Chicago Travel Guides

Although it has many nicknames, Chicago is best known as the Windy City. The third most populous city in the United States, Chicago was incorporated in 1837 and has become one of the most important business centers in the world, with experts in fields as diverse as finance, technology and transportation. Nearly 55 million visitors from all parts of the globe visit Chicago annually to enjoy its architecture, landmarks, museums and music.

Where to Stay

Hotels in Chicago are plentiful, as one might expect from a city so large and so well-traveled. To make your decision, consider your budget, your list of desired amenities and your traveling companions. One of the most popular areas for business travelers — as well as those who like big-city excitement — is the Loop, south of the Chicago River in the downtown area. If you're visiting Chicago as a family, you'll want to make sure your hotel is kid-friendly; the Lincoln Park neighborhood fits the bill. For luxury accommodations, you'll have your pick of some of the best hotels in the world, many of which are adjacent to or within walking distance of the scenic Magnificent Mile, north of the Chicago River. Or you could stay in Old Town, which has something for everyone — from Victorian-era buildings to fabulous dining to the Second City comedy troupe.

Airports

There are two major airports serving Chicago and its surrounding areas. O'Hare International Airport is less than 20 miles from downtown, and its 70 million annual travelers can enjoy a recent remodel and upgrades that include retail shops and restaurants. Famous for its public display of "airport art," featuring sculptures, paintings and exhibits, Midway International Airport is smaller and has fewer amenities, but is closer to downtown Chicago than O'Hare, at 11 miles away.

Top Things to Do

Sports fans have to visit the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field, as well as Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Make sure to experience Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry and the incredible 319-acre Grant Park. Arts aficionados should check out the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center and the Chicago Theatre. If you're awed by the majesty of skyscrapers, there's Willis Tower, John Hancock Center and Tribune Tower. And, of course, Magnificent Mile will take you on a shopping, strolling and eye-catching adventure.

Weather/Seasonal Information

The weather in Chicago is typical of the Midwest, with fall and winter months averaging from the chilly 20s to the 40s. You'll see highs in the 50s and 60s in April and May, with summer heating things up to the mid-70s and breaking into the 80s. Contrary to its nickname, the Windy City isn't the windiest place in the U.S. You may feel some breezes emanating from the shores of Lake Michigan, however.

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