Chicago is a large North American city on the shores of Lake Michigan with world-class museums, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and public gardens.
What to do in Chicago
At the end of the 17th century, a small settlement of immigrants formed near Lake Michigan. In 1837, he received the status of a city called Chicago. Its favorable geographical position has made it an important transportation hub.
America and contributed to industrial growth.
The fire of 1871 destroyed a significant part of the districts and streets. People from all over the country came to restore the burnt buildings. New residential and administrative buildings have turned Chicago into a model of American architecture of the last century.
Today Chicago is a comfortable metropolis with interesting sights. By studying local architecture, people get acquainted with the history of skyscraper construction. After all, it was here that the construction of the first high-rise buildings began. The central regions and the Old Town with houses erected immediately after the fire are very popular.
The skyscrapers of Chicago harmoniously coexist with cozy parks and squares. Among the greenery, running tracks, basketball courts, golf and croquet fields, and picnic areas are equipped. In the shade, people relax from the bustle of the city, meet friends, go in for sports, take pictures.
Every year, noisy music festivals are held in Chicago, gathering millions of spectators:
- In September, the Chicago Jazz Festival invites guests;
- In May, the blues festival;
- In June — a concert of wind Christian music;
- The whole summer does not stop Ravinia Festival. As part of the holiday performance of jazz musicians, ballet troupes, symphony orchestras.
Chicago offers a lot of entertainment. Adults and children enjoy visiting the public oceanarium, planetarium, natural history museum, zoo, botanical garden. The Six Flags of Great America amusement park has a huge selection of attractions: roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, a giant interactive pool, hot air balloons, as well as classic carousels for all ages.
The Chicago Central District includes major historical and cultural attractions. Its total area is 7.04 km². It mainly consists of stone mansions and high-rise buildings. On each street there are prestigious boutiques, shops of world brands, banks, offices of large companies, restaurants. Within the district there are St. James Cathedral, an old water tower, a hundred-year-old fountain, a naval pier, and Shakespeare’s theater.
The fashionable shopping district rises from the bridge over the Chicago River and runs through the center of the city, abutting on Oak Street. Its length is only 1.23 km. Along the highway there are upscale restaurants, department stores, luxury residential buildings, offices, hotels.
Every year, 22 million tourists visit the area to shop and see exclusive properties. In the northern part rises the 57-story skyscraper “Magnificent Mile”, lined with pink granite. Inside the building there is a swimming pool, a sports club, apartments and offices.
A small street in the center of Chicago attracts fashion connoisseurs from all over the world. The prestigious place is built up with skyscrapers. They open boutiques of European brands, American luxury brands, international fashion houses. Among the most famous are Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci stores.
Sprawling trees grow along Oak Street, giving it a special charm and beauty.
The project for Marina City was developed by Bertrand Goldberg in 1959. A few years later, it was brought to life, spending 36 million dollars. A mixed-use complex on the banks of the Chicago River consists of two towers resembling maize cobs. The height of the buildings is 179 meters.
On the first levels there is a huge parking lot. Above — cinemas, conference rooms, offices, restaurants. The last tiers are occupied by residential apartments. From the balconies of luxury housing offers a gorgeous view of the Chicago streets.
The Neo-Gothic Tribune Tower is one of Chicago’s first skyscrapers. Its construction began in 1923 and lasted 2 years. The height of the graceful tower directed upwards is 141 meters. The upper tiers are decorated with arched windows, pointed towers, gargoyles.
The main entrance is decorated with carved paintings by American artist René Paul Chambellan. Stones are built into the facade, which are part of important historical sites: the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids, Hagia Sophia, Fort Santiago. Each has a corresponding sign.
Cathedral of Saint James
The oldest Anglican church in Chicago. The first building burned down during a fire — only the bell tower was saved, which was added to the architectural ensemble of the new temple. The stones on its top still remain black in memory of the tragic event.
St. James Cathedral is designed in the Romanesque style. Multi-colored stained-glass windows of the 19th century are inserted into the windows. The interior walls are frescoed with biblical themes, and a marble altar stands in a place of honor.
The Chicago Water Tower has been added to the US Register of Historic Places and is protected by law. It was erected in 1869 for a water pump pumping water from Lake Michigan. A round narrow structure with small windows and a crenellated lid, reminiscent of an ancient fortress. It managed to survive the Great Chicago Fire, which is why it is considered a symbol of the old city.
Inside there is an art gallery showing the work of young artists and photographers. And around the tower itself there is a small park.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Reclamation District, the authorities installed a beautiful fountain. The attraction quickly gained popularity among tourists and locals. This is a multi-level waterfall. Every hour a huge water arc departs from it. The sparkling arch crosses the Chicago River, freezes for 10 minutes and disappears until the next turn on. Water cannons and a waterfall operate from 8 am to 11 pm during the warm season.
The 1,010-meter-long Lake Michigan Wharf is the largest attraction in the Midwest and the most visited place in Chicago. The Navy Pier multifunctional complex is located here. The institution includes retail outlets, restaurants, entertainment centers, museums. It features musical carousels, a sensory labyrinth, and a tropical garden.
On the pier there is an anchor taken from a naval ship, bronze sculptures of children and American actors. Boats and sailboats are moored along the shore, carrying out sightseeing trips on Lake Michigan. Fireworks are arranged in the evenings.
Cathedral of the Holy Name
The neo-Gothic cathedral was erected to replace the Catholic churches that burned down in a fire in Chicago. The main building is 71 meters long, 38 meters wide and can accommodate 1,110 people. The massive entrance door catches the eye – it is made of bronze, inlaid with complex patterns and details.
Inside the church are sculptures of saints and paintings. The altar is made of red-black granite. Nearby is a bronze bas-relief with Old Testament scenes of sacrifice. Lush decoration is complemented by carved furniture, bright stained-glass windows, a decorative wooden ceiling, and a marble floor.
In 1897, a beautiful neoclassical mansion appeared on Washington Street. Initially, they wanted to transfer the building to the national library, but instead they began to use it for official receptions, social events, and private parties.
Today, the Chicago Cultural Center plays an important role in the city’s tourist life. Free exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, meetings with famous people are regularly held here.
Modern Art Museum
In the middle of the last century, a museum of modern art was launched in Chicago. Its collection consists of thousands of exhibits and is considered one of the largest in the world.
The exposition includes works dating from the second half of the 20th century. Visitors are shown paintings by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, Jasper Johns. In separate rooms, installations, photographs and sculptures in the style of surrealism and modernism are presented.
Institute of Arts
The Art Institute of Chicago opened its doors in 1893. This is the oldest US university specializing in fine arts and architecture. The university campus is equipped with a museum with a rich collection of paintings by American and European artists. Tourists can see the masterpieces of Van Gogh, Renoir, Georges Seurat, John Simpson, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Museum of Science and Industry
Built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the palace houses a museum of science and industry. Here are stored items related to different historical periods of the United States.
Among the exhibits are a model railway, a diesel train, a space satellite, a coal mine. A popular exhibition tells about the Second World War. It shows the ammunition of American soldiers and equipment, including a German submarine.
Museum of African American History
The Hyde Park Museum was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs. It exhibits historical documents highlighting the struggle of African Americans for their rights. Thematic expositions, installations tell about slavery in North America, about racism in the USA and the tragic fate of Africans.
The funds contain paintings, sculptures, books, memorabilia and other cultural heritage of the black inhabitants of the country. The museum regularly hosts meetings with musicians, writers, scientists.
Museum of Natural History
In the center of Chicago there is a park with flat alleys and pavilions. It houses famous attractions, including the Natural History Museum. The spacious halls contain rare and interesting exhibits: the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, fossilized bones of cave bears, stuffed African elephants and man-eating lions shot in 1898.
In separate rooms, objects from the pre-Columbian era found during excavations are displayed, as well as artifacts from the Pacific coast and ancient Egypt.
Entertainment and parks
The first planetarium of the Western Hemisphere appeared in Chicago at the initiative of the philanthropist Max Adler. The original building with a wide dome is equipped with modern equipment. The Zeiss projector scrupulously reproduces any movement on the celestial sphere. The digital image provides a realistic view of the starry sky.
The Adler Planetarium shows the latest shows, gives interesting lectures and helps to learn about the Universe. There is a museum on the territory, presenting navigational instruments, telescopes and star charts.
It is a huge tourist center with an impressive cultural program. 25,000 marine life swim in water tanks. Among them are the giant Pacific octopus, rays, starfish, tropical fish, whales, turtles, sharks. Tourists watch the performance of trained penguins, visit the dolphinarium, watch the feeding of sharks.
The Shedd Aquarium has a pool for freshwater fish, a large area for amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as a rescue headquarters for animals affected by human activity or natural disasters.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is considered to be the largest in North America. It opened in the second half of the last century and quickly turned into a popular living museum. The natural area is divided into sections, which include: an English park, an orchard, a bonsai collection, a rose garden, greenhouses with cacti, succulents and palm trees.
A vast area is occupied by a garden of native plants, consisting of forest and prairie. It grows Christmas fern, wild ginger, marsh white oak, American hops. The botanical garden hosts flower exhibitions, a shop with seedlings and a cafe.
Zoo in Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park on Lake Michigan is made up of landscaped gardens, tennis courts, baseball fields, lily lakes, boat stations. The zoo takes center stage. This is a wilderness oasis in Chicago. Animals and birds from different continents have found a home here.
Polar bears, African elephants, tigers, bactrian camels, eastern black rhinos live in natural conditions. Chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, swamp monkeys, orangutans frolic in spacious nurseries. In the terrarium there are rattlesnakes, American toads, crocodiles, iguanas.
Millennium Public Park was inaugurated in 2004. $475 million was spent on its construction, and there is something to see here. The main cultural objects are the Jay Pritzker Exhibition Pavilion, the interactive Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, the three-story steel sculpture Cloud Gate.
Within the park there is a large indoor skating rink, outdoor restaurants, playgrounds and bike rental.