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
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.
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.
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.
Everything you need to know for a great time during your stay in September 2014.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Admiral Theatre is an all-nude strip club on Chicago's Northwest Side.
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.
While many of Chicago's museums and attractions every so often have
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.
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).
A Guide to Tipping in Chicago, from maid service to cab drivers to bartenders
The Elysian Hotel Chicago is one of the newest properties on the luxury hotel scene. Check out these pictures of the Elysian and you can see why it's one of my new favorites. Page 12.
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.
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.
The Brookfield Zoo is a short drive from downtown and is one of the best zoos in the country.
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.
From family-focused swimming holes to a few serving cocktails poolside, here are the best in Chicago.
Where To Dine In Chicago For Christmas Eve, Christmas
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.
Address: Untouchable Tours leave from in front of the "Rock 'n Roll" McDonald's at 600 North Clark Street
Want to eat like Oprah? (And we all know she loves to eat.) Here are some of Oprah's favorite Chicago
The largest free standing hotel in Chicago, the Palmer House Hilton is a French inspired class act with a convenient downtown Loop location.
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.
Here's what's going on in Chicago--month by month--in 2014.
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.
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.
The concept of a jewelry. Chicago Travel.
Brookfield Zoo gets into the Halloween spirit with Boo! at the Zoo, a family friendly event that's held the last weekends in October.
VIP's In Brief: VIP's Gentlemen's Club is an adult cabaret (a nice way of saying "topless bar"), and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world's premier art museums, housing a collection that spans 5,000 years.
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.
Adler Planetarium in Brief: The Adler Planetarium is part of the lake front's "Museum Campus", which
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Very Best Cocktail Lounges in the Windy City
With so many burger joints in the city, they’re finding that they must set themselves apart by offering something unique, from house-made ingredients and buns to locally sourced meat.
The annual Chicago food festival--sponsored by Bon Appetit, the Illinois Restaurant Association and Southern Wine & Spirits of America--returns to Millennium Park.
From Taste of Randolph to Northalsted Market Days, here are five food festival alternatives to Taste of Chicago.
Here's my collection of Lincoln Park Zoo animal photos. The cage-less exhibits at the zoo make for some great photo ops. Page 16.
Thanksgiving dining options in Chicago for those who won't get a home-cooked meal in 2013.
Green City Market, the city's largest farmers' market, celebrates 16 years in Lincoln Park in 2014.
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.
Midway Airport, located on Chicago's southwest side, is smaller and some may say easier to deal with than O'Hare International Airport.
The Best Boutique Fitness Studios in Chicago
Everything you need to know for a great time during your stay in Chicago during October
With Chicago being a big foodie town, there's no getting away with mediocrity, whether it's casual dining or a big night on the town. That's especially
Field Museum in Brief: The Field Museum moved to its present location on the lakefront's "Museum Campus"
Savor the last few days of summer in Chicago during Labor Day weekend.
Built in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium is one of the premier aquariums in the country and home to an impressive collection of underwater life.
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.
California-Based Team Introduces Successful Brand To Chicago
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.
Flowers are blooming. People have a lighter pep in their steps. And baseball season is back in action. But if you're not a baseball fan (gasp!), there's
ZooLights In Brief: Lincoln Park Zoo gets into the holiday season with "ZooLights", when it decks itself
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.
Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg, Illinois (about 30 minutes outside Chicago) opened in 2008 and quickly became a popular family attraction.
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.
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.
These Chicago Bars Rock On St. Patrick’s Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Taking a Chicago Architectural Walking Tour is a fantastic way to experience the city and discover the little details that make Chicago great.
The Seadog River Cruise takes place on the third Thursday of every month through Labor Day.
From chef-driven neighborhood favorites to the perfect places for kids with fickle palates, here are some of the very best brunches around town.
Winter Wonderfest In Brief: Navy Pier turns itself into a "Winter Wonderfest" each Christmas season,
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.
Picture of the Chicago Board of Trade Building. One of the city's most popular tours is taking a Chicago architecture river tour. Here are some pictures from one particular tour, by Shoreline Sightseeing. Page 14.
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.
Best Children's Dining Options in Chicago Beyond Burgers & Pizza
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.
Lincoln Park is not just grass and trees, you can spend a whole day here and visit the zoo, beach, conservatory, and nature museum.
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.
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.
Where can you score specialty goodies in Chicago? We've gathered some of the most notable shops showcasing almost everything imaginable.
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.
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.
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.
Tom Ford, the luxury boutique for women and men, opens its fourth flagship store in the United States.
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.
Considered hot destinations where even the locals frequent, the top hotel bars range from high-concept cocktail lounges to wine bars.
Best New Chicago Spots For Dining and Drinking Outside
In Brief: The first major league pitch was thrown at Wrigley Field in 1914, making the home of the Chicago
Everything you need to know for a good time during your stay in Chicago in August.
What can make any walking tour of Chicago even better? Just add chocolate! And that's exactly what Chicago Chocolate Tours does.
Chicago has a rich, architectural history, and has a wide mix of styles from Beaux Arts to Art Deco to Modernist. You would really do yourself a service by taking a Chicago architecture tour. Here are a few favorites.
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 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.
Holiday Magic 2011 In Brief: Brookfield Zoo gets into the holiday season with "Holiday Magic", when the
The 24th annual event spotlights the nation's best steppers dancers with $15,000 in cash prizes on the line.
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.
French-focused bars add an element of sophistication to Chicago nightlife.
The Noble Horse Carriage Rides are a fun way to tour the North Michigan Avenue shopping district.
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry gets into the holiday spirit with its annual Christmas Around the World. Just as the name implies, the exhibit takes a look at how various cultures celebrate the winter holiday across the globe, with performances from multiple dance and chorus groups, as well as over 50 trees decorated by various ethnic groups throughout Chicago. The 45-foot tree in the museum's main hall is decorated with ornaments representing many of their classic exhibits.
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.
Breakfast, Dinner with a View on The Ledge at Willis Tower's Skydeck Chicago
Given Chicago's cold winters, it's no wonder ice skating is a popular winter activity here. There are several ice rinks set up in the seasonal months near downtown for Chicago travelers.
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.
The Elysian Hotel Chicago is one of the newest properties on the luxury hotel scene. Check out these pictures of the Elysian and you can see why it's one of my new favorites. Page 14.
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.
Public Hotel Chicago, Ian Schrager's affordable, luxury property in the Gold Coast, boasts a re-imagined Pump Room restaurant.
Chicago's Navy Pier turns itself into a " Winter Wonderfest " each Christmas season, featuring a number
Wet Your Whistle With Bourbon, Rye & Scotch At These Top Whiskey Spots in the Windy City.
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.
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.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise offers a unique perspective of some of Chicago's architecturally significant sites.
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.
Lockwood Restaurant, located in the Palmer House Hilton, is a world away from the tiki paradise Trader Vic's that it replaced. Now instead of getting 20 kinds of rum drinks, Lockwood offers American Contemporary fine dining.
In Brief: Located on the popular Navy Pier , Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze is an entertaining 4,000
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.
Blue Man Group is a long-time fixture of the Chicago theater scene, and the wild, alien antics of the three silent blue performers makes Blue Man Group an exciting theater experience that's fun and appropriate for young and old alike.
Water Tower Place is one of the shopping anchors along Michigan Avenue, a.k.a, the Magnificent Mile.
The Elysian Hotel Chicago is one of the newest properties on the luxury hotel scene. Check out these pictures of the Elysian and you can see why it's one of my new favorites. Page 15.
Christmas in Chicago is one of my favorite times of year. There are plenty of things to do to get you in the Christmas spirit, here are some of my favorites.
Savor the holiday season with afternoon tea service in Chicago.
Here's my collection of Lincoln Park Zoo animal pictures. The cage-less exhibits at the zoo make for some great photo ops.
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.
The first stop on your daytrip to Lincoln Park should definitely be the world class Lincoln Park Zoo. Page 2.
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.
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.
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.
Kids on the Fly, part of the Chicago Children's Museum, is a special exhibition at O'Hare Airport.
We Cover Chicago's Vibrant Brunch Scene From Family Friendly To Unconventional Finds.
This Chicago calendar describes month-by-month the highlights of things to do, important holidays, and what weather to expect.
Established in 1856 as the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago History Museum moved into its current building in 1932, underwent a major renovation in 2006, and is the preeminent source to discover the history of Chicago and its people.
All of the parking meters have been privatized, and there will no longer be any free parking at meters on holidays.
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 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. Page 4.
The Elysian Hotel Chicago is one of the newest properties on the luxury hotel scene. Check out these pictures of the Elysian and you can see why it's one of my new favorites. Page 7.
The boutique-style, luxury property feels like home and boasts an Italian-focused eatery from award-winning chef Paul Kahan (of Blackbird fame).