Chicago is more commonly seen as a major industrial and financial center of the United States, and if you believe the old American films, as the lair of the powerful Italian mafia led by Al Capone. However, the modern metropolis is one of the centers of tourism in the United States, which is visited by several million people a year.
Chicago is full of parks, museums, modern malls and trendy restaurants. The city is building on the shores of Lake Michigan. It boasts a well-groomed coastal strip and excellent city beaches. Sunbathing on the golden sand against the backdrop of glass skyscrapers, enjoy swimming and the sun, but in five minutes be ready to immerse yourself in the dynamic life of the metropolis - what could be better for an active and inquisitive tourist.
What to see and where to go in Chicago?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
A 100,000 m² urban green oasis in downtown Chicago. It was created at the beginning of the 21st century and almost immediately gained popularity for its original design, convenience and beauty of landscapes. Unusual sculptures, art objects and installations are scattered throughout the park. The territory hosts exhibitions of contemporary art. Under the park there is a railway station and a large underground car park.
The unique fountain in Millennium Park, designed by Jaume Plens, is a real engineering find. The design is a video installation placed on large facade screens, from which jets of water splash out. The image on the screens is constantly changing and is reflected in the water surface of the black marble pool. To implement this solution, quite complex technical research was required.
Sculpture in Millennium Park. The locals have nicknamed it the "mirror bean" because the outline of the structure really resembles a bean. The object has become one of the symbols of progressive Chicago, the avant-garde of contemporary art and the territory of inspiration for trendy artists. The design of the sculpture was developed by the master Anish Kapoor invited from London.
An embankment that stretches along Lake Michigan for several hundred meters. The pier was built at the beginning of the 20th century for purely practical purposes - to provide logistics along the river and lake. In parallel, tourist ferries were launched. Very soon, the inhabitants chose this place and began to arrange picnics there. Over time, cafes, well-equipped playgrounds, gardens, shops and attractions appeared.
Paris has the Champs Elysees, New York has Fifth Avenue, and Chicago has the Magnificent Mile. This is a shopping street, one of the sections of Michigan Avenue, around which the most prestigious areas of the city are located. In these places, real estate costs fabulous money. Shops, hotels and restaurants are concentrated on the Magnificent Mile, there are always a lot of people here - both residents and visitors to Chicago.
Art Institute of Chicago
The school and museum was founded in 1879 by an organization of American artists. In 1893, the organization received a new building, which is still located. The museum exhibits a rich collection of impressionists (Monet, Renoir, Cezanne), as well as works by Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and many other worthy masters. Also at the Art Institute of Chicago, you can look at exhibitions of weapons, photography, African art and Asian culture.
Museum of Science and Industry
An unusual museum and at the same time a research center for the Western Hemisphere. It was housed in a building built for the opening of the World Exhibition in 1893. The exhibits are shown in dynamics, many copies are made in full size. For children, there is a reduced copy of the railway, which functions like a real one, and a puppet palace.
Field Museum of Natural History
Museum complex on the shores of Lake Michigan, which houses collections dedicated to the natural history of the planet. The exposition has about 20 million copies, so even a cursory inspection will take several days. The space of the museum is divided into thematic areas: anthropology, geology, zoology. A valuable relic of the Field Museum is the largest surviving skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
A space theater and museum built with funds from retired businessman Max Adler. The first visitors were admitted to the planetarium in 1930. Thanks to the generous donations of the former businessman, quite a large number of navigation and astronomical mechanisms were purchased for the exposition. The Chicago Planetarium is the first planetarium in the United States.
Huge aquarium on the Chicago Museum campus. It is considered one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world. It contains huge whales, sharks, penguins, crocodiles, octopuses and a considerable number of various fish. In addition to marine life, iguanas, snakes, birds, otters, fur seals live in the Shedd Aquarium - more than 2,000 species of animals and 25 thousand individuals in total.
Chicago Cultural Center
The complex, where exhibitions, presentations, shows and other cultural events are constantly held. The Chicago Children's Choir also performs here. The center opened at the end of the 19th century. At first it housed the Chicago Public Library and the Veterans Union. Later, both organizations moved to other places, and the building received the status of an urban cultural center open to all comers.
Theater of Chicago
A cultural monument of the early 20th century, one of the important art centers in Chicago. From the very opening, the theater was used very widely, it hosted concerts, shows of magicians, theatrical performances, performances of comedians. A lot of people always gathered for the performances, as the site very quickly won people's love. Today, the popularity of the theater remains at a high level, artists from all over the States come here on tour.
The Chicago skyscraper, which was considered the tallest in the world until 2009 (then the championship passed to the Sears Tower). It should be noted that the tallest skyscrapers in America have always been built in Chicago. Willis Tower consists of 110 floors, the height of the building is 442 meters, and together with antennas on the roof - 527 meters. The main architect of this grandiose project was Bruce Graham. The structure up to the 90th floor is supported by a system of powerful internal supports.
John Hancock Center
A skyscraper with 100 floors, another grandiose "high-rise" of Chicago. Among the locals, the name "Big John" is firmly attached to the skyscraper. Construction was completed by 1970. On the 94th floor there is an observation deck, from where you can look at Chicago from a truly “mind-blowing” angle. Inside the skyscraper is divided into a business part and residential areas.
Wrigley Field Baseball Stadium
The arena for the games of the most popular sport in the United States. The stadium always gathers full stands of fans during numerous cups. For over 100 years, Wrigley Field has been the home ground of the Chicago Cubs. The stadium is an open space with stands installed around the perimeter. On the roofs of the surrounding houses, enterprising owners also organized places for spectators.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Zoo on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the oldest in the New World. It opened in the middle of the 19th century. Now the zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, it is open seven days a week on a very convenient schedule. A comfortable and natural habitat has been created for the animals, sometimes it seems that they just roam among the trees and can easily approach visitors.
A picturesque architectural composition on the territory of Grat Park. The fountain was built with private funds from one of the bankers. The sculptural group is made in the Rococo style and from a distance resembles a wedding cake. The four layers of this "cake" symbolize the states surrounding Michigan, and the jets of water are the lake itself. In the warm season, light shows are organized here, in which several light sources take part.
One of the oldest city buildings, preserved since 1869. The tower survived the "great fire" of 1871, during which almost the entire city was destroyed. Several times they tried to demolish it, but the residents stood up for the structure. It is believed that the ghost of the caretaker lives in the tower. During the fire, he climbed to the very top and hanged himself to avoid an agonizing death from the fire.
The river connects the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, the total length of the channel is a little more than 250 km. As a result of the rapid industrial development of Chicago in the 19th century, the waters of the river were heavily polluted, after heavy rains and floods, epidemics flared up in the city. In 1900, the channel was redirected to the Mississippi River basin. There are 38 drawbridges across the Chicago River within the city limits.
The largest freshwater lake in the United States is part of the Great Lakes system. The Michigan Territory lies entirely within the United States, unlike other lakes. The reservoir is called the "third coast of the States" after the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as there are excellent sandy beaches here. You can swim in the lake all summer, even at the end of August the water remains quite warm.