. The renovated Soldier Field also presents an array of musical concerts, sports events and festivals. The Bears season opens the first week of September and continues through December. The Chicago Fire plays at Soldier Field beginning in April, and the season extends through the MLS Cup in November. For tickets and event schedules, visit www.soldierfield.net.
Chicago Sports Teams
Chicago Cubs -Established in 1876, the Chicago Cubs are a charter member of the National League and one of baseball's first dynasties, winning six of its first 11 titles. The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 1907 and followed up with a second consecutive World Championship victory. In 2004, Cubs excitement peaked when Greg Maddox became the 22nd pitcher to win 300 games, Sammy Sosa became the Cub's all - time home run leader, and the Cubs boasted four 30-home run hitters for the first time in the team's history. Catch all the Chicago Cubs excitement at historic Wrigley Field. Visit www.cubs.com.
Chicago White Sox -The 2005 World Series Champions, American League's Chicago White Sox swing into action at US Cellular Field. Established in 1900, the famed Chicago White Sox captured their first World Series in 1906, defeating the Cubs, their second championship title in 1917, and third in 2005, and have hosted the All-Star Game 4 times, including the inaugural event in 1933. Visit www.whitesox.com.
Chicago Bulls -Since entering the NBA in 1966, the Chicago Bulls franchise has dominated professional basketball with hard-playing teams and players like superstar Michael Jordan. In the early 1990s, the Bulls won three consecutive NBA titles, becoming the third franchise in history to win a hat trick of NBA crowns. Jordan led the Bulls to NBA titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998, the Bulls' second three-peat of the decade and their sixth NBA championship trophy. Catch the Bulls beat the boards at Chicago's United Center. Visit www.nba.com/bulls.
Chicago Bears -Since 1922, the NFL's Chicago Bears have been as one of the most exciting professional football teams in history. See the Chicago Bears attack the gridiron at newly - renovated Soldier Field, where they have battled football's bravest since 1970. The Bears have won nine Professional American Football league championships - eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX-, trailing only the Green Bay Packers, who have 12. The Bears have the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with 26 members. In 2006, the Bears earned a trip to Super Bowl XLI, but fell short of the championship, losing 29-17 to the Indianapolis Colts. This was their first Super Bowl bout since their Super Bowl victory of 1985. Visit www.chicagobears.com.
Chicago Fire -Throughout their 10 seasons, the Chicago Fire have been a force in Major League Soccer. The Fire has always given fans something to cheer about, winning five domestic titles - four U.S. Open Cups and an MLS Cup Championship. The Fire captured the coveted domestic double - the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup in 1998. Catch the Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire play home season games at the Village of Bridgeview's new 20,000 - seat Toyota Park- the Midwest's preeminent outdoor live sports and entertainment stadium. Home to the "Men in Red", Toyota Parks hosts special events and concerts by national and international artists. The Chicago Fire plays April through the MLS Cup in November. Visit http://web.mlsnet.com/t100/.
Chicago Festivals -A city that loves to celebrate, Chicago offers a year - round calendar of neighborhood festivals, parades, fireworks, and musical, cultural, and sports events. From the Chicago Blues Festival and the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicagoland offers fun and entertainment for the entire family. Favorite festivals include: Winter Wonderfest on Navy Pier, State Street Thanksgiving Parade, and the World Music Festival: Chicago
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival -Every November, Chicago's Magnificent Mile kicks off the holiday season and is transformed into a winter wonderland for the Annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The sights, sounds and tastes of this weekend festival will ignite your holiday spirit with special entertainment. Join MC Mickey Mouse and American Girl for a fun festival of family activity and holiday cheer. Mickey Over a million lights on 200 trees will illuminate Chicago's Magnificent Mile-from Oak Street to the Chicago River.
Gold Coast River North Art Fair -The "Grand Daddy" of American art festivals, the Gold Coast River North Art Fair has wowed Chicago art lovers for over 50 years. One of the most attended art fairs in the city, Gold Coast River North Art Fair attracts over 400 juried artists and 600,000 visitors from around the world. A thrilling creative and cultural experience filled with fine art, live music and food, this free art festival fills city streets and sidewalks in the gallery - lined River North neighborhood. Visit www.amdurproductions.com/gold-coast.html.
Chicago Tours -Explore Chicago's exciting attractions, historic landmarks, world-famous museums, magnificent architecture, shopping districts, theaters, art galleries, and vibrant neighborhoods. From free trolley and walking tours to double-decker bus trips and boat cruises, Chicago comes to life.
Loop the Loop -Discover downtown Chicago through free audio walking tours of "The Loop" - the Art Loop, Theater Loop and Landmark Loop. The Loop is a dynamic district of theaters, retail shops, museums, landmarks, cultural institutions, and some of the country's most symbolic architecture. This tour stops at Chicago attractions, including Millennium Park, Chicago Art Institute, State Street Retail District, Field Museum and Navy Pier. Loop the Loop on Chicago's free trolley.
Chicago Trolley Co -Enjoy Chicago's coolest hop-on, hop-off city sightseeing tours in classic trolleys and double-decker buses. Experience an entertaining tour of the Chicago's attractions, shopping, and dining venues. With your Hop On Hop Off ticket, you'll enjoy a two-hour narrated tour that covers 13 spectacular miles of Chicago's downtown and The Loop. Call 773-648-5000 or visit www.chicagotrolley.com.
Spirit of Chicago -Departing from Navy Pier, Spirit of Chicago features a Lake Michigan skyline cruise with dining, dancing and entertainment. Choose between a lunch buffet cruise, plated dinner cruise, mid-day celebration cruise, or midnight moonlight cruise. See famous sites such as Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain, McCormick Place, and Shedd Aquarium, while enjoying live entertainment and a DJ when the dancing starts.
Wendella Boat Tours -Capture the essence of Chicago on an exciting boat tour. Learn about the city's architecture and history on narrated sightseeing boat tours on Lake Michigan, Chicago River, and Chicago Lock. Experience Chicago's architectural heritage - from the Wrigley Building, one of Chicago's architectural treasures, through the heart of the city - on the Chicago River Architectural Tour. Call 312-337-1446 or visit www.wendellaboats.com.
Chicago Architectural Cruise -Enjoy a one-hour boat cruise on the historic Chicago River that highlights over 40 landmarks of modern American architecture. Embark an exciting journey along the Chicago River and the city's most famous architectural landmarks. Guides recount the dramatic story of Chicago's rise from the Great Fire of 1871 to become the home of the skyscraper and the cradle of contemporary American architecture. Visit www.chicagotours.us.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours -Experience Chicago's incredible architecture on boat, bus, walking and bike tours by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Discover the diversity of Chicago's finest buildings on this fascinating odyssey, which covers miles of Chicago architecture, historic districts, university campuses, parks, neighborhoods, and modern art deco skyscrapers. Highlights include: Reliance Building -Hotel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, Mies van der Rohe's IIT campus, and the Rookery in downtown Chicago. Call 312-922-3432 or visit www.architecture.org.
Shoreline Sightseeing Tours -Shoreline Sightseeing offers two exciting boat cruises, water taxis and private charter tours of Chicago, departing from Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium/Museum Campus and Buckingham Fountain. The ½-hour Skyline Boat Tour on Lake Michigan showcases Chicago's skyline and landmarks. The dramatic Architecture Cruise travels on the historic Chicago River past celebrated buildings. Visit Chicago's popular destinations by water taxi, private charter boat or on a spectacular dinner cruise with music and dancing. Call 312-222-9328 or visit www.shorelinesightseeing.com.
American Sightseeing Tours -Hop on board one of the many exciting bus tours that wind through Chicago. These tours explore Chicago's most interesting landmarks and neighborhoods, such as North Side, South Shore, The Loop, Willis Tower, State Street, Grant Park, Soldier Field, Orchestra Hall, Grant Park, the Lake Michigan shoreline, Chinatown, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Adler Planetarium, and the Chicago River. For tours, call 312-251-3100.
Chicago Parks -Chicago's beautiful parks offer serenity and space under the brilliant skyline. Explore Chicago's 7,300 acres of parkland, including 552 parks, 33 beaches, two conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, and sports and entertainment venues -and enjoy thousands of outdoor events, concerts and tours
Millennium Park -Set in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave., Millennium Park is an extraordinary showplace for art, music, architecture, and landscape design. The 24.5-acre park defines Chicago as America's greatest and most culturally diverse city. Surrounding the dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion -the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in country -are inspiring works of art, including Cloud Gate, a mammoth stainless steel sculpture, the Crown Fountain and the beautiful Lurie Garden. Experience the park's amazing works of public art and architecture, as well as free classical music presentations by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, ice skating and alfresco dining. Visit www.millenniumpark.org.
Lincoln Park -With its green open spaces and historic zoo, Lincoln Park is a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. Chicago's largest public park offers recreational facilities including baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, volley ball courts, field houses, a golf course, and a popular fitness center. Enjoy an evening stroll through Lincoln Park Conservatory, visit the historic zoo's impressive collection of primates, polar bears, and wild beasts, or explore the beautiful beaches and harbours with boating facilities. The park offers landscaped gardens, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and a theater on the lake with outdoor performances during the summer.
Grant Park -Situated between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, Grant Park is Chicago's most beloved downtown park. The Park's unique geometric design consists of a series of bridges, lawns, trees and monuments, including a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The park features the Petrillo Music Shell, which presents diverse outdoor concerts to the city, including Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Country and Classical. Grant Park includes Museum Campus -Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute and the Field Museum of Natural History -and is the site of Chicago's annual Taste of Chicago, held each summer. The park's most distinguishing feature is Buckingham Fountain, built in 1927, and the newest addition is Millennium Park at the north end. The front of the park along Michigan Lake is a favorite space for strollers, joggers and bikers.
Buckingham Fountain -Located in Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain is one of Chicago's most popular attractions and one of the largest fountains in the world. The four sea horses on its sides represent the four states that touch Lake Michigan -Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The popular Chicago landmark and attraction operates from approximately April 1 to November 1 each year and runs from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Every hour on the hour for 20 minutes, the fountain produces a dazzling water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. At dusk, the fountain's water show is accompanied by 820 lights and music.
Chicago Events -Whether musical, cultural, or sporting, Chicago offers fun and exciting events year-round to match the season. Following are just a few events taking place in Chicago throughout the year.
- Chicago Winter Delights
- Light Nights on the Magnificent Mile
- Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show
- Chicago Auto Show
- African-American Heritage Month
- Chinese New Year Parade
- Strictly Sail Chicago
- St. Patrick's Day Parade
- South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade
- Chicago Flower and Garden Show
- Baseball Season Opens
- Chicago Improv Festival
- Chicago International Antiques and Fine Art Fair
- Art Chicago
- Memorial Day Parade Antiques Chicago
- Chicago Blues Festival
- Chicago Gospel Music Festival
- Printer's Row Book Fair
- Grant Park Music Festival Gay and Lesbian
- Taste of Chicago
- Chicago Country Music Festival
- Independence Day Celebration
- Chicago Outdoor Film Festival Venetian Night
- Chicago Air and Water Show
- Latin Music Festival
- Gold Coast Art Fair
- Chicago Jazz Festival
- Chicago Museum Week
- Chicago Celtic Festival
- Chicago International
- Film Festival
- Columbus Day Parade
- LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
- Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
- State Street Thanksgiving Parade
- City of Chicago Holiday
- Tree Lighting Chicago Humanities Festival
- Santa's Village and City of Chicago Holiday
- New Year's Eve Celebration and Family Fun Festival
- LaSalle Bank WinterWonderfest