Part of traveling is taking part in what your destination has to offer, but as many can tell you, your
means will ultimately dictate what you do during your trip. Some people have to resort to staying on a budget, while others can take advantage of everything. Chicago is a city with great diversity, culture, and excitement. Here are a few things to look out for.
Highlights of Chicago
Chicago has enough to fill up weeks with things to do, so it may be a good fit for you to try and focus on single areas during your time here. Some good ways to fill up a day trip are walking along the Magnificent Mile, a popular area full of shops. The Loop is a popular area for art lovers, and is walkable. One thing to note is that Chicago is a massive sports town. If you have a chance to catch a game, take the plunge and enjoy the raucous atmosphere. If not, try watching one from a local bar to get a little taste of the local spirit.
Of course, if you are traveling with family, there are plenty of family-friendly places to go as well. Downtown is the major hub for activities for kids. There are attractions here ranging from the Adler Planetarium to the Shedd Aquarium to the Field Museum. Chicago’s museums rank among some of the best in the country, if not the world, like the world-class Art Institute of Chicago. Of course, if the weather is nice, consider just walking around. Chicago is a great hub of architecture, and you can enjoy the artwork all around you in this case, like the Sears Tower. At one point, this building was the largest building in the world.
Of course, what you can’t ignore about Chicago is plenty of great local foods. Some local favorites include hot dogs piled-high with relish, onions, mustard and more. Other favorites are hot Italian beef sandwiches and deep-dish pizza. Everyone has a local favorite, so consider trying a few different places if you have the appetite. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Chicago In Luxury
If you’re looking to do a bit more for your Chicago stay, there are a few luxury attractions that carry a higher cost, but are worth the stay. One example is booking a helicopter tour of the city to get a view that’s every bit as beautiful as from the top of a tower. On top of some local favorites and ethnic foods, the city also has a great culinary scene, full of trendy restaurants and places to shop.
There is also some high-class nightlife here, like Paris Club. This downtown hotspot boasts a 25-foot bar donned with bottles of French Champagne and all under a retractable glass roof. Another fun night can be spent at ROOF on The Wit. The outdoor bar sits atop a boutique hotel with amazing views of the downtown area and Chicago River. For a lofted, two story shrine to the good life, visit Enclave which boasts 15,000 square-feet of space and plush VIP seating.
Living in Chicago
Chicago has become the 10th most expensive rental market in the country, a median one bedroom rent of $1,730 and median two bedroom rent of $2,280. This isn’t as high as a place like San Francisco or New York, but is still pretty costly. As a result, if you enjoy Chicago so much you want to stay, it may be to your benefit to settle permanent routes. There are a wide variety of different places to stay, including some great luxury condos. These provide freedom from rent without the many other responsibilities of home ownership.
If your finances and situation allows, your building may be an attraction in and of itself, like the Pinnacle. Designed by Lucien LaGrange Architects and completed in 2004, the building is located just a couple of blocks west of Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s premier shopping and nightlife attraction. The residences here feature an abundance of marble on both the entryways and in the bathrooms. Each of the units comes with expansive balconies that open up to the entire city and afford breathtaking views of the Loop skyline and the lake. Units also feature floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious gourmet kitchens, and gas fireplaces. You’ve already traveled Chicago in luxury, consider living there as well if you can’t bear to leave.