Welcome to the major U.S. city that feels like home. How can that be, you may ask. Well, home isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling. And in Chicago, it feels a lot like you’ll fit right in, no matter who you are or what you love doing.
You might live for wining and dining at famed restaurants; visiting world-renowned museums; meandering along jaw-dropping waterfronts; hearing ground-breaking music; watching award-winning theatrical productions; wiling away the hours in over 300 parks, visiting countless iconic buildings designed by some of the world’s most celebrated architects … and all within 77 vibrant; globally diverse neighborhoods that are the heart and soul of Chicago.
But you don’t have to take my word for the experiences to be had here. Paste Magazine praises Chicago theater as “one of the most thriving theatre scenes on the planet.” Condé Nast Traveler calls Chicago the “best restaurant city in America.” Bon Appétit magazine agrees, saying Chicago is “America’s most exciting city to eat in right now,” and dubbing it the “Restaurant City of the Year 2017.” The fact that 25 Chicago establishments were awarded one or more Michelin stars in 2018 kinda proves the point.
Chicago embodies true Midwestern hospitality. It’s also a bold city, continually creating evermore exciting and inspiring experiences. And it’s a city with a legacy – its home to comedy star-maker The Second City; electrified blues (it started here!); five Tony Award-winning theaters; championship sports teams; one of the most inclusive LGBTQ+ communities in the country; the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art outside the Louvre, housed within the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the top five museums on the planet (according to TripAdvisor users); the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world; the largest science and industry museum in the Western Hemisphere – and that’s just for starters.
Big city culture isn’t the only thing you’ll find here, though. You’ll also enjoy outdoor escapes and urban adventure, with the iconic city skyline as your backdrop. Go kayaking along the award-winning Riverwalk, then zip to the top of a skyscraper for rooftop cocktails (by the way, skyscrapers were born in Chicago!). Or venture to the new Chicago Architecture Center (housed in a Mies van de Rohe designed building no less), and board the #1 architecture cruise in Chicago. Cycle the 18-mile Lakefront Trail, dotted with harbors, beaches, restaurants and bars. Then hop over to the celebrated Museum of Contemporary Art, with its envelope-pushing exhibits and lakefront views. Or spend the day at Navy Pier, one of the city’s top attractions, and board a cruise ship to sail the waves of Lake Michigan. But only after you’ve booked your ticket for Chicago Shakespeare, and shopped and snacked along the way.
In my opinion, though, its at the Millennium Park Campus that you really see city and nature side by side, and find the true spirit of Chicago – summer-long free music festivals and outdoor film screenings beneath the soaring steel canopy of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion; Instagram-worthy and selfie-loving public art installations like Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate (aka The Bean); stretches of swaying prairie grasses and native plantings at Lurie Garden; climbing walls, skating ribbons, and fantastical playground landscapes at Maggie Daley Park; performing arts on the stage of the Harris Theater; free exhibitions, tours, and live music at the Chicago Cultural Center; and the world-class Art Institute of Chicago beckoning with major art exhibitions throughout the year.
In Chicago, it’s all about vacationing your way – and feeling right at home while you do.