Chicago, Illinois has long been said to have an inferiority complex to New York, but it is a world class city.
It has cutting edge architecture, fantastic museums, and good restaurants.
It's right on Lake Michigan with a beautiful waterfront.
No trip to Chicago is complete without visiting its fine museums... and there are many of them.
There is even a "Museum Campus" just south of
Grant Park on Lake Shore Drive.
If you like dinosaurs, don't miss the Field Museum of Natural History. It features "Sue", the world's largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex. It's a great museum for learning about all kinds of ancient life forms in the Evolving Planet exhibit. Learn about ancient Americans too.
Nearby on the Museum Campus are the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium which was America's first planetarium.
There are several other museums scattered around the city.
If you plan on visiting a number of museums during your visit, you may want to purchase a City Pass or a Go Chicago Card. Each of these cards gets you into different venues, so check to see which gives you the best discounts for YOUR trip...
But don't spend all of your time in museums. Just walking along the lake is pretty. Make your way along the shoreline, through Grant Park and visit Millennium Park.
Millennium Park is the heart of downtown. Newly opened is the the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the U.S. There are free concerts and events held there.
Also see the "interactive" Crown Fountain. This "fountain" has fifty foot tall glass block towers projecting video images of Chicagoans with the water flowing over them. Kids play in the shallow reflecting pool between them.
One iconic new sculpture is the Cloud Gate, the shiny elliptical sculpture reflects the clouds and the city's famous skyline.
The Navy Pier is one of The Windy City's most popular attractions. It's a hub for tour boats on Lake Michigan and offers a variety of activities and dining.
You can stop inside the Family Pavilion and get a map of the pier... then decide what you would like to do. It could easily occupy you for a day or two.
The Navy Pier Park will make you feel like you stumbled upon an old time carnival... there is a huge Ferris wheel, an old carousel, and a miniature golf course.
See a fantastic Stained Glass Museum. (I know we said not too many museums, but you shouldn't miss this one!)
Stop and have a brew in the Beer Garden and listen to live music.
If you are a sports fan, you can't beat the Windy City. There are two rival baseball teams... the Cubs and the White Sox. The Cubs play at the legendary Wrigley Field.... We went to see a day AND a night game. Great fun.
Basketball?.... the Bulls.
The Bears play American football.
The Fire play soccer or what the rest of you call football.
For hockey it's the Blackhawks and the Wolves.
It's most famous citizen currently is probably President Obama. Tourists are flocking to see his Hyde Park neighborhood, and several tour companies have set up tours to accommodate them. There are free walking tours with volunteer guides or you can get a map and visit them on your own.
So whether you're interested in dinosaurs and ancient history or current events, Chicago could be your kind of town.