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Blue streak

Chicago, Illinois Tour

It is no wonder that as many as 45 million people travel to the Midwestern United States to visit Chicago every year.

The third largest city in the U.S., Chicago's scenic lakeside location and world class culture, entertainment and finance attract visitors from around the world who may refer to it as “the Windy City,” “Chi-town” or “Second City,” in reference to its rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire and its prestigious position relative to NYC or “the City of Big Shoulders” referring to its tall buildings.

State and US flags, Wrigley and Tribune buildingsChicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, home of the blues, railroading center, airline hub and comedy central. The city has been known for hog butchering and clumsy cows—legend has it that Mrs. O'Leary's cow started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when it kicked over a lantern.
Whether you are visiting Chicago for the first or tenth time, or even make the Windy City your permanent home this destination guide is designed to make your time here more enjoyable and productive. Like all destinations, our Chicago coverage will expand over time.
Check the links in the blue column to the right or follow the links below for a photo and history tour of the largest inland city in the U.S.

Chicago Attractions

A list of all Chicago attractions would fill this page so we will focus on a short list of "must see" items. See the blue column to the right for an alphabetical listing.
Buckingham Fountain and Chicago skylineMajor attractions are concentrated together at Navy Pier and Museum Campus. Museum Campus includes the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. Navy Pier has a variety of lakefront entertainment options for the whole family to enjoy from its famous ferris wheel to musical carousel, theatre, restaurants and Children's Museum.
The Chicago Park District provides many seasonal mostly free activities. With hundreds of parks, miles of lake front and dozens of beaches there is a never ending choice of activities. Plant lovers will want to include the Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory and Chicago Botanic Garden on their must visit list.

Chicago Neighborhoods

Chicago City Model at Chicago Architecture FoundationLike any city, and particularly one this large, there are a number of districts or neighborhoods with distinct personalities.
While most visitors will want to see downtown, the Loop—with its famous skyscrapers, the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue and Printers Row, to really see Chicago venture out to Chinatown, Lakevew—where Wrigleyville is home to the Chicago Cubs baseball field, Little Italy, Bridgeport, Hyde Park, Oak Park—birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and home to Frank Lloyd Wright, Rogers Park and more.

And More

Along the way you can learn about dance in Chicago, rooftop bars in the city, the view from Willis (Sears)Tower and the John Hancock Observatory, some favorite Chicago restaurants and pizza locations, the many institutions of higher education and Chicago's literary history.
Enjoy your visit!
Slideshow—all photos on this page
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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson