Chicago Travel: Most Popular Articles
Want some expensive looking threads at bargain prices or great discounts on discontinued or seasonal items? Here is a guide to Chicago's best outlet malls.
Affectionately referred to by locals as
Those not familiar with the vastness of Lake Michigan will be very surprised by the fact that Chicago beaches are miles long and just might make you wonder if you've somehow been transported to the west coast.
45 miles north of Chicago, Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall has something for everyone. For the kids, attractions include the Reptile Zoo, Rainforest Cafe, Disney Store, Rink Side Sports and cineplex. And of course over 200 outlet stores for the grownups. Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
For bargains on very upscale merchandise from Kate Spade to Coach and Giorgio Armani to Elie Tahari, Aurora's Chicago Premium Outlets Mall has bargain gems that are a must for the materialist in you.
August is usually hot and humid in Chicago, but it's still bustling with visitors as folks try to squeeze in a vacation before school starts again. The upside is that the Lake Michigan water temperature is usually the warmest it will be all year, making for a nice swim. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in August.
Chicago has a large number of tourist attractions, but there are undoubtedly a select handful that are by far the most popular with visitors. Here are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Windy City.
Here are some ways you can take a Chicago gangster tour and immerse yourself into the world of the likes of Al Capone and John Dillinger.
Chicago in summer is a sight to behold -- the parks are lush, Lake Michigan glimmers in the hot sun, and the streets bustle with tourists and locals who managed to have the fortitude to survive a Chicago winter. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Chicago in the summer.
From family-focused swimming holes to a few serving cocktails poolside, here are the best in Chicago.
The Brookfield Zoo is a short drive from downtown and is one of the best zoos in the country.
Go Chicago Card is a great way to save some money - and some time - if you plan on doing a whirlwind tour of Chicago attractions.
While many of Chicago's museums and attractions every so often have
July is a very popular travel month in Chicago -- Taste of Chicago is in full swing, Lake Michigan is bright blue and the water is warm, and there is plenty to do. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in July.
Most of the time traffic in Chicago and trying to find parking can be maddening, especially for the uninitiated visitor. But there is a solution, the Chicago trains and the rest of its extensive public transportation system.
Opened May 26, 1927, the Buckingham Fountain has become one of the Windy City's top attractions, and arguably competes with the Sears Tower as Chicago's most famous landmark.
Chicago's Museum Campus is the official name for an area of land along south Lake Shore Drive that is home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field
O'Hare International Airport provides connections to more cities, more often than any other airport in the world. On the outskirts of the city, and connected to Chicago city limits by a thin strip of land along Foster Avenue near the Kennedy Expressway, over 190,000 people travel through O'Hare every day, and the airport was voted
Soaring at 110 stories tall, the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is the tallest building in North America and remains a huge tourist attraction, namely due to its Skydeck observatory offering a view of Chicago at 1,353 feet (412 meters).
September is a wonderful time of year in Chicago -- the mild temps and the diminished crowds is ideal for sightseeing. But bring a sweater of light jacket, as the temps at night can get on the chilly side. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in September.
50 stores with brand name merchandise, Premium Outlets Huntley Mall has recently undergone a major renovation and added stores such as Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and others. Located 50 miles northwest of Chicago, bargain shoppers will also notice the big blue Ikea store along the way.
Visiting Chicago with young kids can present a challenge -- while the city has some of the best attractions in the world, your 3-year-old traveling companion isn't likely going to want to stare at a Seurat painting at the Art Institute. Here are some of the best Chicago attractions for kids in the preschool and younger set.
Chicago is a main hub for Amtrak trains coming from all parts of the U.S.. Here is an overview of which train routes travel to and through Chicago.
Located just east of downtown on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers scores of entertainment and dining options, making it one of Chicago's top tourist attractions.
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest wildlife habitats in the United States. Boasting magnificent grounds and a new children's zoo, Lincoln Park should definitely be on your list for required stops on your visit to Chicago.
The Chicago hot dog is probably the Windy City's most famous signature food, so of course they are ubiquitous all throughout the city. But as locals will tell you, there are places that do it right, and others that, well, do it very, very wrong. Here are my personal favorites for the best places to sample a Chicago-style hot dog.
The Admiral Theatre is an all-nude strip club on Chicago's Northwest Side.
Built in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium is one of the premier aquariums in the country and home to an impressive collection of underwater life.
A Guide to Tipping in Chicago, from maid service to cab drivers to bartenders
It may be well into fall, but there are still lots of great things going on during October in Chicago. Despite what the averages say, weather during this month can vary widely -- sometimes it's unseasonably warm, and others can get downright cold (let's just say I went on many a trick-or-treating session as a kid with a winter coat on over my costume). Packing layers of clothing is definitely in order. Here are some other important things to know when traveling to Chicago in October.
The concept of a jewelry. Chicago Travel.
Want to eat like Oprah? (And we all know she loves to eat.) Here are some of Oprah's favorite Chicago
Most tourists in Chicago can be spotted from a mile away, and most travelers are O.K. with that -- which works in Chicago, as generally the locals are happy to help out the lost visitor. But when I travel I actually prefer to try and somewhat blend in, know a little bit about the city I'm going to, and get more of a feel of the local color. So if you're like me, here are my tips for how not to act like a tourist in Chicago.
Chicago has evolved over the decades as a major player on the culinary scene. Here is a list of the eight best, all once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences.
Top 10 Festival Guide To Chicago 2014
Oprah ticket demand far exceeds supply, and there's a very narrow window of opportunity to get them. Here are the details on how to get your Oprah tickets.
A chill is in the air, the leaves are off the trees, and Chicago gears up for the upcoming holiday season. Here are some other important things to know when traveling to Chicago in November.
The Chicago City Pass is a great way to save some money if you plan on doing a whirlwind tour of Chicago attractions. At most of them, the City Pass also allows you to skip long lines.
Everything You Need To Know For A Great Time During Your Stay in July 2014.
After the zoo, your next stop on your day trip to Lincoln Park is to dip your toes in the water of Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach -- a great spot for lunch, too. Page 3.
Chicago weather in December can vary wildly from mildly cold to downright freezing. Layers are key, and a warm jacket is a must. Here are some other important things to know when traveling to Chicago in December.
California-Based Team Introduces Successful Brand To Chicago
Midway Airport, located on Chicago's southwest side, is smaller and some may say easier to deal with than O'Hare International Airport.
Address: Untouchable Tours leave from in front of the "Rock 'n Roll" McDonald's at 600 North Clark Street
The Ravinia Festival has been going strong for over 100 years, and this outdoor music venue provides an eclectic schedule of performers from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to current pop singers in nearby Highland Park.
VIP's In Brief: VIP's Gentlemen's Club is an adult cabaret (a nice way of saying "topless bar"), and
Chicago hotel rooftop bars have exploded lately. Once upon a time, the roofs of hotels housed only their unsightly heating and air-conditioning hardware. Then, in 2000, the Park Hyatt opened NoMI Garden on the 7th Floor of their hotel. They, unknowingly, also opened the floodgates to what can be termed the Chicago Hotel Rooftop Renaissance.
Field Museum in Brief: The Field Museum moved to its present location on the lakefront's "Museum Campus"
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world's premier art museums, housing a collection that spans 5,000 years.
Adler Planetarium in Brief: The Adler Planetarium is part of the lake front's "Museum Campus", which
Hot Tix Chicago was put together by The League of Chicago Theatres, a not-for-profit service that offers a half-price discount on Chicago theater tickets.
The historic Water Tower is one of the few structures to withstand the great Chicago fire, due to its construction out of Joliet limestone. It's now home to a visitor's information center, photo gallery, and theater.
The Chicago-style pizza (a.k.a. deep dish pizza) is one of the Windy City's signature foods. Here are my personal favorites for the best places to sample Chicago-style pizza.
The first fully enclosed designer outlet mall built in the Chicago area for more than two decades, the Fashion Outlets of Chicago offers more than 130 stores and is only minutes from O’Hare International Airport.
Chicago weather in January is definitely on the frigid side, with the daily temps rarely going above the freezing mark. Here are some other important things to know when traveling to Chicago in January.
In Brief: The first major league pitch was thrown at Wrigley Field in 1914, making the home of the Chicago
May in Chicago is a great month, as the warmer weather finally starts to hold, the Chicago beaches open, and summer is right around the corner. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in May.
Whether it's for Valentine's Day, an anniversary, first date or just a special night out, Chicago has a variety of spots for an intimate dinner. Here are some of my favorite romantic restaurants in Chicago.
Occasionally, the water along Chicago beaches can reach a bateria level that may be unsafe for swimming. The park district has instituted a flag system to advise swimmers as to water conditions -- here's a quick guide to help you stay safe.
The Chicago Children's Museum, located on Navy Pier, offers tons of hands on learning exhibits for kids, but adults might find it a bit dull.
From chef-driven neighborhood favorites to the perfect places for kids with fickle palates, here are some of the very best brunches around town.
The Chicago hot dog can be easily recreated at home with a little preparation and attention to detail. Here's how to make a Chicago hot dog to tame your cravings until your next visit to the Windy City.
Lincoln Park is not just grass and trees, you can spend a whole day here and visit the zoo, beach, conservatory, and nature museum.
Chicago hotel rooftop bars have exploded lately. Once upon a time, the roofs of hotels housed only their unsightly heating and air-conditioning hardware. Then, in 2000, the Park Hyatt opened NoMI Garden on the 7th Floor of their hotel. They, unknowingly, also opened the floodgates to what can be termed the Chicago Hotel Rooftop Renaissance. Page 2.
Before you start planning your trip to Chicago, it's obviously important to pack accordingly for the weather and to be aware of what's going on with events and holidays. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in April.
Before you start planning your trip to Chicago, it's obviously important to pack accordingly for the weather and to be aware of what's going on with events and holidays. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in March including recommendations for St. Patrick's Day.
Driving to Chicago from north, south, east, or west is very easy given that Chicago is a Midwestern hub and several major interstates connect right in Chicago's downtown. Here's how to get to Chicago by car depending on which direction you're coming from.
The Chicago Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Cruise provides a tour of some of Chicago's iconic buildings with a different point of view -- from the side of the Chicago River.
The first stop on your daytrip to Lincoln Park should definitely be the world class Lincoln Park Zoo. Page 2.
How much do you know about Chicago's famous landmark, the Buckingham Fountain? Probably not as much as you think. Here's a collection of facts about the fountain to help you gear up for the next game of Trivial Pursuit, Chicago Edition.
What can make any walking tour of Chicago even better? Just add chocolate! And that's exactly what Chicago Chocolate Tours does.
The Sheraton Hotel Chicago caters to conventioneers, and offers all the amenities in one place including a health club, several dining options, a coffee bar, and a hip lounge.
Top 10 Things To Do In Chicago During Lollapalooza
Opened in 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry -- touted as the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere -- is not only an excellent educational experience, but a lot of fun for both kids and adults.
Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg, Illinois (about 30 minutes outside Chicago) opened in 2008 and quickly became a popular family attraction.
The Best Boutique Fitness Studios in Chicago
From a Blackhawks-themed burger bar to home-style soul food from Chicago’s South Side, these places serve up an authentic Windy City experience at Midway and O’Hare airports.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise offers a unique perspective of some of Chicago's architecturally significant sites.
After North Avenue Beach, head back north and take a tranquil visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and their beautiful gardens and greenhouse. Page 4.
Before you start planning your trip to Chicago, it's obviously important to pack accordingly for the weather and to be aware of what's going on with events and holidays. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in February including recommendations for Valentine's Day.
John Hancock Observatory may not be the highest in Chicago, but soaring at 1,000 feet above the Windy City it still offers breathtaking views of the city and lake.
IKEA in Schaumburg, Illinois, located just 20 minutes outside of Chicago city limits, is a popular store location for the famous global retailer, drawing in tourists from all over the world visiting Chicago and wanting to shop for modular housewares.
This Chicago calendar describes month-by-month the highlights of things to do, important holidays, and what weather to expect.
These Chicago Bars Rock On St. Patrick’s Day
Traveling to Chicago over Thanksgiving but don't have anywhere to pull up to the table for Thanksgiving Dinner? Don't worry, you won't be stuck eating peanuts out of the mini-bar, there are several great restaurants in the city that will be open and serving up Thanksgiving eats.
A favorite among foreign dignitaries, royalty and celebrities alike, this old-world, Italian inspired hotel is bordered by Oak Street Beach, some of the most desirable shopping on the magnificent mile and boasts panoramic views of Lake Michigan. Award winning culinary dining and new renovations make this hotel a top pick.
Hershey's Chicago knew exactly what they were doing when the picked their location. Situated across from the historic Water Tower and in the heart of Michigan Avenue shopping, it's the perfect place to offer up as a bribe when dragging junior around from boutique to boutique.
In Brief: Located on the popular Navy Pier , Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze is an entertaining 4,000
Just 40 miles north of Chicago, Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor provides a jam-packed day of family fun, especially for roller coaster junkies.
The Best Cocktail Lounges in the Windy City.
Serving as a gateway to the Mag Mile from the south, the Intercontinental Hotel is a sophisticated luxury hotel in a historic building.
Last stop on your daytrip to Lincoln Park, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and its Butterfly Haven is a nice way to wind down the day. Page 5.
An Odyssey Cruise offers a great night of dinner and dancing while cruising along Lake Michigan enjoying the spectacular skyline views.
The Kohl Children's Museum, located in the northern Chicago suburb of Glenview, is filled with scores of hands-on exhibits to provide a great day of entertainment for kids 8 and under.
Taking a Chicago Architectural Walking Tour is a fantastic way to experience the city and discover the little details that make Chicago great.
Many Chicago museums offer free days throughout the year when general admission is no charge to one and all.
Within the last several years, the Southport Corridor has gained momentum as a trendy shopping district, offering a nice mix of popular chains as well as independently owned specialty shops and boutiques.
June in Chicago is a great month, the sun is shining bright, it's generally not too warm, and the festival season gets into full swing. Here are some important things to know when traveling to Chicago in June.
Chicago may not be next to any ocean, but today's modern shipping techniques ensure an abundance of fresh fish from all over the world. Here are some of my favorite Chicago seafood restaurants.
The Chicago Park District's Annual Outdoor Event Returns to Showcase the Best Movies All Over the City.
Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, is surprisingly close despite being in a different state -- the casino is just 40 minutes from downtown Chicago. The Horseshoe Casino has a nice variety of gambling options, as well as a number of restaurants.
Best craft beer bars in Chicago.
Michael Jordan's Steak House, with its main dining room overlooking the bustling Magnificent Mile shopping strip, gets it right from the chops right down to an insanely decadent 23-layer chocolate cake.
Water Tower Place is one of the shopping anchors along Michigan Avenue, a.k.a, the Magnificent Mile.
Breakfast, Dinner with a View on The Ledge at Willis Tower's Skydeck Chicago
Here's my collection of Lincoln Park Zoo animal pictures. The cage-less exhibits at the zoo make for some great photo ops.
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum opened in 1999 with a clear mission to educate the public, especially urban dwellers, on the importance of maintaining the quality of nature that surrounds us steps to take that can help the environment.
President Barack Obama was a regular at the Hyde Park Hair Salon before he moved to Washington, D.C. His favorite barber from the shop even gave him a private haircut before Obama's big election night speech in Grant Park.
If you are on someone else's dime and not on a budget, these Chicago luxury hotels are the creme de la creme. Boasting incredible service, extravagant amenities, and breathtaking views, here are the top luxury hotels in Chicago.
best chicago sushi
Where can you score specialty goodies in Chicago? We've gathered some of the most notable shops showcasing almost everything imaginable.
A short drive from Chicago, Woodfield Mall is one of the largest malls in the United States with over 300 stores and restaurants within 2.7 million square feet of shopping space. It's also Illinois' most visited tourist attraction, with tens of millions of shoppers passing through its doors each year.
The 12-day Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival is in its third year and showcases the best of fashion and food from the famed luxury shopping district.
The numerous Chicago festivals are the city's way of making the most out of the warm summer weather before it's plunged back into the harsh Chicago winter. Here's a list of some of the more popular outdoor festivals in Chicago.
From Taste of Randolph to Northalsted Market Days, here are five food festival alternatives to Taste of Chicago.
Thompson Chicago Teams Up with MCA for Rock Star Project: The Day and Night with David Bowie Package.
Best Children's Dining Options in Chicago Beyond Burgers & Pizza
Maxwell Street Market is an open air flea market that takes place every Sunday just south of downtown, and provides an off-the-beaten tourist path for visitors to experience some of the real flavor of Chicago.
The Ford Center for the Performing Arts / Oriental Theatre first opened as a movie cinema in 1926, but the landmark building was fully restored in 1998 and is now home to quality Broadway shows.
Can't stand the thought of traveling to Chicago without your beloved canine companion? Here's a list of some of my favorite Chicago dog friendly hotels.
President Barack Obama's house in Chicago has become quite the hot spot since he was elevated to leader of the free world. The tree-lined street in the Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago was once fairly quiet but now regularly teems with Secret Service and press.
The Brookfield Zoo is a sprawling area located just minutes outside city limits in -- where else -- Brookfield, Illinois. It's home to a dizzying variety of animal species, and its use of natural barriers and moats is so much more relaxing and enjoyable than watching a lion pace back and forth in a cage. The absence of bars also makes for great wildlife photo opportunities.
Here's what's going on in Chicago--month by month--in 2014.
Answers to Taste of Chicago questions that most frequently make their way into my inbox.
Everything you need to know for a good time during your stay in Chicago in August.
Best New Chicago Spots For Dining and Drinking Outside
The Noble Horse Carriage Rides are a fun way to tour the North Michigan Avenue shopping district.
Everything you need to know for a great time during your stay in Chicago during September.
The annual Chicago food festival--sponsored by Bon Appetit, the Illinois Restaurant Association and Southern Wine & Spirits of America--returns to Millennium Park.
Chicago fireworks aren't reserved just for the Fourth of July. No matter when in the summertime you're traveling to the Windy City, chances are you can find some fireworks in Chicago. Here are some of the more popular displays.
Taste of Chicago has a wide array of entertainment stages featuring live music, children's acts, dancing, cooking demonstrations and more on top of the tons of great food -- here's the entertainment schedule for day 1.
All of the parking meters have been privatized, and there will no longer be any free parking at meters on holidays.
Cite Restaurant is a long standing fine dining Chicago institution atop Lake Point Tower, offering gourmet food and fabulous views.
The Chicago Cultural Center lures in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year with its numerous free events and its proximity to tourist hot spot Millennium Park.
The Navy Pier Beer Garden is a great place to stop and take a break, offering food, drinks, live music, and a remarkable view of Lake Michigan.
ZooLights In Brief: Lincoln Park Zoo gets into the holiday season with "ZooLights", when it decks itself
Green City Market, the city's largest farmers' market, celebrates 16 years in Lincoln Park in 2014.
Millennium Park ice skating is one of the more popular activities during winter in Chicago -- more than 100,000 people lace up their skates each season and hit the ice in this picturesque environment.
Alinea chef/owner Grant Achatz is a culinary wunderkind and is pushing the envelope with food ingredients and presentation -- think truffle-juice ravioli with melted leek and bison with multiple preparations of Iranian pistachios. Chef Achatz's 24-course tasting menu (which takes 5 hours to complete) has quickly become legendary.
Soldier Field (not Soldier's Field, a mistake a lot of natives even make) officially opened October 9, 1924, and is currently home to the Chicago Bears football team. Soldier Field underwent a major renovation completed in 2003 -- a controversial move that caused the National Register of Historic Places to strip the stadium of its landmark designation in 2006.
From a punk-rock lounge to an iconic jazz club where Al Capone used to hang out, these venues add color to Chicago’s live-music scene.
These Spots Keep It Spicy, From Margaritas To Mole
Savor the last few days of summer in Chicago during Labor Day weekend.
The following Chicago stores cater to men and offer gems worth checking out, whether you’re shopping for yourself or for someone else.
The $38 Million Renovation Offers Many Changes at Trendy Hotel Property, W Chicago-Lakeshore.
In Brief: The only hotel that directly overlooks Lake Michigan, the W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel is trying
Harrah's Casino is located in Joliet, Illinois, about 1 hour from downtown Chicago, and offers a wide variety of gambling and entertainment options as well as a 200 room hotel.
On of my (and many others) favorite things about the holiday season are the Christmas light displays. Fortunately, there is no shortage of glowing and twinkling strands of lights in Chicago. Here are some places to see Chicago Christmas lights.
Highlights of Ravinia Festival 2014 Include Performances By Crosby, Stills & Nash, Maxwell