Chicago offers cosmopolitan charms and an enviable mix of culture. In a single day, you could admire Impressionist art, enjoy the view from atop North America's tallest building, root for the home team at a classic ballpark, dine at a world-class restaurant, and catch a touring concert or Broadway show.
The heart of Chicago's financial and architectural hub lies within the tracks of "The El" (the city's elevated train). Historical buildings inside The Loop include the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Cultural Center. Other attractions include Sears Tower, the theater district and the Art Institute of Chicago, a magnificent building housing acclaimed works by artists including Matisse, Monet and Picasso.
Shop with abandon on the stretch of North Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile. This tree-shaded boulevard features gorgeous shop windows, all vying for your heart (and wallet). Whatever you're browsing for, you're sure to find it in one of the area's many upscale department stores and posh boutiques. Nearby attractions include Navy Pier amusements and the Wacker Drive riverfront promenade.
McCormick Place Convention Center anchors an area full of museums, ethnic enclaves and sports stadiums south and west of "The El" elevated railway tracks. Museum Campus hosts the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium amid acres of parkland. Explore the edible delights of Chinatown and Little Italy, then catch Bears football at Soldier Field or White Sox baseball at Comisky Park.
North of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan, you'll find an area brimming with shops, museums and beaches. Explore Northwestern University's ivy-lined campus, then stroll Evanston's streets to explore local cafes and shops. Other attractions include the Ladd Arboretum, the Evanston Historical Society and the Grosse Point Lighthouse Maritime Museum.
Chicago's O'Hare International is one of the world's busiest airports. You may be able to save some money — and perhaps even some time — by booking a flight into Chicago Midway Airport instead. Just 7 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Midway serves a number of low-cost airlines and houses a memorial to World War II's Battle of Midway. The nearby town of Oak Lawn retains its old-fashioned charm.