Chicago Winter Skyline
There are so many epic aspects of modern culture that are associated with Chicago that its hard to know where to begin when talking about the place.
Let's see- in the 1920's American prohibition resulted in the rise of iconic gangster figures such as Al Capone and Johnny Torrio. Although they are associated with lawlessness and thuggery, the level of 'cool' with which they went about their misdeeds has permeated through time and come to represent the very word itself. Their legend lends Chicago a certain intrigue that has to be experienced for yourself.
Lets move forward to more modern times and another famous icon, this one a whole lot more clean cut: Michael Jordan. The basketball star turned movie star is one of the most recognizable figures in the world, after he first found fame when he propelled the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. He is one of the big figures in the city's history, and a large part of the Chicago culture.
Chicago's rich heritage extends to its music scene: it is recognized as the city outside of the South of America where jazz first became popularized. Today its live music scene flourishes, and many of the popular bands of the day come from Chicago.
And to top it all off, this is one beautiful city. It's said that the concept of the skyscraper was born in Chicago, and the beautiful, tall skyline seems to reflect this. In the evenings when the city lights reflect off the surface of Lake Michigan there is very little to differentiate the starry sky from the twinkling water. In fact the Great Lakes are an excellent basis for exploration while in the region... just hop into your rental car and enjoy their sights! A few other things you should do in Chicago are:
1. Sears Skydeck
Introduce yourself to Chicago with a birds eye view from the highest and most visited observatory in the city, and the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Voted one of the seven wonders of Chicago, it has interactive exhibits and knee high attractions for the kids too.
2. Lincoln Park Zoo
Founded in 1868, this free zoo has become an institution of heritage in Chicago. There are nearly 1250 animals who call this zoo home, including polar bears, gorillas, penguins and lots of reptiles. With two sections set apart for children, it is a perfect place to take the family for a fun and cheap days outing.
3. See stand up comedy at Steppenwolf Theater
A lot of the popular comedy on the T.V and in the theaters today has its roots in the Chicago stand up scene. On any given night you can find free comedy shows at venues all through the city- some of it will be funny, some not so funny, it's all a good experience though. Popular theaters are the Steppenwolf, Lakeview and Uptown.
4. Go for a cycle along the Lakefront trail
On any driving holiday you eventually get tired of the rental car! In Chicago you can take a break and hire a bicycle to cycle the 20 miles down the Lakefront Trail, a route that takes you past 31 beaches, a golf course, numerous harbors, Lincoln Park Zoo and the Navy Pier!
5. Visit navy pier
Built early in the last century this was initially a freight and then a military pier. Today it has undergone a huge transformation and is a multi-million dollar recreation center that is the most visited attraction in the city. There is something for everyone, with ferris wheels and other fairground attractions to keep the kids happy, an IMAX theater, numerous boat tours and two performance stages.
Great Places To Stay In Chicago
Gold Coast Inn B&B - Charming, centrally located B&B in Chicago’s GoldCoast Area.
Ray's Bucktown B&B - European Style B&B in Chicago’s Artsy Bucktown Neighborhood.
University Quarters B&B - Gracious guest accommodations near The University of Chicago, McCormick Place, and downtown Chicago.
Wicker Park Inn B&B - High quality, affordable B&B accommodation just minutes from the best of downtown Chicago.
The Villa Toscana B&B - Victorian style bed and breakfast located in the heart of Chicago's entertainment district.