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Chicago Travel Guide

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5 Best Photo Opportunities in Chicago

There's more to Chicago than deep-dish pizza and grueling winds. This Midwest city...Read More
48 Hours in Chicago
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Chicago OVERVIEW
Chicago travel is more than just an excuse to scarf down stuffed pizza and take in a Cubs game (though we’re not knocking either). This city is a world metropolis disguised as a friendly Midwestern town. Chefs like Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless have guaranteed its reputation as a foodie hotspot, the already first-rate museum scene here was boosted in 2009 with the expansion of the Art Institute, and a bouquet of culturally rich ethnic neighborhoods keep it all from becoming too white-bread. Oh, and you may have heard of Chicago’s newest favorite power couple—Barack and Michelle Obama, who maintain a home on the South Side and make the occasional appearance at their favorite hometown restaurant, Spiaggia. At the same time, Chicago is nicer than New York and less pretentious than Los Angeles, with a street grid system that makes it much easier to get around than either of the above. “The grid,” as you’ll hear it called, has been around since 1909, when a far-sighted city council adopted ...See More a system in which streets are numbered according to their distance from the downtown intersection of State Street and Madison Avenue, and in which eight blocks equals a mile. There’s an even simpler way to orient yourself, though—by remembering this mantra: “The lake is east.” Lovely Lake Michigan, looking as vast as any ocean, edges the city’s east side.   Most people on a Chicago vacation spend their time downtown—whether in the Loop (Chicago’s historic center) or in the retail-therapy wonderland known as the Magnificent Mile—or on the North Side, home of big-draw attractions such as Wrigley Field and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The less-visited West and South sides offer a grittier side of the city that’s just as worth seeing, though, with blues clubs and hipster bars galore. See Less
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