City guide to Chicago

Introduction to Chicago

Chicago downtown

Chicago is a cities of dualities, a hardworking urban city which has a set of beaches on massive Lake Michigan that rival anything in Florida. At least during the summer months, as winters usually are both harsh and long. Another is the juxtaposition of high-class restaurants with the city's most famous dish, the double-layer pizza pie, referred to as the Chicago-style pizza all over the United States.

The city comes to life during the summer months, when the lake-front beaches are heaving with sun worshippers, there are festivals every week in Jackson Park and Millennium Park, and tourists arrive to explore both the famous neighborhoods and shopping the Miracle Mile.

Nearby is the Navy Pier, jutting out into Lake Michigan. Possibly Chicago’s most-visited attraction, it’s a fun outing for families.

Remaining clearly Mid Western in character while reminding many of the big city in the east, New York City, Chicago has a blend of laid back attitudes and a strong work-hard / party-hard sensibility. Here, you can party until 5am in a packed bar on any given Tuesday, while stock brokers come into their offices while you're just heading home.

If you're in the mood for more cultural pursuits, there are world class museums all over the city, ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. For the kids, there's the outstanding Lincoln Park Zoo to visit.

Photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton on flickr

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