M Gravlee is a retired newspaper publisher who spends several months a year traveling. Over the years I have visited every continent except Antarctica and over 30 countries. I try to be a traveler, not a tourist. I started Travel on the Tide in 2008 to help readers discover more about the places they are considering for travel.
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Chicago is a beautiful city under the sun found on the shores of Lake Michigan, and is a great tourist destination particularly for lovers of jazz and blues music, theater and comedy. In terms of history, culture, and entertainment, no destination can beat Chicago. It boasts a rich architecture showcased by a number of skyscrapers that adorn the city’s skyline. Being a cosmopolitan city, Chicago accommodates people from different backgrounds and ethnicities, people who are very welcoming and friendly, something you can experience firsthand when you walk around the neighborhoods.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this city is that it is truly unique, able to accommodate and cater to the needs of all holidaymakers with varying vacationing budgets. From the opulent hotels, to restaurants, pubs, boutiques, you will always find a facility and service that is within your budget range, whether you are on a shoestring budget or are ready to overindulge and spoil yourself. Beaches, parks, museums, galleries, churches, are few of the attractions that will keep you gawking in Chicago and wishing you could return.
Some of the notable places that you should visit include the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Art Institute of Chicago, the museum of Photography and the National Museum of Mexican Art. As is with any other tourist destination in the world, if you wish to get discounts when using public transport or when visiting some of the tourist attractions such as museums and parks, you are advised to get the tourist card – known as the City Pass and Go Chicago Card.
Notable parks in Chicago that you should visit include the Lincoln Park, the Midway Park, the Rogers Park, the Jackson Park, the Millennium Park, and the Grant Park. Away from museums and parks, you can visit ethnic neighborhoods that will give you a feel of the country or region represented. Some places you can visit include Chinatown, the Spanish Neighborhoods Little Village and Pilsen, Little Italy, Greektown, and the Polish neighborhood found on the Northwest part of the city.
You should also make a point of visiting the Chicago Zoo, one of the largest and most wonderful of its kind. Chicago has stood the test of time, experiencing gang violence, bombings, a huge fire that destroyed a large part of the city, and a major racial strife, to remain the attractive and glorious city that it is today with so much to offer its visitors. As mentioned, the skyline in Chicago is well adorned with attractive skyscrapers standing stately and demanding instant attention.
One notable building is the Sears Tower, which was once the tallest building in the whole country but was just recently eclipsed and identity changed to Willis Tower following its sale. Even so, the skyline is still a beautiful one and for a very good reason. After the first steel-framed building was erected back in 1885, Chicago became the pioneer of skyscrapers -- among them The Merchandise Mart, a favorite tourist edifice that is so huge it even has its own zip code. The other landmark that adorns Chicago’s skyline is the Trump Tower, a striking attraction that you can hardly miss on your visit to Chicago.
The moment you land in Chicago, you will realize immediately why the city continues to inspire singers, artists, and writers, and why it continues to attract multitudes of tourists each year. If you have never visited Chicago, you are missing out a great deal. Make a point to visit one of the most vital pieces of cultural history man has ever known.