Chicago is a city which has risen from its ashes, quite literally. In 1871, the entire city burned down. Locals gave their hearts and souls to rebuild that which they lost. It is in this land that skyscrapers first touched the skies. Chicago has many nicknames, however, The Second City is my favorite.

The north side of town hosts the districts of Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Boystown. It is the high-class region of the city, sporting flashy clubs and musical theaters. The south side is famous for Hyde Park. Both the University of Chicago and Chinatown are here.

In the downtown area, you will find major tourist hotspots. You can head on a shopping spree or lounge at the beach. The Logan Square, Pilsen, Near West Side, and Wicker Park are popular parts of the city here. It is also a bohemian hub. The far southwest is home to the famous Beverly, as well as Mount Greenwood. It has both secluded and scenic charm.

Irving Park, Jefferson Park, Avondale, and Portage Park are in the far northwest. Here, you’ll travel off the beaten path to explore the city’s history. The far west side is also overlooked by most tourists.  Rough dive bars and blues clubs are scattered here. Humboldt Park, Little Village, Austin, and Garfield Park are also in this area. Navy Pier and Millenium Park are other major attractions here. 

There are L-Trains which are above the streets. It may be useful to talk about the way the trains work. (red line, brown line, etc.) Union Station for getting Amtraks. 

Parking options are scarce. But people can use an app called Spot hero to book cheap parking spaces. Otherwise, you can park at a park and ride in one of the many suburbs of the city and then take a Metra into Union Station

O’hare is enormous and poses some interesting challenges to travelers. Always add an extra hour or two to your travel prep time to account for shuttles and security. 

Also some fair warning, Hyde park is where the University of Chicago is. This is a fun place to visit but it exists in a bubble. All the areas on campus are relatively safe. However, the rest of Hyde park not on campus is super dangerous! So if you are going to visit U of C, make sure to stay on campus and do not get lost.

As a general rule in Chicago, you do not want to get lost. You can go from being safe on one street and two blocks later you are in a dangerous area. You should always know where you are going, random exploring is not encouraged. 

Meat production soars here. The southwest side of Chicago is home to many meat-packing plants. The Pullman District is a favorite hangout. It is far southeast. Here, you’ll also find Eastside, Hegewisch, and South Chicago.

This city hosts two major international airports, Midway and O’Hare International Airport. Taxis are a popular form of transportation, and fares are usually cheap. Public transit is also an inexpensive and efficient option.

On bitingly cold winter days, you can skate at Hyde Park. Enjoy music festivals in Grant Park. Indulge in a cold beer under the sun at Oak Street beach. The list of opportunities is endless. Visit Chicago, where you’re destined for both great fun and the trip of a lifetime.

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September 3, 2016 11:31 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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