Thenickname ‘Windy City’ aptly describes Chicago. However, the term was coined long back to describe the pompous speeches of the city’s politicians rather than its weather. Today, Chicago is a lively cultural hub of music and theatre. Every year, thousands of visitors pour into the city to experience the different delights of Chicago. The destination has many unique facts to its fame such as Western Avenue, the world’s longest street and ‘The Chicago Public Library’, which is the world’s largest public library with more than 6 million books. Chicago was also the site of the establishment of America’s first blood bank.
Make enquiries with any reputed travel agency on travel deals to Chicago and you will find a host of information on cheap airfares, discount deals, and complete economy vacation packages to the destination. In fact, a major highlight of Chicago holidays is the budget factor. The destination does not relentlessly empty out your wallets like quite a few other places in America and also offers most of the trappings of a memorable holiday.
Tourist Spots in Chicago
Chicago has lots of tourist magnets spanning lakes, gardens, beaches, museums, and stunning architectural creations. Other than sightseeing attractions, Chicago also offers excellent chances for ice skating, biking, visiting theatres and attending music concerts. If you are visiting the US, it would be a good idea to book your flights to Chicago with one of the weekend deals in mind. However, a single weekend may prove insufficient to completely explore Chicago’s charms. Here are a few of the scores of crowd pullers in the destination.
- David & Alfred Smart Museum of Art
- John Hancock Centre
- 12th Street Beach
- North Avenue Beach
- Chicago River Canoe and Kayak
- The Field Museum
- Adler Planetarium
Shopping Attractions in Chicago
Although, Chicago may not be as hot a shopping stop as New York City or Los Angeles, the destination nevertheless does hold its own when it comes to shopping. While numerous malls spoil mall rats for choice, there is also no dearth of consignment shops, resale shops, and thrift stores doling out unbelievable bargain deals on items ranging from clothes to furniture. A famous shopping precinct called ‘The Magnificent Mile’ alone proves more than enough to satiate your desire for shopping. Try to include the following shopping haunts in your itinerary when you visit Chicago.
- A Ok Official
- Golf Mill Shopping Center
- Lincoln Park
- Woodfield Mall
- Wicker Park/Bucktown
- 900 N Michigan
- 5 S Wabash Avenue
Eating Out in Chicago
Chicago is a virtual paradise for gourmets and remains one of the major restaurant cities in the US. The city also hosts ‘The Taste of Chicago’, the largest free outdoor food festival in the world. Chicago has restaurants of almost every possible genre including American, New American, Chinese, French, Italian, Mexican, and Japanese. In Chicago, one has a tough time deciding what to eat and what to skip due to the tremendous array of options. However, not to be missed are the specific Chicago specialties like deep dish pizza, thin crust pizza, stuffed pizza, hot dog, and Italian Beef sandwich. There are countless trendy as well as unbelievably cheap eating places to choose from. Check out the following restaurants on your trip to the city.
- Ann Sather
- Billy Goat Tavern
- Borinquen Restaurant
- Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant
- Brassiere Jo
- Hot Doug’s
- Pizzeria Uno
Hotels in Chicago
Chicago offers plenty of accommodation facilities spanning a world of cheap hotels as well as lavish five star properties. Most of the hotels are clustered around the areas of the downtown Loop, the Near North, and the O’Hare Airport. If you are looking for cheap deals on your hotel stay, then the best bet is to look up accommodation in areas away from the city centre. The vastness of Chicago also necessitates that one books hotels after carefully deciding how far the accommodation would be from the person’s area of interests in Chicago. You can use the following list as a cue for starting your hotel hunt.
- Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
- Hotel Palomar Chicago
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown
- Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North
- Park Hyatt Chicago
Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to Chicago operating from UK.
Preferred Airlines to Chicago from UK
Airports in Chicago
TheChicago O’Hare International Airport is the main international airport of Chicago. It is amongst the busiest airports in the world and is a hub for different airlines including United Airlines, American Airlines, and Polar Air Cargo. The airport serves more than 70 airlines and is located about 27 km northwest of Chicago Loop. The availability of such a wide array of choices makes it an ideal hunting ground for discount airfares and cheap flights. The O’Hare International Airport is also well served by many of the direct flights from UK. Another airport is the Chicago Midway International Airport.
Best Time to Visit Chicago
The best time to visit Chicago is the period from April to October. This is the time when the brutal winter thaws out to the soft warmth of the much awaited glorious summer sunshine. The entire character of the city undergoes a tremendous transformation and hordes of happy people make merry at beaches, beer gardens, ballparks, and outdoor festivals. Chicago is at its best, especially during the time from June to August, when temperatures reach around 29°C. However, the teeth chattering months from November to March are well worth a visit if you are looking for low airfares, cheap hotels, and overall discount holidays to the destination. Still, it is worthwhile to remember that temperatures can dip well below 0°C.
Getting Around in Chicago
Using public transportation for moving around in Chicago is one of the cheapest ways of checking out the city. Two of the most popular options are train and bus. Cars can be hired as well but driving in Chicago is somewhat of a nightmare. Another good option is to take taxi rides as fares tend to be pretty cheap. Another mode of cheap travel is water taxi. Furthermore, one can also hire a bicycle.
Chicago Travel Tips
Here are some travel tips to ponder if you are visiting Chicago.
- Certain belts of ‘The Loop’ area amongst others can get pretty deserted during the night and it is unadvisable to venture out unaccompanied in such vicinities unaccompanied.
- Chicago has a very cold and windy weather especially during winters and one needs to be dressed in layers of clothing.
- If you get into some sticky situation, dial 911 for emergency assistance and 311 for non emergency help.
- Whenever, you are in some crowded place, be on your guard against purse snatchers.
- If you have been late in arranging your travel plans to Chicago, it is advisable to make a thorough check for prospective last minute deals with as many airlines as possible.
- Like in other areas of the US, be careful about the prescriptions medicines you carry. Certain medicines might be illegal in Chicago.
- In Chicago, you need to be at least 18 years of age to smoke and at least 21 to drink. Furthermore, don’t drink on the street as it can attract a hefty fine and jail sentence.
- Weather change in Chicago is a very unpredictable affair and one should check the Met Office predictions before venturing out.
- In Chicago, you are not permitted to carry an unsealed bottle of alcohol in the car’s seating area. It has to go in the boot.
- Remember, talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal in Chicago like in many other parts of the world.
(Note: This destination guide is based on information gathered from reliable resources available on the internet and provides only general information about the destination. Southall Travel holds no responsibility for any misrepresentation of facts and will not be in any way liable for any kind of eventuality arising from the use of information given in this guide)