Being a tourist in the Windy City is somewhat unique. With a metropolitan population of more than 3 million, visitors blend in rather than stand out. Bus tours, walking tours, self-guided walking tours, and rapid transit systems make the daily commute relatively short and the sights plentiful. Many visitors find the city to be exceptionally friendly. It’s a city of people who seem to enjoy the best of life and learning.
Throughout American history, Chicago has been a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. The city has the highest number of Hindus in any city in the nation. Indeed, it has the largest population of Hindus in any state in the nation. In 1673, a French fur trader announced that he would build a new city on land that was then riverbed. Today, the city’s largest block of land is home to the third largest concentration of Hindus in all of North America and it is through this ethnic gateway that many visitors arrive.
Park your car on Michigan Avenue and turn onto North Street. South of the river, the city’s non-stop thoroughfare, the originally named Michigan Avenue marks the beginning of American history. Twain’s Theater has long been identified as the beginning of American Literature. Beyond its world-class literary culture, other landmarks such as the Museum of Science and Technology and the Chicago Museum of Art have always sprinkled the city with its signature culture and influence.
Dubbed “The Windy City” and often referred to as “the city that never sleeps”, Chicago is famous for its long-haul interstate highways, high-rise buildings, bright neon lights, and busy street life. It is a city that visitors to can’t help but enjoy. The Macho City, as it is known by its locals, is also known for its long stretch of cobblestone streets and history dating back to the railroad days. You won’t find historic buildings here – instead, the downtown area is a bustling retail and commercial district that hosts a multitude of specialty stores, boutiques, cafés, and restaurants.
Surbikes – the urinals – line the downhill streets in the Loop and allow citizens and visitors to relieve themselves prior to emptying onto the street. The urinals frequently feature live bands or a DJ, and are less corporate and more like watering holes. On game days, the urinals are scattered around the home plate area of the Chicago team. bounces on the tracks between foul poles. During the winter, the urinals are reserved for women and people in the flower power period. Today, women are issued dinner suits or sports coats during the evening, and the men maintain their place in the men’s room.
The downtown area features the city’s highest concentration of hotels and restaurants, as well as a booming business class. Walk around the city’s business district, and you’ll find yourself visiting many of the famous skyscrapers. During the daytime, Chicago’s Hilton hotels and the Ritz-Carlton provide affordable lodging options and services.
Getting Around Chicago
Walking: Shop, walk, drink, drive, these are the words used by locals to describe their daily-life. The city is well-known for its high-speed express Bynice brand of traffic. Visitors should allow extra time while crossing streets, since traffic motion in Chicago is a little slower than on most major U.S. cities.
Shopping: Visitors to the city can’t help but discover its many upscale shopping areas and department stores. The Henry Grabar Center, the third largest of its kind in the nation, is located above upscale Wisconsin Avenue’s geometric fountain. It houses over 150 separate specialty stores, including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the departments of GiorGiorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. Through the year, the center hosts over 100 different national and international fashion events.
Drinking: Though the upscale Riverwalk and downtown areas attract visitors, many still prefer their own preferred neighborhood watering holes. CTA Blue Line and Michigan State Fairgrounds boast a weekend of fun, entertainment and dining for the whole family. Historicively listed State Building Lodge brings socializing to the forefront. Great Oak Lawn’s RimComplex is the city’s most ambitious project. Featuring a multi-level parking structure, the 18-story event center and gallery currently houses dozens of independent and high-enders.
Restaurants: With exceptional dining options largely along Sheffield and Rushford Avenues, River Walk and theitches, residentsand visitors have limitless options when deciding upon aplace to eat.
Museums: Though the city is eternally celebrating itsishi Museum of the City of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium, residentsand visitors have turned their attention to the Norman Rockwell Museum of American art, the Railroad Museum of Chicago and other prominent museums, all in and around the city.