Regardless if you call it “Chi-Town” or the “Windy City,” most people will know where you are talking about. Chicago, but of course.
Known the world over, the Windy City has a lot to offer from great restaurants and diversified culture to entertainment. Even its many quaint neighborhoods and suburbs outside of Chicago have all sorts of things to do and see. In other words, this Midwestern city doesn’t play second choice to anyone and why should it?
For instance, neighborhoods like Loop/River North are attracting people from all over the state and beyond. This is an area that has its own character, but it’s also close enough to downtown to keep locals and visitors entertained.
There are a number of things to do and see close by should you opt to take a trip in the Loop/River North neighborhood anytime soon.
For the Children
Navy Pier is an interesting venue to visit with the kiddies when in Chicago. Navy Pier includes a carousel, Ferris wheel and carnival rides, plus more than 50 acres of shops, restaurants and entertainment. Navy Pier also boasts a giant IMAX theater, the Chicago Children's Museum, and is home to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The Magnificent Mile
Called the Magnificent Mile for a reason, this famous stretch of Michigan Avenue is well known for its luxury shopping at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Gucci, Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry and Tiffany & Co.
This area is Chicago's newly built 24-acre civic center that is bordered by Michigan Avenue. Parts of Millennium Park include the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is home to the Grant Park Music Festival and seats up to 11,000; McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink; Lurie Garden; Harris Theater; the Exelon Pavilions; and the McDonald's Cycle Center.
Hello, Baseball Fans
You can’t visit Chicago without acting like a sports fan, and Wrigley Field baseball stadium is a perfect way to show your support. It’s located in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago and has been the place the Chicago Cubs have called home since 1916. Until 1970, Wrigley Field served duty as the home field of the NFL's Chicago Bears too.
Stop by a Winery
California isn’t the only place where you can grab a glass of wine. City Winery Chicago is a fun place to stop by and is conveniently located at Randolph and Racine. There are wine tours or just simply enjoy a glass of wine during a performance in the venue’s concert hall.
Whether you like breakfast or a late afternoon lunch, be sure to pull up a chair at Ed Debevic’s, considered Chicago's only retro diner for more than 25 years. Ed Debevic's has burgers, hot dogs, homemade chili, breakfast, fries, big salads, milkshakes, ice cream, sundaes and more. And, its unique servers can either be sweet and helpful, or loud and challenging, but always entertaining.
Art to Fill the Day
Home to one of the world's finest art collections, The Art Institute of Chicago has works from around the world representing more than 5,000 years of human artistic creation. There is also The Museum of Science & Industry, one of the largest science museums in the world, with more than 35,000 artifacts and nearly 14 acres of hands-on experiences to partake.
Head to Old Town
Old Town's proximity to the Loop, Lincoln Park and the lakefront makes this a swell place for locals and visitors to explore. Old Town has a vibrant commercial district along Wells Street with a wide variety of restaurants, pubs, boutiques and theaters. Old Town is also home to two popular outdoor art fairs.
How about checking out the Old Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station for something out of the ordinary? Constructed in 1869, the Old Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station is best known for being among the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The castle-like spot, with its 154-foot tower, is a great symbol of Chicago. The pumping station on the east side of Michigan Avenue contains a tourist information office, as well as the Lookingglass Theater Co. The small park next to the old water tower (west side of Michigan Avenue) is the perfect place to people watch or have a picnic.
Chill in Chinatown
Chicago's Chinatown centered on 22nd Street (Cermak Road) and Wentworth Avenue is one colorful place you won’t want to miss. Once you arrive, you will find tons of restaurants as well as stores selling everything from chopsticks to spices. Chinatown also has various grocery stores and bakeries to explore and spend the day.
Chicago and its many neighborhoods, including the Loop/River North area, have so much to offer its residents, tourists and visitors any day of the week, all year long. The next time you are looking for an urban neighborhood with a lot of flair, but also with a down-home feel, think the Windy City or Chi-Town.