There’s a lot to see and a lot to do when visiting Chicago. Take the 9 need to knows with you in order to make the most of it.
Chicago experiences all seasons but within those relative seasons, it’s pretty unpredictable. Just know, depending on the time of year, it can really cold, really hot, or really wet. If you’re not a snow bunny, “Chiberia” tends to thaw out around May. Even with that being said, Chicago has seen 75F degree days in November and snowstorms in April. It’s best to bring easily removable and replaceable layers.
#2 There’s More Than Pizza
Yes, you have to try deep dish when you’re visiting Chicago. But, you also have to try samosas, tacos, or treat yourself to one of the 22 Michelin rated restaurants in Chicago. Head to Chicago’s southside for a taste of Chinatown and authentic Mexicano or Uptown for Vietnamese. You can find Italian in Old Town and Ethipopean in Andersonville. You deserve more than just pizza and Chicago offers authentic international fare.
#3 Beyond the Loop
It’s easy to get stuck in the Loop because there are incredibly attractive sights worth seeing. But for the really Chicagoan feel, hop on the L and visit some of Chicago’s 77 distinct neighborhood. Each has its own personality and something unique to offer. It makes for a well-rounded trip to go beyond the Loop.
#4 The First Concrete Jungle
Chicago is birthplace to the skyscraper. Even if you’re not an architecture buff, Chicagos buildings will have you feeling differently. Indulge in an architecture tour to really appreciate your surroundings.
#5 There’s a Beach
The lapping turquoise waters of Lake Michigan grace the coast of Chicago offering up a range of 27 beloved beaches. When the city becomes too much, pack a blanket and head to the humble shore to catch some rays.
#6 Where to Stay
The biggest concern for travelers when visiting Chicago is where to stay. Hotels can be wildly expensive and not ideally located. Fortunately, there are nearly 8,000 Airbnbs spread across every part of the city. Here are some of our favorite places to stay when visiting Chicago.
#7 There are Affordable Things to Do (even free!)
Visiting Chicago, in fact, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For those of you traveling on a budget, there are plenty of cheap and even free things to do in the city, even during tourist season. Many museums including (but not limited to) the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture offer free entry. Plus, CTA provides super cheap transportation all over Chicago.
#8 Local Events are Pretty Incredible
No matter the month, there’s probably a festival of sorts occurring in Chicago. Check out this go-to guide for festival dates in Chicago. Treat yourself to an immersive event experience with the locals!
#9 One of the Easiest Cities to Explore
You have access to transportation that can take you anywhere in the city, for abounds at every avenue, from world-class to street smash– some of the worlds greatest art and entertainment are everywhere. Chicago may be a big city but it welcomes millions of visitors with its mid-western charm.