Get the latest Chicago news and updates for June 2012 as it relates to travel professionals.

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Chicago News and Updates for Travel Professionals: June 2012

New 2012 Travel Professionals Guide now available online.

It's here! Now you can view the complete 2012 Travel Professionals Guide online:

Guide highlights include:

  • Chicago At a Glance: Get to know Chicago better than ever with beyond-the-basics benchmarks, stats, trivia and surprising city truths.
  • Tons of Tours: Learn which tours — from food tours to foreign language tours — will really "wow" your groups.
  • Calendar of 2012's Hottest Happenings: Get the scoop on the city's street festivals, museum exhibits, theater performances, parades and sporting events.
  • Full-Day and Half-Day Itineraries: Follow our expert itineraries or mix-and-match our insider tips to create custom itineraries for your groups.
  • Neighborhood Cheat Sheet: Get an overview of some of Chicago's most vibrant neighborhoods and what your groups should see when they stop by.
  • Chicago's Best Value Dates: Find out the most affordable times to send your groups to the city.
  • Maps and More: Easy-to-read city maps, CTA 'L' maps and transit tips will help your groups navigate the city like pros.


Jellies exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium now extended through 2013.

Last month, the Shedd Aquarium announced that its popular Jellies exhibit will now be extended through 2013! Since launching last spring, the Shedd has welcomed more than 1.1 million people to the mysterious world of these rarely seen creatures that survive (and thrive) without bones, blood or brains.

Look for a rotation of species, including some surprises, along with the Shedd's in-house favorites: the elegantly simple moons, frilly sea nettles and those inverted invertebrates, the upside-down jellies.

Group sales:
Minimum 15 people
For information, call 312-692-3333 or email groupreservations@sheddaquarium.org



Trump International Hotel & Tower ranked among world's 10 best hotels.

Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago has been ranked No. 9 in the Travel + Leisure 2012 World's Best Service Awards among the Top 10 City Hotels worldwide — and No. 2 in the Continental U.S. and Canada division — marking the second consecutive year that the property has received this prestigious recognition from Travel + Leisure's annual readers' survey.

View the complete list of winners.


Two Chicago chefs and one restaurant win prestigious James Beard awards.

One Chicago restaurant and two local chefs are adding another accolade to their repertoire:

  • Best New Restaurant: Next
    The unique concept restaurant from Grant Achatz takes this top honor, no doubt thanks to a whimsical, themed tasting menu that rotates every few months. Tickets, released online at random, are required; visit nextrestaurant.com for details.
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Mindy Segal, of Hot Chocolate
    She's no stranger to winning awards, but this marks the first James Beard Award for Mindy Segal. (She had been nominated six times before.) Her Wicker Park restaurant, Hot Chocolate, is an urban café that marries contemporary food and desserts inspired by seasonal and local ingredients.
  • Chef of the Year, Great Lakes Region: Bruce Sherman, of North Pond
    Sixth time's a charm for native Chicagoan Bruce Sherman as well. As the chef-owner of Lincoln Park's North Pond, Sherman focuses on exceptional ingredients at the height of their season and supports local farmers. The result? Complex layers of subtle craft beneath a simple style.

Two more Chicagoans walked away with important honors… Charlie Trotter was recognized as Humanitarian of the Year, and Grant Achatz was named to the foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America hall of fame.

View the complete list of 2012 James Beard Award winners.


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