Chicago Illinois is one of the most exciting cities in North America, and anyone who experiences a Chicago vacation will surely agree. Chicago Illinois is a big city, with an infinite variety of attractions and Chicago hotels. Most people who return from a Chicago vacation make plans to return. It's impossible to see it all in a short period of time.
Chicago Illinois Neighborhoods
Depending on what you would like to do on your Chicago vacation, you might want to focus on a specific neighborhood. For example, the Loop, or downtown Chicago is where you will find commercial, governmental, and cultural buildings that are contained within a corral of elevated train tracks.
The North Side is also known as the Magnificent Mile. This is where you find the trendy and elegant North Michigan Avenue, which is home to the city's best hotels, shops, and restaurants. The area stretching east of Michigan Avenue to the lake is often called "Streeterville." In the late 19th century, after his steamship ran aground, George Wellington "Cap" Streeter, an eccentric, bankrupt showman staked out 200 acres of self-created landfill in this area. He then declared himself "governor" of the "District of Lake Michigan."
River North is located to the west of the Magnificent Mile. This old warehouse district has experienced a rebirth as one of the city's most popular tourist districts. Today it is home to many of the city's hottest restaurants, nightspots, and art galleries.
Chicago Illinois Attractions
You will never get bored in Chicago Illinois. These are just a few of the city's attractions. At the Art Institute of Chicago, you'll find Grant Wood's American Gothic, Picasso's The Old Guitarist and a spectacular collection of Impressionist and post Impressionist works by Monet, Renoir, and Gaugin among other celebrated artists. At the Field Museum, you can explore cultures and environments from around the world. Retailer Marshall Field originally funded the six acres of exhibits at this world-class facility. The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) was once the world's tallest building. Although no longer the tallest, the towering structure with its steel frame covered in black aluminum and bronze-tinted glass, continues to impress visitors. On clear days, you can see Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin from the 103rd floor. The Skydeck is open 365 days a year.
Chicago Family Vacations
Between the zoos, museums and interesting buildings and neighborhoods, Chicago, Illinois is a great place for family vacations. Even the simple pleasures, such as riding the "El", will be a great thrill for kids. You can hang out at the Lincoln Park Zoo, or spend the day at the Navy Pier, on the edge of Lake Michigan. During the summer, Water excursions depart from the dock. The John G. Shedd Aquarium located at 1200 Lake Shore Drive is an excellent location for a Chicago family vacation. The facility is a grand fish bowl perched on the shore of Lake Michigan.
The Museum of Science and Industry at 57th St and Lake Shore Drive has a vast variety of interactive exhibits. Older kids will enjoy the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit, while younger kids will love the Fairy Castle. In the warmer weather, the entire family will enjoy visiting Oak Street beach. This is a truly unique experience. Where else in the world can you find a beach in the middle of the downtown business district? These are just a few highlights of what can be done on a Chicago vacation. Be sure to read our detailed articles about other Chicago attractions and suggested Chicago itineraries.