Chicago Travel Tips – Third Largest City In America
Chicago Travel Tips – Third Largest City In America
Chicago Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Chicago. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
Welcome! It’s a pleasure having your here searching for Chicago travel tips. Chicago is situated in the Great Lakes region of the American Midwest, in the state of Illinois. Rising from the edges of Lake Michigan, Chicago began as a tiny trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River, and has boomed into a modern global center of commerce and culture. The Windy City has always been driven by an unshakable optimism and can-do attitude. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed half the city, was seized upon as an opportunity for the metropolis to reinvent itself. What followed was the biggest building boom in US history and a skyline that is almost beyond beautiful.
Start your visit in The Loop – the central business district encircled by the ‘L’, Chicago’s elevated train line. The streets within The Loop are a showcase of architecture, from the world’s first high-rises, to the cloud-piercing towers of today. Willis Tower held the title of world’s tallest building for almost 25 years. Take the 60-second ride to the Skydeck. On a really windy day you might even feel the building sway a little, but don’t panic, it was designed to do just that. The Loop also contains some amazing outdoor sculpture and an historic theater district which makes the area feel like a cross between a museum and a film set. Running north from The Loop is the Magnificent Mile, where you’ll be able to gaze up at even more wonders from the Chicago School of architecture.
Chicago Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Chicago
Chicago is served by Chicago O’Hare International Airport, located 14 miles northwest of the Loop business district. When searching for Chicago travel tips and how to get around Chicago, the O’Hare International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world with over 80 million passengers every year. There are plenty of great options to get you as comfortably as possible from O’Hare to Chicago, let’s have a look at those right now.
The easiest way of getting from O’Hare to Chicago is by hopping on a train on CTA’s Blue Line. It’s easily accessible from all terminals. Tickets can be purchased at the train station, a single ticket costs $5 and the ride takes around 45 minutes to downtown Chicago.
Taxis are readily available outside the baggage claim area and a taxi ride from O’Hare airport to Chicago costs around $30-40 and gets you into town in 30-40 minutes depending on your destination in Chicago. Uber is also operating in Chicago.
Chicago Travel Tips – How To Get Around Chicago
Chicago’s streets are organized on a grid system like most cities in the US making it fairly easy to navigate. When searching for Chicago travel tips the city has an extensive public transport system that will get you in around the city effectively and comfortable. Let’s have a closer look at how to get around Chicago in the best way so that you can get the most out of your travel experience.
Chicago Public Transport
Chicago has an extensive metro system called the L-train with 8 different lines connecting the city with 145 stations all over town. As we already covered, the Blue line connects Chicago with O’Hare airport, the Red line connects North and South of Chicago via the downtown area. A single ticket costs $2.50, a daily ‘Ventra’ card costs $10, 3-day pass $20 or 7-day $28. Tickets can be purchased at thicket vending machines on the stations.
CTA also runs the buses in Chicago with 129 bus routes connecting the city. A single ticket bus fare costs $2.25 and the ‘Ventra’ daily ($10), 3-day ($20) or 7-day ($28) card also includes the buses as for the metro.
Taxis are plentiful in Chicago and you can hail one the old fashioned way on the street, or download the ARRO or CURB app to book a cab. Uber and Lyft are also operating in Chicago. Mind you that Chicago is a big city and a taxi ride could turn out expensive, so make sure to check the distances beforehand.
Best Places To Stay In Chicago
Chicago is the most populated city in Illinois and the third most populated city in the US with nearly 10 million people living in the metropolitan area. When searching for Chicago travel tips this is something that a lot of people might not be aware of and to get the most out of your Chicago travel experience, because it’s such a big city it’s not always easy to know where to stay. That’s why we’ve created this short and effective guide on the three best places for you to stay in Chicago so that you get the most out of your travel experience.
The Loop is one of the three downtown areas in Chicago and it’s one of the first places visitors check in when traveling to the city. With the Chicago River in the north and Lake Michigan in the south, the area is home to some of the tallest buildings in Chicago and is undoubtedly the most iconic part of the city. Home to many theaters, art galleries and some of the finest museums in the US, such as the Art Institute of Chicago. If you’re looking to stay central this is the place to be.
Hyde Park is one of the most prominent areas in Chicago, located along the south lakefront. It’s a significant historic center with hosts the likes of President Obama, Clarence Darrow, and Muhammad Ali over the years. The architecture flourished in the neighborhoods with many Victorian mansions and Prairie school houses. And the biggest attraction is Hyde Park near the University of Chicago. The area hosts bookstores, museums, street food and beautifully tree lined streets. A perfect place to stay if you want to live central, but still enjoy a bit of nature.
Lincoln Park is home to the Lincoln Park Zoo, DePaul University and St Michael’s Church, the latter being one of the few landmarks surviving the Chicago fire back in 1871. During the infamous fire many people were forced out of their homes and moved to Lincoln Park and while some moved back, a lot of people stayed and turned this into a vibrant and fashionable district over time. The park is beautiful and the area hosts plenty of restaurants and nightlife. It’s an especially good area for a younger crowd.
The third largest city in the US, Chicago is a melting pot of various cultures that spills over into the city’s cuisine. When looking for Chicago travel tips and what to eat in Chicago there’s an abundance of greazy american food of course, but there’s also plenty of Mexican, Polish, Asian and Italian food. One could write a bible about Chicago’s food, but here we’ve covered some of the classic Chicago food that you just have to try when visiting Chicago.
Deep dish pizza is Chicago’s way of sticking up to New York when it comes to pizza. While the pizzas in New York are deliciously thin and with few ingredients generally speaking, in Chicago the pizzas are more like a pie. With thick crust, abundance of cheese and toppings such as sausages. Unless you’re really hungry you won’t need more than one or two slices to fill you up. Try it at Lou Malnati’s which is franchised all over the city or at local Pequod’s in Lincoln Park.
At Al’s #1 Italian beef that started as a small storefront in Little Italy nearly 100 years ago you can try the famous Italian beef sandwich. Thin slices of beef put in thick loafs of bread served with olives, peppers and cheese. This is a Chicago classic that is worth trying.
Chicago style Hot dog was born during the Great depression when Europeans living in Chicago started serving it in the city. Served in a bun and topped with mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomatoes, pickles, pepper and a pinch of salt. Simple and classic Chicago, try it at Byron’s.
Lastly but not least, another option that won’t make your doctor happy, but come on when in America and Chicago you just have to eat Chicago cheeseburger. The burger wasn’t invented in Chicago, yet the city has plenty of great options that will get your taste buds into a carnival state. At Au Cheval you’ll get the best ones, but the wait list is usually 3-4 hours. The Loyalist is a great substitution that also serves great burgers.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Chicago
The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. It’s the host to one of the most well preserved T-Rex
The Field Museum
skeletons and has one of the finest exhibitions you’ll see on historical animals, humans and nature dating back millions of years. Plenty of fun for the whole family.
Adler Planetarium is heaven if you’re into space and the universe. This observatory functions as a museum, theater and research center. Exhibits and shows explore all 91 billion light years of the universe and you can get lost exploring all day long.
SkyDeck Chicago is not the place to go if you’re afraid of heights. Or perhaps you want to confront your fear. If you do you’ll get a panoramic view of Chicago that is an astonishing way to have a look at this massive city from a bird’s eye point of view. If you’re a daredevil, step out on the glass floor ‘Ledge’s Box” that floats outside the building 1.300 feet up…
Navy Pier Centennial Wheel & Rides is a pier near Lake Michigan that hosts a ferris wheel, amusement rides and the pier is also home to the Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, weekly fireworks, plenty of great restaurants, live concerts and nice gardens to explore.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the US and hosts plenty of exciting exotic animals. Polar bears swimming in the pool, creepy reptiles in the Reptile House, birds and the pride of the zoo: the Lion house. Plenty of fun for the whole family.
Art Institute of Chicago opened way back in 1893 and hosts an incredible collection of functional, practical and decorative arts from all around the world. Rated the number one art museum in the world by Tripadvisor, if you like museums and are an art lover, you can get lose here on purpose for a whole day
The Magnificent Mile is your go-to if shopping is more exciting than history, zoos and museums. Here you have high end stores and boutiques nestled along excellent restaurants in downtown Chicago. Even if you don’t enjoy shopping it’s still a cool experience to visit this expansive strip in the middle of the city.