“What makes me love Chicago? That’s a kind of difficult question to answer. Let me think. There is a million things I could list that really make me love Chicago!”
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said this when a young girl asked him during one of his presidential rallies in 2007. A long time has passed since then, and the man himself has grown to become one of the most loved American presidents of all time. What hasn’t changed, however, is the fact that his answer echoes the sentiment of millions of other people who love Chicago – their Sweet Home Chicago.
From Theodore Dressier’s ‘Sister Carrie’ to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Chicago has umpteen cultural and social references embedded in its very existence. That apart, it is still one of the best planned cities in the world, one of the best run municipalities in the world, one of the busiest cities in North America, one of the coldest places to be on Christmas and one of the finest cities you would want to be in if you are a jazz or blues fan.
From the Town Hall to Michigan Avenue, Chicago and music go like Huckleberry and Tom – different but compatible. Hence, if you are making a much awaited trip to Chicago anytime soon, be sure to explore these hidden nuances of this city of love, labor and life. Rising above regular tourist stuff – jumping from one sight to the next without really caring for either – is definitely not going to make you any happier in Chicago.
Living Cheap in Chicago
For some travelers, finding cheap hotels is an indescribable joy that heightens the spirit of their tours. If you happen to be one among such thrifty tourists, you are going to love Chicago A LOT – because there are over 200 Chicago hotels that can be called positively cheap but definitely not low-quality.
Music fans can definitely lodge around the Michigan Avenue and enjoy the busy streets, hallowed Motel Music Studio and of course, the spectacular sight that is Lake Michigan. While opting for an economical hotel in Chicago, the only thing you must remember is that you won’t be getting any mind-blowing facilities with it. If a no frills attached accommodation does it for you to get through the night, then these are the best options for you.
Among the Chicago hotels that occupy much of the Michigan Avenue hospitality space, Congress Plaza is a popular name known for quality and comfort at cheap prices. Another popular pick is Comfort Suites Michigan Ave., located at a short distance from Lake Michigan. Bellwood Hotel – though it may not appeal to connoisseurs of aesthetics – can get the job done as well, without hurting your credit card too much.
Stepping Up to The High-Life
Chicago may not be the richest city in the world (or America, for that matter), but it certainly features a fair share of luxury hotel and resort establishments that regularly cater to wealthy tourists who can afford to let their purse strings loose every once in a while.
Among all the luxury hotels in Chicago, Sofitel Chicago takes the top prize. Known for its exotic interior décor in the style of English aristocratic homes, Sofitel provides the utmost comfort to its patrons.
Similarly, Hyatt Regency in Chicago is a no mean deal either. Located in the most prime part of the city, Hyatt Regency is known for its excessively luxurious global cuisine restaurants. Other notable mentions include Marriott Heritage, InterContinental, Hilton Hotel Chicago and Park Avenue Chicago.
Spending Time Wisely in Chicago
In the year 2014, Chicago attracted over 50 million tourists – a whopping number in its own regard. Being a city of high repute and cultural heritage, tourists must ensure that they spend their time in Chicago wisely, not trying to cram too many sights in too short a time span.
Here are some of the most famous as well as not-so-famous things to see or visit in Chicago.
Magnificent Mile provides the best opportunity for tourists and visitors to satiate their shopping cravings with more or less every brand of good market standing operating factory outlets along this mile-long stretch. Add to it a minimum of 500 restaurants and you are looking at a true wonderland that you would love to get lost in.
Navy Pier is another understated attraction in Chicago that you must make it a point to visit. Chicago is also home to other mainstream tourist attractions Sears Tower and Museum Campus that will automatically take the top spot in your itinerary.
Lincoln Park, Millennium Park and Grant Park are three of the most famous public parks in Chicago, worthy of your time.
Hotels Near O’Hare Chicago Airport
The O’Hare Airport in Chicago is among the busiest airports in North America, handling heavy traffic all year long.
Since most tourists use it as a point of entry into Chicago, it is quite expected that a number of cheap hotels as well as luxury ones occupy the immediate vicinity of it.
It would not be (it should not be, at any rate – as long as it’s not Christmas!) too difficult for you to find a good deal with a good hotel near the airport.
Getting Around in Chicago
Chicago is a very finely built city that can incorporate heavy transport quite easily. With an extensive network of lanes, streets and highways inside the city and a vast system of expressways outside of it, Chicago has ensured that it can sustain a good traffic reputation, as long as it is not disrupted by inclement weather.
When in Chicago, tourists are best advised to use private taxi cabs for getting around from one place to another. Many hotels in Chicago operate their own sightseeing shuttle service that can be extremely convenient if you don’t wish to go around looking for trustworthy cab deals.
For those in the know of the fabric of the city, local Amtrak network should be good enough to travel anywhere in the city, round the clock.
- Top Attractions:
- Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Willis Tower - Skydeck Chicago, Cloud Gate, Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises, Chicago Food Planet Food Tours, 360 Chicago Observation Deck
- City Size:
- 234 mi²
- Average Temperature:
- 27°F (-3°C), Wind N at 7 mph (11 km/h), 63% Humidity