Sipping an extravagantly presented cocktail at Tony’s bar, as you lean back into your snug seat, the wind ripples through the rooftop, a gentle warning of the first signs of autumn. However, this doesn’t deter the crowds as people gather under the twinkling lights, jackets clutched tightly and hand-warming over an open fire. The sparkling lights twinkle against the night’s sky, and laughter floats up from the street as a hen party rushes to secure a taxi on the busy street far below. Looking out over the city, there is a tangible feeling of excitement in the air at the night’s endless possibilities.
Whether you’re planning an upcoming holiday or considering a serious move. There is plenty of reason to put Chicago or ‘The windy city’ at the top of your list for your next destination. With a population sitting just between Los Angeles and Houston, Chicago has a rough population of around 2.17 million, making it one of the US’s largest cities.
This bustling urban hub that is Chicago has something for everyone. Whether you prefer staying out late bar hopping and dancing into the night or a quiet day strolling around museums, art galleries, and trendy cafés is more your bag; you are sure to never be out of options here. You could walk right from museums and concert venues to parks and trendy cafes.
Pick your neighborhood wisely
Chicago is famous for its neighborhood tribes as they are a key aspect of your experience. As well as they, of course, hugely contributed to who you and will undoubtedly end up spending your time with.
Each has its own mix of arts, culture, nightlife, and shopping. Here is a quick guide to them.
If you are planning on living in the North of Chicago, you should be prepared for an incredibly hip, trendy atmosphere. Whether you’re seeing live Jazz or shopping in secret boutiques, you are sure never to be bored. Our top recommendations are to head to Ravenswood for that next vintage find or to go to Wrigley Field to watch a game.
The west side of Chicago offers more of a peaceful vibe. Here you will find monuments, churches, and ethnic restaurants. So, stroll through one of the area’s many green spaces; particular favorites are Garfield Park and Douglas Park, and head to Restaurant Row for a bite to eat. Don’t miss out on a trip to the Garfield Park conservatory; it is one of the largest conservatories in the world.
In downtown Chicago, one will find the most tourists. Although that could put you off the area, it’s worth noting that tourists are, of course, in this location for a reason. As all of Chicago’s top tourist attractions reside here, including; the Buckingham fountain, Millennium Park, the Historic Theatre district, lots of galleries and bars, and of course, the famous shopping on Michigan Avenue.
The south side of Chicago has been known as a struggling scene for some time now. But with changes brewing, it is clear this neighborhood is on the up. On the Southside you will find a great place to wander about and explore. Some highlights include lots of Museums and monuments to visit as well as the well-known Chinatown which is worth a trip to try some amazing. Overall, this area is definitely not one to be overlooked.
While most of us won’t hear the word Chicago and immediately think of a beachside location, there is a great 26-mile-long sand beach right in Chicago. Here, there are great spots to enjoy the summer sun with beach volleyball, tons of food options for the foodie in you, cabana rentals, and live music.
The different hot spots along the coast are;
- North Avenue Beach is by far one of the most popular of Chicago’s beaches. It’s near Lincoln Park Zoo and has a wide variety of beach bars. From the rooftop beach bars, you can get a great view of the whole city.
- South Shore Beach is part of the South Shore Cultural Centre. It is a historic building that hosts a range of events. There’s a dining hall, theatre, restaurant, and gallery. The beach itself also has a nature sanctuary, golf course, tennis courts, and of course, restrooms and showers.
- Oak Street Beach is closest to downtown, making it an easy destination to hop over to and visit. Its location gives us some of the best views of Iconic Chicago buildings. There are lots of things to do here, including bike rentals, Segway rentals, and deckchair rentals.
- Montrose Beach is one of the only dog beaches in the city. It’s also one of the largest beaches in Chicago.
- Hollywood Beach is the place to go for paddle boarding due to the fact it has calmer waters than some of the others. There’s also a playground, a dog park, and some great trails to explore.
- Rainbow beach is on the Southside and has a gym, fitness center, and playgrounds, making it the beach that has something for everyone.
Of course, a key aspect of any location is the weather. This is where Chicago differs from lots of places by having weather that can go to either extreme. The weather here is a huge talking point to Chicagoans, as winters are brutally cold and summers and extremely hot. So, make sure whenever you are going to check the forecast and pack appropriately.
There are plenty more quirky reasons why people love Chicago, like how it was the birthplace of modern architecture. Chicago’s Home Insurance building stood 10 stories tall as the world’s first skyscraper, and the first televised presidential debate was broadcast from Chicago’s CBS studios.