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Chicago Travel Guide

By Nick K, Posted on 10 Oct, 2021 at 02:51 am

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Chicago Travel Guide

Chicago is not what you think; it is not only Frank Sinatra town; this town brings something that suits everyone’s taste. The sprawling city, Chicago, is not a fast-paced and chock-a-block town like New York, but you will find many things to enjoy here.

Chicago, the 3rd massive city of the United States of America, with over two million seven hundred thousand population, is also one of the massive cities in the Midwest. It is very well known for being the birthplace of contemporary skyscrapers and peppering with town beaches nestled beside Lake Michigan. In 1871, an enormous fire broke out and burnt much of the city center, except several handfuls of structures, making it easier for Chicago to put up the tallest and smashing skylines of America.

Chicago is not just a place for professional football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and hockey teams; it's also a dream place for every sports expert. Play a game of Chicago bears located at Soldier field, or if football games don't go well with your personality, log in for a Cubs or catch up White Sox Ball Game, a soccer round with a Chicago fire, the Blackhawks for hockey lovers, or the Bulls for a basketball game.

But Chicago is just not all about sports. It also serves as a food paradise with high-end museums, luxurious shopping, architectural gems, the best Chicago hotels, and a never-ending list of music venues with some clubs. Chicago is the only destination where you will never feel a shortage of things to eat and do. And one more thing, make sure to save some space for a Chicago dog and a deep-dish pizza.


Jump to: 



Time Zone:

The time zone of Chicago is Central Time.


Let Every Weather Welcome You!

Chicago seems to have a frosty winter, but this Windy city compensates for it with cozy, bright sunny days topped up with neighborhood festivals, live music, and the vivid blue blanket of skies. Visit this windy city anytime from June to September, and you will see the finest of urban beaches of Chicago. Hang tight till October if you are a runner and want to partake in the Chicago marathon hosted by this city yearly. Junes comes up with the Chicago Blue Festivals, whereas July promises the Chicago's Taste, an outdoor festival of food allowing the locals to taste their faves.

Don't miss the music festival of Lollapalooza, the Air and Water Show, and the Jazz Festivals of Chicago if you luckily hit this place in August. And, if you have enough courage to face the frosty temperatures, December offers you the Christkindlmarket, giving you a brilliant opportunity to tie the knots of your skates and float through the phenomenal Grant Park that sits at the Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon. You can get more opportunities to feast your eyes with Lincoln Park Zoo and Navy Pier decorated with Christmas lights.


Things You Should Know Before Traveling To Chicago
 

  • 200 plus neighborhoods are sitting in Chicago proudly, famous for its own iconic character and charms. Collectively, Chicago with the neighboring areas called Chicagoland.
     
  • The hot dogs of Chicago are served well with a topping of a dill pickle spear, white chopped onions, yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, pickled sport peppers, and tomato with a slight celery salt touch. But do whatever you want; just don't request ketchup.


How to Get Around?

Chicago comes under the most walkable cities boasting a superb public transit system, which features busses and trains. Also, Uber and Lyft are plenty throughout Chicago.

Trains: 

The train system of Chicago is called EI and runs on the high ground throughout the city's most part. It's easy to get around downtown Chicago. Just hop on the EI from Chicago O'Hare or Chicago Midway and hop off at the charming Downtown Chicago.
 

Buses:

There are several places where you can't reach through public transit, and for that, you will have to know about the extensive train system of Chicago. Buses can make it up for you, but make sure to go through all the instructions written on the sign of bus stops.
 

Taxi:

Another way to get around your fav place is by taxi. You are sure to find metered taxis across downtown Chicago and the nearby area.
 

Rideshare:

Two main options to get around any place in Chicago is Uber and Lyft. Lyft charges a little higher price than Uber; however, it does not remain the same.

 


Perfect Travel Home Choice For You!

If you don't know where to stay in Chicago, we've got you covered. Stay in whatever hotel you like, from pocket-friendly to luxurious hotels in Downtown Chicago.


 Peninsula Chicago:

Experience the Magnificent Mile's views paired up with award-winning restaurants serving lip-smacking cuisines at Peninsula Chicago. From accommodations to corporate events, there is everything. Revive your soul in an Asian-inspired spa and welcome your guest in a spacious and luxurious guest room with sweeping city views. Each room of this hotel is fitted with a lighting control console and temperature. Dip your toes in a half-Olympic indoor swimming pool, or simply join a gym for fitness or yoga classes. Sip an afternoon tea with champagne and chocolate, and enjoy sun rays from a sun terrace.

Make your way to this chic hotel and reconnect yourself with a neighborhood overflowing with historic homes.

Address: 108 E. Superior St. | Phone: (312) 337-2888

The Peninsula Chicago rates from $ 550.0


  Viceroy Chicago:

Experience the contemporary glamour-filled rooms and suites embellished with staggering gold and black accents that look retro-chic contrasting to the city's backdrop. Sip craft cocktails with delicious bites at the rooftop lounge offering the city views. Wrap up your day with a dive in an outdoor pool or exhilarate your body in a fitness center.

Viceroy Chicago rates from $ 345.0


  Drake Hotel Chicago:

Embrace all the glamour and history in the Gold Coast of Chicago's hotel named The Drake Hotel. The non-smoking rooms are filled with comfort, and guests can experience the vibrant nightlife, incredible handcrafted art, and mouth-watering cuisines. Relax on the rooftop patio with a snack and margarita.

Address: 140 E Walton Place | Phone: (312) 787-2200

The Drake Hotel rates from $ 181.0


 Sybaris Chicago:

Welcome to Sybaris Chicago! This chic hotel has served as the best getaway and romantic honeymoon destination for over four decades. This adults-only resort ignites feelings, and the whirlpool and swimming pool are so pleasing to the mind. Every room and suite is designed to provide guests a soothing effect to mind and body while the flickering fireplace warms the room, setting the best stage for the aura of romance. Enjoy the luxurious-filled privacy as there are no windows and telephones to interrupt.

 

  Loews Hotel Chicago:

Experience the luxurious vibes while living in the heart of Chicago, nestled a few steps off from Navy Pier this fanciest hotel will allow you to enjoy the comfort of your home in the rooms and suites. Host a never-forgettable meeting in an indoor or outdoor space or absorb the peace from the rooftop terrace.

Address: 455 N. Park Drive | Phone: (888) 342-1569

Loews Chicago Hotel rates from $ 245.0


Savor The Diverse Flavors!

Savor the flavorful cuisines of Chicago in these below-mentioned restaurants!


Au Cheval:

This mind-blowing restaurant serves no ordinary dinner. Its menu includes roasted marrow bones, chicken livers, and signature cheeseburgers. You won't find these delectable cuisines anywhere. Grab the simple burger made with prime beef forming into the patties of four ounces with the Kraft American cheese layering. To give a unique look and flavorful taste, they are served with the topping of Dijonnaise and homemade pickles. Add a thick slice of peppered bacon, foie gras, or fried egg to make it taste heavenly.

Address: 800 W Randolph Street | Phone: (312) 929-4580

Girl and The Goat:

Girl and The Goat was an idea of the female chef, named Chef Stephanie Izard, the first female chef and had won the top chef award “Bravo.” She is an award-winning chef of James Beard who has won all the cooking competitions beating all the other chefs, even the Bobby Flay. Grab your family-style cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. The top menu items of this restaurant are grilled pork belly, wood oven-roasted pig face, swiss chard-kale pierogis, and goat liver mousse; you can taste them all at Girl and The Goat. But whatever you wish to eat, don't miss out on the delicious dessert bourbon ice cream or handcrafted cocktails.

Address: 809 W Randolph Street | Phone: (312) 492-6262


Gene and Georgetti's:

Craving for delectable cuisines? Hit this restaurant! An Italian immigrants couple put up the Gene and Georgetti's in 1941, so it comes under the oldest steakhouses of Chicago. Many celebrities like Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Will Ferrell, and Keanu Reeves munched on the large portions of steaks, chops, and classic Italian entrees such as Veal Scaloppine, Eggplant Parmesan, and Chicken Marsala.

Address: 500 N Franklin Street | Phone: (312) 527-3718


Quartino Ristorante:

Quartino Ristorante is one of the must-go places if you seek a family-friendly restaurant serving Italian meals. You can find this restaurant downtown or can take away to taste delicious cuisines in your comfort area. Make sure to feast on the burrata, eggplant parmesan, organic veal skirt steak, or roasted baby octopus.

Address: 626 N State Street | Phone: (312) 698-5000


Joy Yee's Noodle Shop:

If your tummy needs noodles, this is where to get them. An extensive noodles menu in Chicago is offered by this one and only Joy Yee's Noodle Shops. Nestled in three different positions, the first is in Chinatown of Chicago, and two are suburban outposts in Naperville and Evanston. Moreover, if your tummy wants some bubble tee of Taiwanese style, no worries because this shop will even serve you this too.

Address: 2139 S China Place | Phone: (312) 328-0001


Frontera Grill:

Founded in 1987 by one of the famous chefs named Rick Bayless. Now it is very well known as the only best city's Mexican restaurants. The corns to make Tortillas are specially brought from Mexico, fishes are chosen from the well-maintained fisheries, and the seasonal vegetables dominate the menu. In 2007, this restaurant won an award from the reputable James Beard.

Address: 445 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 | Phone: (312) 661-1434


Giordano's:

Don't leave the place without feasting on the delectable deep-dish pizza of Chicago. Among many restaurants, Giordano's offers the local intricacy and break up throughout the country as there are 65 locations. But one that will give you instant access is central Chicago. The restaurant has its roots in a little Italian town in the north. It was here; the well-known Italian Easter Pie was made by Mama Giordano, the forerunner of the contemporary deep dish of Giordano.

Address: 223 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60606 | Phone: (312) 583-9400


Lou Malnati's

In 1940, Lou Malnati first served the deep dish pizzeria in Chicago, and afterward, she went to the suburbs and established his own pizzeria. What makes this place the best in others is that the deep dish pizza is cooked from zero using vine-ripened tomatoes of California that all are hand-picked. The teensy-weensy dairy farms of Wisconsin, supplying the Mozzarella here for over 40 years while the secret flavor-mashup of spices are added to the sausages to enhance the taste.


 Gino's East

Two taxi drivers with one more friend came up with the idea of this restaurant, " Gino's East." In 1966, this amazing trio put up their pizzeria for the very first time, and now, it has spread throughout Chicagoland and Texas. This restaurant uses a crust like cornmeal to rustle up their deep-dish pizza, and the bottom is covered with cheese. More toppings are added over the cheese to give this cuisine a delectable taste, and then it is soaked in sauce.

Address: 162 E Superior Street | Phone: (312) 266-3337


Alinea

Head to this 3-star Michelin restaurant now that has taken the constant top place in the world's finest restaurants. Bless your taste buds with outlandish dishes of Chef Grant Achatz, who mingles phenomenal flavors with creativity. Make sure to grab a bite of helium balloon-edible- cooked from taffy as it is in one of the visitor's faves lists.

Address: 1723 N Halsted Street | Phone: (312) 867-0110


Tzuco:

A Michelin-starred chef named Carlos Gaytan opened his restaurant of mixed French-Mexica cuisines. He started his career at the age of 20 as a dishwasher before earning the title of Michelin Star, 2013. This restaurant is whispering the life story of Gaytan through the multiple series of idyllic dishes in a welcoming, friendly spot located on the Gold Coast. Dishes are made for sharing; we know that you'll never ever wish to miss out on the barbacoa, the peppery roasted octopus, or the traditional onion soup of French served with a twist of poblano pepper.

Address: 720 N State Street | Phone: (312) 374-8995


Billy Goat Tavern

In 1943, Billy Goat Tavern served as an Institution in Chicago. The founder of this restaurant is the Greek immigrant named William Sianis, who came along his tavern, and so it is known as Lincoln Tavern. What inspires him to change the name is the one single goat that fell off the running track and turned around, and it was when the idea sprang to his mind. The menu is unsophisticated and simple, including the Cheezeborgers, famous because of the Night Live of Saturday.

Address: 1535 W Madison Street | Phone: (312) 733-9132


Best Hits For You!


Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

If you want to see the best of Chicago, gaze at it while being on the water. You can do that through a boat tour of Architecture Foundation, providing you a good time to treat your eyes to Chicago's architecture. In the trip of 1.5 hours, you will see the Marina City, a residential tower paired together called corncobs, Willis Tower, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Merchandise Mart, a stunning structure standing proudly, featuring its zip code.

Address: 465 N McClurg Court | Phone: (708) 488-6343


Willis Tower:

Formerly called Sears Town, Willis Tower is a towering skyscraper of 110-story, the world's gigantic building. For 25 years, this tower has been standing proudly in Chicago. It is considered America's colossal building in the present era, placed before the One World Trade Center, New York. The observation deck of this spot attracts to million visitors annually, making it the most visited popular destination. Catch sight of Wisconsin and Michigan in more clear days.

Address: 233 South Wacker Drive | Phone: (312) 875-0066


360 Chicago:

Head to the observation deck of 360 Chicago, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building, which offers the outstanding vistas of Lake Michigan and the skyline of Chicago. Ready to taste the dose of adrenaline? Try out the surrounded movable platform, tilting visitors atop Michigan Avenue. Go for a trip to the restaurant and bar of Signature Room to gaze at the spectacular lake of Hancock Tower and sweeping city vistas with a cocktail or buffet brunch.

Address: 875 North Michigan Avenue | Phone: (888) 875-8439


Go To The Beach:

Chicago is considered a beach area for those looking to laze in the skyscraper shadows while digging deep holes with their toes. The lakeshore of Chicago stretches to 26 miles and has 25 beaches. Drop into the North Avenue Beach, located in Northern Downtown, to play games like volleyball or yoga on the sand. Also, stroll along Oak Street Beach, sitting near to Chicago's downtown. This place is just a bang on your buck as admission is free of cost.


Art Institute Of Chicago:

The largest and former museum located in the USA is the Art Institute Of Chicago. Every year, millions of visitors get around this place to capture amazing views such as; Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, The Old Guitarist of Picasso, and American Gothic of Grant Wood. The museum stretches to 1 million sqft, set in the glamourous building of beaux-arts. It was designed in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition of the world.

Address: 111 S Michigan Avenue | Phone: (312) 443-3600


Frank Lloyd Wright houses:

Frank Lloyd is one of the famous architects who hit Chicago in 1187 in seek of work. He made over 1,000 structures in his entire career, and a few of them are in Chicago's area. Get around this place through the public transit named the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and the Chicago’s University Robie House located in suburban Oak Park.


Get a view of Jazz at the Green Mill:

As the Pop Morse's Roadhouse, the green mill was founded in 1907. One of his regular and favorite booths is still exist named Al Capone. Take in the sweeping panoramas of both back and front entrances of booths. Most movies had shot at Green Mill embracing Prelude to a Kiss, Soul Food, and High Fidelity.

Address: 4802 N. Broadway Avenue | Phone: 773-878-5552


Field Museum:

One of the world's colossal museums of natural history is the Field Museum, attracting millions of visitors to explore the fossil and ancient culture. And yeah! You will also get a chance to meet one of the monumental and complete skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex named Sue. Plus, catch sight of Chicago Bears housed by Soldiers field, nestled over from the Field Museum.

Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Drive| Phone: (312) 922-9410


The Second City:

Chicago is considered a comedy central as many top comedians of America start their career from the comedy club of the Second City. These comedians include Stephen Colbert, Joan Rivers, John, and Jim Belushi, Amy Poehler, John Candy, and Bill Murray. This city is home to the vibrant stunning club.


Walk Around the Grand Park:

Stretches to 319-acre, this urban park is nestled in Chicago’s downtown along Lake Michigan. Nicknamed as Chicago's front yard, it includes Millennium Park, the Chicago’s Art Institute, and the phenomenal Buckingham Fountain gushing in the air and was appeared in the TV program named "Married... with Children" as well as in the movie named "National Lampoon's Vacation." Head around to the fountain from 8. a.m. to 11 p.m. to relish the view and from mid-April to mid-October. Catch a summer concert at the Millennium ark or log in for ice skating as winter sports, nestled within the Grand Park. Plus, don't miss out on the water shows that are scheduled after every hour.

Address: 337 E Randolph Street 


Museum of Science and Industry

Set in the building of Hyde Park of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry used to be the World's Columbian Exposition’s part. Catch sight of the museum exhibits, including the World War II German submarine, full-size facsimile coal mine, the Pioneer Zephyr, a model railroad 3,500-sq-ft, airplanes of WWII, the very first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel train of the world, and the command module from Apollo 8. The Science and History Museum is very well famous for interactive exhibits. Plus, it boasts over 2,000 pieces, but you will have to spend some extra bucks as some of the exhibits demands some more fee.

Address: 5700 S Lake Shore Drive | Phone: (773) 684-9844


Cloud Gate

Look closer into the place, and you will see the public sculpture sitting on the Millennium Park edge, and take notice; it's not what people call it "The bean" but a cloud it was meant to be. British (roots are from India) designed this Cloud Gate built from 2004 to 2006. They are well-mannerly built, in a way that after welding, no visible seams are there; plus, it features 168 stainless steel pieces.

Address: 201 E Randolph Street in Millennium Park


Chicago Theater

One of the best landmarks built-in 1921 is the Chicago Theater that acted as the premier theater of this city. Today, Chicago organizes plays, concerts, comedy, journey to Broadway shows, and much more to entertain visitors. The famous marques of the theater were shown in TV, movies, and artwork depicting the city at its finest. If you want to experience live performances, property tours are available.

Address: 175 N State Street| Phone: (312) 462-6300


Cool Shopping Areas Just For You!


Water Tower Place:

Located at Magnificent Mile's northern tip, Water Tower Place is the world's first vertical mall. Hit this mall that provides 758,000 sqft of shopping located in Chicago’s downtown heart and has eight levels with 100 plus stores incorporating a Chicago Cubs Clubhouse Shop or outlet store- Sephora, Lego, banana republic, and Victoria's Secret -and a flagship American Girl Store. This mall was named so because of the Chicago Water Tower; it was the structure that survived in the massive fire of 1871, it sits along the Magnificent Mile on North Michigan.

Address: 835 N. Michigan Avenue | Phone: (312) 440-3580


Oak Street:

If you want to splurge on shopping, Oak Street is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the place where you should go. Nestled between Michigan Avenue and Rush Street, this shopping district is small but overflowing with top-notch retailers such as Armani, Tory Burch, Prada, Jimmy Choo, and Hermes. Moreover, you will also come across the bridal salon of Harry Winston, Barney, and Vera Wang.


State Street

Make your way to State Street if you are in search of retailers such as Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora. It is home to the world's oldest department store, an old Marshall Field that is now transformed into a Macy. The Macy's 7th floor is home to a restaurants collection from famous chefs embracing Takashi Yagihashi and Bayless.


Kokorokoko Vintage

If you are an 80's or 90's child, you will love to explore one of the eccentric boutiques. This store was founded in 2009, and the purpose was to bring over the shopper's vintage from the pre-Internet and post-hip-hop era. You will find here ample of T-shirts, the prom dresses of the 80s, bright prints, and much more such as trading cards of 90210.

Address: 1323 North Milwaukee Avenue


Chicago’s Fashion Outlets:

Make your way to the Rosemont suburb, and here you will come across the retailers such as Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gucci away from the 5th Rosemont. At this point, hit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, nestled half-mile from the Chicago O' Hare International Airport. If you are looking to drop some extra cash or simply just for deals, this long break shopping spot is the best find for you.

Address: 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont, IL 60018


Wicker Park:

Are you finding a vintage shop? You have exactly come across the right place. North Avenue and N Milwaukee Avenue merged at Wicker Park. Visit it for a little walk to the southeast of Milwaukee, and your eyes will catch the several vintage retailers embracing Una Mae's, Vintage Underground, and Buffalo Exchange.


Lincoln Park:

If you are boutique shoppers, this heavenly shopping spot is for you. You will find here one-of-a-kind retailers that are selling gifts, furniture, clothes, and much more. Lincoln Park houses a number of chain retailers and the colossal Lulu lemon of the world. More popular shops include Enzo Custom, Art Effect, and Alice & Wonderland.


Open Books:

One of the nonprofits used bookstore is the Open Books, and the purpose of this bookstore is to enhance learning in Chicago. Several programs are organized for students, and they provide free-of-cost books to libraries, schools, and other nonprofits throughout Chicago. Located at two positions, one of them sits in the West Loop while the other is in Pilsen. Surprisingly, over fifty thousand books are resting in the West Loop's inventory.

Address: 651 W. Lake Street | Phone:  312-475-1355
 

Neighborhoods to Know


Magnificent Mile:

A strip going all the way to Michigan Avenue, Magnificent Miles is very well famous for shopping. At this place, you can indulge yourself in countless shops and top-class merchants such as Chanel, La Perla, Burberry, and Tory Burch. Plus, department stores are lining up the area like Saks, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale encircling The Disney Store, Nike, Patagonia, Uniqlo, and Zara.

Hotel in Magnificent Mile


Wicker Park and Bucktown:

One of the best hipster havens is the Wicker Park and nearest Bucktown, famous for the community, nightlife, art, and food views. Both neighboring areas are very well-known for their own unique styles and overflowing with ample bars, restaurants, and street art.


Wrigley Ville:

This neighborhood is for you if you are a fan of baseball. Here you will come across Wrigley Field that houses Champion Chicago Cubs of the World, and apparently, the infinite bar strip is the vibrating town's place when Cubs are messing around.


Hyde Park:

Hyde Park is located Southside, and here is the Michelle Obama was brought up. It is also the hometown of her and Brack Obama. Drop into the University of Chicago, stroll around the Robie House, step back in time with the Museum of Science and History, and get lost in several historical mansions.


Gold Coast:

The Gold Coast of Chicago is the historic district, comes up with several local millionaires who came to this place right after a massive fire broke out. This place features an outstanding blend of row houses, mansions, and skyscrapers. Moreover, it is now placed on the list of American's richest neighborhoods of Urban.
 


Highs and Lows of Temperature in Chicago by month:


The summers in Chicago are beautiful and humid, while the winters might be snowy, windy, and sometimes completely brutal. But, Fall brings the colors with pleasant weather. Let's see the average temperature of every month!

In January: The average temperature ranges from 18° to 32°.

In February: The average temperature ranges from 20° to 34°.

In March: The average temperature ranges from 29° to 43°.

In April: The average temperatures range from 40° to 55°.

In May: The average temperature ranges from 50° to 65°.

In June: The average temperature ranges from 60° to 75°.

In July: The average temperature ranges from 66° to 81°.

In August: The average temperature ranges from 65° to 79°.

In September: The average temperatures range from 58° to 73°.

In October: The average temperature ranges from 47° to 61°.

In November: The average temperature ranges from 34° to 47°.

In December: The average temperature ranges from 23° to 36°.


We’ve eased up your hunt. This all-embracing guide will make your trip worry-free. Explore the area, embrace all the charms, and experience new things. From best things to do to eat, from shopping districts to the best neighborhoods to explore, and from best time to hit the place to the best hotels Downtown Chicago, find all that suits your interest and taste. Just get the show on the road!

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About Author

Nick K

Nick K, a travel blogger based in Europe, has been a solo traveler for over 15 years. He always has had his head over the skies and his backpack all over the world. He has traveled to over 30 countries and has penned down his experience with the motto of "on the next destination." He has written over 300+ blog posts written with a combo of videos and photography.