Things to Do in Chicago
Chicago is often called America's Second City, but when it comes to culture, fine dining, shopping, attractions and business, it considers itself Number One! It describes itself as "Home of the blues, the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper" which sums up the cultural history of this vibrant city very neatly. Chicago, nicknamed "Windy City", is the largest city in Illinois and the most populous in the mid-west. Its location, between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed made it the ideal choice for business and industry in the 19th century. Today, O'Hare International Airport continues that trend and is the second busiest airport hub in the US, bringing a host of visitors on business and pleasure to this dynamic city. The long expanses of sandy beaches lined with high-rise architecture offer a host of things to do beside this vast 307 mile-long lake.
The downtown area is known as the "The Loop" after the raised Metro called the "L" which runs around it linking the central business district with the upscale shopping area just a few blocks from the waterfront. The business district is easy to spot with its impressive high-rise architecture including the Chicago Board of Trade Building, which is a national historic landmark, and the Willis Tower. The Loop is bounded on two sides by the Chicago River and on the east by Lake Michigan. The community area of downtown Chicago includes Grant Park which covers 319 acres. It includes the Buckingham Fountain, a local landmark, and the world-class Art Institute with its fine collection of French Impressionist paintings. This is the area to see the Joffrey Ballet, attend the Goodman Theater or get tickets for the Lyric Opera or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Chicago is home to the Reliance Building (now Hotel Burnham), the first steel-framed skyscraper and the Willis Tower, currently the tallest in the United States and formerly known as Sears Tower.