Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the city of Chicago is world famous for its skyline, which is dotted by skyscrapers. It is well known to be an international hub for commerce, trade, and tourism. The city also is the home to many famous museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago History Museum amongst others. Whether you are an art lover or an avid shopper or a sucker for architecture, Chicago offers all this and many more reasons to visit it. With world-class tourism infrastructure and numerous tourist attractions, Chicago is one city, you should not afford to miss. Read this Chicago travel guide 2018, which covers everything you need to know about Chicago.
Best Time To Visit Chicago
Chicago attracts millions of visitors all around the year thanks to its endless attractions. This means every season offers some reason or the other to spend time in Chicago. Seasoned visitors know their way through Chicago, but for a first-timer, it can get intimidating. Follow this Chicago travel guide to find out which part of the year suits you.
- Spring Season (April-May): If you want to avoid the crowds that throng Chicago in the Summer holiday season and the chilly weather that Chicago is famous for, then this is the perfect time to visit Chicago. This way, you get to cover a lot more of the tourist attractions.
- Summer Season (June-August): This is the peak tourist season in Chicago thanks to schools being closed for summer. If you are planning on visiting Chicago with your family, this season is the time to visit, thanks to numerous family-friendly events and happenings at all major tourist attractions.
- Autumn Season (September-October): Chicago records its finest temperatures during this season. The pleasant weather along with lower crowds means you can enjoy Chicago to the fullest. Do not miss out on the famous boat tour of the city at this time of the year.
- Winter Season (November-March): It gets really cold in Chicago during these months. However, the hotels and the tourist attractions offer hefty discounts to tourists during this lean period. Thus, making it the perfect time for those who are on a tight budget.
How To Reach Chicago
Chicago, being a major metropolitan city, is well connected with all major cities of the world. The city has two major airports – the O’Hare International Airport and the Midway International airport, both receiving thousands of footfalls every day. Direct non-stop flights to Chicago are available from Delhi. Budget airlines like Wow Air also operate from India to Chicago.
The Ideal Duration Of Stay In Chicago
Being a large and diverse city, you will need a lifetime to fully cover Chicago and its attractions. However, all the major places of interest can be covered within seven days, which is generally the ideal length of most vacations. Most of the best Chicago travel guide provide detailed information as to the amount of time required at each tourist attraction. Plan your Chicago trip accordingly to get the most out of the Chicago experience.
Best Places to visit in Chicago
The following three districts of Chicago cover all the major attractions in this city and leave you wanting for more.
1.The Chicago Loop
Being the central business district in the city of Chicago, the Loop is much famed to be second in line when it comes to commercial business districts in the USA. This is where the famed skyscrapers and high-rises of Chicago can be found. There are plenty of shopping opportunities in this area and one can either visit the Loop Retail Historic District or the nearby upscale Magnificent Mile area. The Chicago river that flows by the side of the Loop is known for its boat tours and river-walks.
2.Near North Side
This part of the city is the home to many museums such as the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Loyola University Museum of Art and others. The famous Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is found here and is home to some of the best ever productions made. The Wrigley Building – former headquarters of the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company is another famous landmark whose address can be found in this part of the city. The Near North Side is the place to have a glimpse of the old school architecture.
3.Near South Side
Just south of the Loop, this district hosts many of the Chicago’s major structures such as the Museum Campus, the Soldier Field, and the McCormick Place. Visit the Museum Campus which contains major tourist attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum. Rest assured, your kids will have a field day at the campus. Largely a residential community area, this part of the city offers you the real Chicago, away from the skyscrapers and the commotion of downtown Chicago.
Best Things to do in Chicago
Confused with what are the sights and the things to do in Chicago, just follow our top three things to do in Chicago.
1.See the Chicago skyline from the Skydeck
The Willis Tower is the most famous building in Chicago. It is the second largest building in the United States and its observational deck is on the 103rd floor. This deck is visited by millions annually to get a view of the entire Chicago skyline. On a clear day, one can see the Illinois Plains across the Lake Michigan.
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2.Take the Chicago Architecture River Cruise
Worried about the traffic on the streets of Chicago? If so, this is the best way to cover Chicago. Learn about how the skyscrapers were constructed and be astonished about the science involved in it. The cruise along the Chicago River offers some amazing picture opportunities.
3.Shop to your heart’s content at the Millennium Mile
This is the ultimate paradise for all shopaholics and is best visited during the holiday season. The stores of all leading brands are present in this stretch and can burn a hole in your wallet too. Accompanied by high-end restaurants and cafés, it is the ultimate shopping destination.
Best Places To Stay
One of the questions that pops up immediately in your mind while planning a visit is where to stay in Chicago for first-time visitors like you. Here are some recommendations of the best hotels which will make your stay in Chicago comfortable and memorable.
1.The Peninsula Chicago
If you are looking to be pampered by your place of stay, then this is the right hotel for you. Located in one of the posh localities of Chicago, this hotel is frequented by Hollywood A-Listers and other celebrities. This five-star hotel also hosts award-winning restaurants and an exquisite roof-top lounge.
Location: 108 E Superior Street, Chicago
2.Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago
This hotel, near the Grand Metro station, symbolizes everything that Chicago is about. With a view of the Chicago River, the rooms are full of colours and come with yoga mats, work desks for the Indian in you. The 17-floor boutique hotel also has a sleek 1940s-inspired restaurant to meet your dietary requirements.
Location: 505 North State Street, Chicago
3.The Langham, Chicago
Situated just next to the Millennium Mile, this is the perfect spot in the town for your stay. A tad expensive compared to other hotels, it is compensated by their five-star service, a sleek Mediterranean restaurant and a magnificent view of Lake Michigan. Throw in a world-class spa and this is the heaven in Chicago.
Location: 330 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago
The US Dollar is the currency of the United States of America. People from India can acquire US Dollar from your nearest bank branch or private foreign-exchange dealers authorized by the Government of India.
Visit your nearest US Consulate or Embassy to inquire about your visa eligibility as it differs from one country to another. A tourist visa is encouraged for sightseeing purposes and is easily attainable subject to verification.
What To Pack
The essentials for a trip to Chicago include:
- A camera
- A travel itinerary
- Sunscreen lotions
- Hiking shoes
- Credit cards and legal documents – passports, visa approval confirmation, and travel insurance.
- The clothes are to be according to the season during which you plan to visit Chicago.
- Beware, the summers and the winters are extremely hot and cold respectively, so pack accordingly.
We believe that this Chicago travel guide will help your way around the great city of Chicago. This ready reckoner will make you well-informed about the choices you have in Chicago. So, what are you waiting for? Plan and customize your USA vacation with TravelTriangle and enjoy the best time of your life amidst the picturesque locations.
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