No matter what your interests, if you can’t find it in Chicago consider staying home. Whether your taste runs to Shakespeare or meerkats, food or Jazz, airy museums or dank coffee houses, this city has everything – in spades.
For those who enjoy fine arts, The Art Institute offers one of the best collections to be found anywhere in the world. Though much smaller than the Metropolitan in New York or the Louvre in Paris, the paintings and other objects on display are second to none.
For those who like their art more lively, the seven-story Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier offers works by the Bard and other world-renowned artists.
Beyond this, Chicago has a theater district that has rightly earned the town the title Second City. Second in name, but not in quality. Shows here are as good as anything you’ll find in New York, as the list of famous actors who have called it a professional home can show.
If shopping is more your style of entertainment, you don’t have to go to New York, London or Paris to find anything you would look for there. With over 460 shops in the Magnificent Mile area alone, you’ll run out of money and time long before you run out of stores.
Whether it’s Nieman Marcus or Marshall Field’s (the homegrown department stores), or Cartier, Hermes, or Tiffany’s imported from New York, there’s something here to please even the most finicky.
Restaurants in Chicago are also first-rate. Maybe you just want a great burger at Billy Goat Tavern in Navy Pier. Or, you might want the best pizza in the world. Gino’s East at 8725 W. Higgins, or Pete’s at 3737 N Western, or Home Run Inn at 4254 W 31st St, who can decide? You might prefer Brazilian at Sal & Carvao (739 N Clark St) or jambalaya at Joe’s Be-Bop at Navy Pier.
If you want to just drink, there’s no better place than Chicago. At Charlie’s Ale House at Navy Pier, you can find over 70 beers to choose from. Or, you can sidle into the Volo Restaurant Wine Bar (2008 W Roscoe St) for one of the finest selections served. After that, you might need a cup of coffee. Try the Julius Meinl Cafe (3601 N. Southport) where the Viennese is authentic and you can hear a string quartet play while you sip.
For animal enjoyment there are the dead ones at The Field Museum where the largest T-Rex ever found is housed, or the live ones at Brookfield Zoo. Or, you can head over to the Shedd Aquarium and catch the Beluga whales or dozens of sharks looking for a meal.
Head out to one of the 500 parks around the city, but don’t forget about the place with the name that is not a park – Hyde Park. Home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Studio and Home, as well as the Robie House and many other architectural icons, you’ll find plenty to write home about.
Don’t miss out on the view from up high. Be sure to visit the Sears Tower and the Hancock Center, two great (almost) 100-story high observatories that will show you how the Windy City got its nickname.
If you think New York, London or Paris are among the world’s great cities… you’re right. Come find out why Chicago is easily in the same class.