Chicago is one of the most popular places in the United States to visit. It is one of America’s largest cities, offering an exciting experience for tourists and residents alike! Whether it’s beautiful views or rich cultural history, Chicago has something for everyone. The following article will help you understand some of the top things to do while visiting Chicago, so you can enjoy your visit and maximize your time there!
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Understand The Risks Before You Go
As you probably already know, Chicago is a massive metropolitan marvel of almost three million people. Each one is packed into a dense urban environment, with more coming in for work from the outlying areas each day. While this density is what creates such an electric atmosphere, it can also lead to tensions and safety concerns. Therefore, it pays to understand some of the main risks before you go, seeing as you don’t want an accident to ruin your vacation. The main issues you could face will generally revolve around the amount of traffic that courses through the streets, like blood pumping through arteries. You need to take care to observe the traffic when crossing the roads, as the drivers here tend to be somewhat more aggressive than in other parts of the country (aside from New York). The second major issue you might face is petty theft, most notably pickpocketing. Unfortunately, this is common in almost all urban environments, but it also means that you should keep your belongings close to your body and never leave them unattended.
Take Advantage Of The Different Options For Transportation
Like all major urban centers, Chicago is blessed with an abundance of mass transit options, including CTA buses, the L, and the Metra. Moreover, you will have access to taxicabs and the now ubiquitous Uber. Chicago’s pedway system, with subterranean tunnels and overpasses, can also be used if you feel like saving money and walking. These pedways are an excellent way to move around the city’s core quickly and efficiently and lead to most city center attractions. Aside from overland routes, you can opt to take the Chicago River Taxi, which connects numerous boroughs and neighborhoods while being able to take in the sights and sounds of the city from a different perspective.
Don’t Miss The Architecture River Cruise
The Architecture River Cruise is a unique way of exploring the city’s architectural heritage. It’s an experience that allows you to get a closer look at some of the most famous buildings in the world and learn about their history and architecture. Depending on when you plan to visit, it might be wiser to book ahead. This tour is particularly popular and fills up pretty fast.
Plan Your Trip At The Right Time
Despite Chicago’s frigid winters, the Windy City has warm, sunny summer days filled with live music, local festivals, and beautiful blue skies. The best time to visit the city is between June and September when the sun is shining, people are happy, and there are lots of exciting activities to see and do. Depending on the month, you will be treated to a range of exciting festivals and events, including:
- June: Chicago Blues Festival (As the birthplace of the blues, it seems only fitting to catch a show).
- July: Taste of Chicago (an outdoor celebration of the unique Chicago cuisine).
- August: You have a multitude of things to do in August, including the famous Lollapalooza music festival.
If you plan on traveling during Christmas, you will also be treated to the annual Christkindlmarkt, an outdoor Christmas fair (just remember to pack warm clothes!).
Remember, You Don’t Always Need To Spend Money
While it might look like the city is merely a dense urban jungle, Chicago boasts a large number of parks and green, open spaces. This means that you can save some cash and take advantage of the gorgeous summer weather. Additionally, while strolling through the beautifully maintained parks, you are more likely to stumble upon a street festival taking place. There are also plenty of institutions with free entry or discounted rates when you use a CityPASS.
Use A CityPASS To Get Discounts At Museums And Galleries
The Chicago CityPASS is a great way to get around the city and see the sights. The pass offers discounted admission to many of Chicago’s top attractions, tours, and cultural institutions. You can even get discounts on the pass if you book early enough. Essentially, a CityPASS allows you to explore everything that Chicago has to offer in one day for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay without it.
Prepare A Sizable Food Budget!
Chicago is a melting pot of cuisines and is known for its deep-dish pizza, thick-cut rib-eye steak, and Italian beef sandwiches. However, there is so much more to its cuisine than mere pizza (no matter how delicious it is). The Chicago food scene is one of the most diverse in the world. It has a long history of cultural and culinary diversity, with a wide range of foods from all over the world.
The city is also home to some of the best restaurants in the US, including Michelin-starred establishments like Alinea and The Girl & The Goat. Chicago’s deep-rooted history, mixed with its diverse cultural and culinary offerings, makes it one of America’s most exciting cities to visit for foodies.
Pack Comfortable Walking Shoes
Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has many attractions and a diverse population, contributing to its beauty. However, if you want to get the most out of your trip, then you should take time walking around Chicago, mainly if you have limited time available. Chicago is known for its architecture and culture, but there are also many parks in the city where people can find peace and quiet. You might also find some local food or souvenirs to make your trip worthwhile. Therefore, it is vital to pack comfortable walking shoes to keep your feet from getting destroyed.
Chicago has earned its reputation as a diverse city full of natural and artificial wonders. From eating in world-class restaurants to catching an impromptu festival while wandering through the parks, you will never be left wanting for things to do.