The midwestern metropolis of Chicago, Illinois is truly a gem of the United States. With tremendous diversity amongst its residents comes a vast variety of restaurants, stores, and cultural influences that provide an exciting travel experience. Compared to cities such as New York and Los Angeles, “The Windy City” is unique in that its smaller, noticeably cleaner, and locals are quick to display their midwestern charm by sparking conversation anytime and anywhere.


Chicago Fall



Chicago Subway

You may be wondering why Chicago is referred to as “The Windy City“. In short, it’s because it’s just that. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, downtown Chicago is like walking through a wind tunnel, and a cold one at that. At certain times of the year, winds can reach up to 50 miles per hour (about 80 kilometers per hour)! This combined with winter snow and temperatures dropping to or below -10 F (about -23 C) are enough to freeze you in place. This is all the more reason to indulge in Chicago’s famous delicacies such as deep-dish thick crust pizza and hot dogs with a mountain of toppings to fill and warm you up!

So, what are the highlights of this amazing place? Check out the list below:

  1. “The Magnificent Mile”: Michigan Avenue is also called “The Magnificent Mile” because it is a shopping paradise for locals and tourists alike. The lengthy list of stores on this street including Apple, The North Face, The American Girl Place, Hershey, Ghirardelli, Disney, J.Crew, and upscale designer stores bring thousands of people to the city center for a fun-filled day of splurging on these ‘necessities’.
  2. Lake Shore Drive & Navy Pier: Lake Shore Drive is located along the perimeter of Lake Michigan and provides beautiful views of the water and downtown. Along this street is access to the Navy Pier, which is a boardwalk filled with food vendors, gift shops, a ferris wheel, and more!
  3. Millenium Park: This modern looking park is situated centrally along North Michigan Avenue and provides opportunities for taking incredible photos. Highlights of this park are the Cloud Gate sculpture also known as “The Bean“, along with a small arena for concerts, statues of faces, and the Art Institute.
    Millenium Park, Chicago

    Millenium Park

  4. Chicago River: This river passes through downtown and offers incredible views whether you are walking along it or enjoying an architecture cruise that explains the history of the city and its most famous buildings. Fun fact: The city is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day!
  5. Museums: I’ll admit I do not usually enjoy going to museums, however Chicago is the exception! The Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum, and all the art exhibitions around the city are very interactive and are worth stopping at during your visit!
    Chicago FieldMuseum

    Chicago Field Museum

  6. Comedy Shows: I recommend attending a comedy show because it is a great way to have a light-hearted, fun evening with friends or family for a relatively inexpensive cost compared to Broadway shows and the like. The Laugh Factory and Second City are two popular venues for comedy shows, although there are many more to pick from!
  7. Food!: Once again, the food in Chicago is delicious! Trying deep-dish pizza is a must! From Little Italy, to Chinatown, to Old Town, and downtown, there are countless restaurants worth trying. The chances of having a meal that doesn’t meet your expectations are pretty slim. Enjoy!