In Chicago, one of the biggest cities in the U.S. (3rd largest, and with a rising population of around 3 million, plus or minus), one might just get dazed and confused what to see and what to do. It sounds like a joke, but the sprawling city occupies more than 10,000 square kilometers in the Midwest, and almost every region has a festival of sorts, specials and other surprises.
For one, this vibrant city is known throughout the US (and even in the world) for their house music, their blues, the kind of jazz, and the kind of comedy shows they have and many other cultural attractions. (They have one of the world’s best orchestras, the world-famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Catch one of their shows.)
Not far behind is the city’s reputation about its dining places, the shopping places, art and sciences institutions, huge parks, and some of America’s finest collection of architecture in the world. And, we haven’t even talked yet about their miles of beaches and famous public art, among others.
Maybe you can start with visiting the ocean depths at the Shedd Aquarium, watch a show at the Chicago Theater, or watch and pray of catching a fly ball at the Wrigley Field, or maybe get a ride of the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.
There’s almost an attraction at every city corner, from high-flying observatories to the Millennium Park where art and music are mixed and there’s plenty of room to play around. At the Navy Pier, you might want to try out the thrilling rides, dining, shopping, museum and whatever season’s festival they have at the moment.
(Chicago is perhaps the only place in America where they have festivals on flowers, sailboats, art, toys and so many others.)
The Music Scene
If you’re lucky to visit Chicago between March and September, the city throws around 200 shindigs all over. Blues Fest at Grant Park corrals around half-a-million music fans listening to slide notes of guitars and bass rolls, and it’s all free.
The 3-day Lollapalooza music mega-party features thrashing rock bands while the audience dances to the beat in arm-flailing frenzy. There are other smaller, barbecue-scented street fests in other parts of the neighborhood every weekend.
The city is a maniac when it comes to being a sports town, with a pro team at every season. (Baseball has two teams!) The fans treat their games like some local rites of passage. (Sample: Fans slather blue-and-orange body paint while watching every Bear’s football game.)
The bleacher crowd at Wrigley Field during games is as raucous as any full-bloodied baseball fanatics. The ones watching on TV at neighborhood taverns are just as spirited. But it’s the easiest places where you get to meet and have new friends. If the enthusiasm rubs off on you, you can let all hang out at any of the 26 beaches and 580 parks around the city.
The city had many names attributed to it throughout its long history of prominence in the whole country. It’s been called the White City, the Second City (after a fire) and Windy City. (The last one is more about their politicians.)
However, there’s always some happening in the city, even right next to you.