We Consider Chicago as our home in the U.S.
This is because often, during our travels Usaontheroad, we stop there to visit Roberto’s aunt and uncle and cousins who live there.
Chicago is known as the “Wind City” and we can confirm that it really is a windy city, both in winter [when the temperature drops down to unbelievable freezing temperatures] and in summer.
Let us tell you one thing in confidence: among the U.S. cities we have visited so far, Chicago is our favorite.
The architecture of the skyscrapers is something hard to find in any other American city, and this makes us appreciate it even more.
The city of Chicago was destroyed on the 8th of October 1871 by a terrible fire and instead of the wooden houses, built before the disastrous event, beautiful steel skyscrapers started popping up.
Did you know that the world’s first skyscraper, which opened in 1885 was built here?
Chicago is also tied to the sad story of gangs and gangsters.
Often when we think of Chicago we relate it to Al Capone and the St. Valentine massacre.But we can assure you that Chicago is anything but this! And it is a city that needs to be discovered slowly, by land, river and air, to appreciate the history, the architecture and the hidden goodies.
To give you an idea of what you can do and see in Chicago, we list some activities and some must see places.
Architecture River Cruise: if you visit Chicago during the summer we strongly recommend you to see it from the river. Several companies offer tours of the city with a cruise on the boat; the guides will explain details and secrets of every skyscraper you will encounter on the route.
Trolley or Double Decker: during winter or when the weather is gloomy it is advisable to get around the city with a “Hop on, hop off” bus .
You will stay warm and can listen to the guide on the way with the possibility to get on and off whenever you find an especially interesting attraction.
You can spend some time in this place maybe on the Ferris wheel overlooking the lake or relax in the exotic garden that is located on the upper floor.
Lakefront : Chicago is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
Often, if you look at it thoughtfully, it is more a sea than a lake: you can not see the end ! In our opinion the best place to relax, walk and gaze at the lake is the Lincoln Park.
Water Tower: it is a true symbol of the city, the only survivor of the fire of 1871.
It is rather endearing, small and “different” in the middle of all the skyscrapers that look down upon.
It now houses the tourist office and an art gallery, but it is still very visible inside the pump that was used to draw water from Lake Michigan.
John Hancock Center: This skyscraper stands for 340 meters and offers a beautiful view of the lake and beaches.
We suggest you to visit the 94th floor where there is a roof terrace, which can be accessed by paying a ticket, where you can admire the city from above.
Willis Tower: This tower, which recently changed its name, is commonly known as the Sears Tower.
It was the highest skyscraper in the world (443 meters) until 1998 when Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur were inaugurated .
This is another point from where admiring the city from above and for the more adventurous, on the skydeck at the 101st floor there are also balconies with glass floor to feel “suspended in the air.”
Museums: museums in Chicago are many, but the ones that deserve to be mentioned are undoubtedly the Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium with the Astronomy Museum and the Chicago History Museum, which tells in detail the history of the city and in particular of the Great Fire.
Union Station: This beautiful and famous train station worth a visit.
For movie buffs, then, you can not miss the tour of Chicago.
Do you remember which wonderful film was partly shot here?
Do you remember the scene of the wheelchair that falls from the steps in “The Untouchables” starring Robert De Niro and Kevin Costner [among others]?
Garrett Popcorn: You can not say that you have really visited Chicago if you leave without tasting the famous Garrett Popcorn, well known and exported throughout the world.
You will find several shops located around the city, including one at the Navy Pier and an O’Hare Airport. You will know them surely for the row standing outside: we too have queued up to buy and taste this delicacy.
We recommend that you mix the cheese-caramel, you will not be disappointed!