What to do in Chicago
Chicago HotelsAs one of America’s biggest, most-cultured, and hardiest destinations, a stay in the Windy City won’t fail to blow you away. Creative green spaces sing with laughter and chatter - below the soaring heights of downtown’s skyscrapers - while quirky artworks, historic landmarks, and vibrant outdoor spaces all contribute to the city’s unique ambience. Winters can be long and unrelenting, but the spirit of the people keeps the place warm, and means summer’s rich, sunny days are all the more appreciated - so join the locals on North Ave Beach, to make the most of the sunshine on the sands of Lake Michigan.Things to seeWhether it’s the cubist sculptures on street corners, the grand pillars of world renowned museums, or the rumble of muddy blues guitars, Chicago’s streets are overflowing with culture. The acclaimed Art Institute of Chicago was recently given the considerable honor of being named as the world’s best museum, and works by Dalí, Picasso and El Greco hang on its priceless walls. Museums and galleries in the city are anything but stuffy, and you’ll cower as lightening cracks through the air, try to stand as the force of a hurricane’s brutal winds are unleashed, and rush to prepare as the siren of your military submarine blares ahead of a dive, while visiting Chicago’s Science Museum. If life below the waves appeals, then the Shedd Aquarium is a great place to see elegant sea horses, neon-lit jellyfish and razor-toothed sharks skulking through their gigantic tanks. There’s history too - Chicago’s story was changed forever by a cow knocking over a candle, sparking the devastating fire of 1871. Flames tore through the city, killing hundreds, and forcing an almost complete rebuild. Visit Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile to see the US’s second oldest water-tower, which stands resolutely as one of the few buildings to survive the intensity of the flames. Hotels in
ChicagoPop the cork on a bottle of champagne, and toast your surroundings, as you look down over Chicago’s glittering grid of streets, from your stunning high-rise hotel. Top of the range luxury is everywhere, but if you’re trying to save some pennies, then the city’s budget accommodation - decked out with comfortable beds, movie-screen sized televisions, and sound-proofed walls - is hard to beat. WiFi, and hot drinks facilities are always waiting, and many hotels offer deep pools and well-equipped fitness centers - perfect for working off delicious local treats - like gooey Chicago-style pizza, and juicy hot dogs, buried by toppings.Where to stayLincoln Park is one of Chicago’s most vivacious neighborhoods, and whether you want to drink and dance below the strobing lights of Lincoln Avenue, or sip perfectly foamed cappuccinos on Clark Street, you’ll feel like you’re right at Chicago’s epicenter. The city hinges on downtown’s Loop area, where you’ll find Millennium Park snuggled between towering banks and ambitious skyscrapers. Its winding, flower-lined walkways, and secluded benches, offer respite from the claustrophobic enclosure of the monumental skyscrapers, but the main draw is Anish Kapoor's metallic, bean-like sculpture - Cloud Gate. Standing 12-feet tall, this artwork charms locals and visitors alike, offering beautiful reflections that bend and skew the city’s skyline.How to get to ChicagoO'Hare International Airport is a massive transport hub, so getting to and from Chicago isn’t a problem. Midway International Airport offers an alternative - often with shorter queues - and both airports are served by the L-train transport service, which will whisk you downtown in no time. Chicago’s Union Station is also a major Amtrak hub - which welcomes around 50 trains each day - so you can easily head off in the direction of New York or San Francisco, from the heart of Chicago.