Five Top Travel Stops in Chicago

Chicago offers much to see and do, for seniors, for young children, and everyone in between. The breath-taking architecture begs attention and remembrance. Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, offers residents and visitors a sandy beach while the city itself has more than even a list would do justice. Deep-dish pizza’s reputation precedes itself – many say you can’t visit the city without at least trying the delectable dish.

From great eats to exciting shows and sports, it’s easy to spend days in Chi-town with a dozen or more items left on your to-do list. Whether you’re visiting Chicago for business or pleasure, make some time for these excellent activities and attractions.

Chicago – Home of Deep-Dish Pizza! If nothing else, you simply must try a slice of deep-dish pizza while you are visiting Chicago. The pies take roughly three quarters of an hour to bake, which is a small price to pay for the delightful taste that is so unlike any other. Chicago-style pizza is a meal in and of itself. Each slice of pizza must be cut with knife and fork (in my experiences), and brims with hearty tomato sauce, lots of cheese, and a variety of toppings if you so desire. The crust is dense and buttery, and quite delicious. No matter what you decide to do with your trip to Chicago, set aside at least one mealtime to enjoy this legendary style of pizza.

Gino’s East:

Lincoln Park Zoo – Animal lovers and those looking for a little bit of exercise on their trip can find adventure at the free community zoo. For a free venue, this place does it up right. The exhibits showcase animals of all kinds, boasting everything from seals and sea otters to primates, snakes and reptiles, the big cats, polar bears – even vulchers – and more. You can walk around, grab a bite to eat, take some pictures, rest at the lily pond, and learn more about animals than you’ve ever known. The staff members offer knowledgeable tidbits here and there, introducing certain animals by name, and showing off exciting happenings at the zoo.

Lincoln Park Zoo:

Millennium Park and Grant Park – If you’ve got a few hours and nothing to do, head over to Millennium Park. The architectural wonders, expressive art, and beautiful gardens are well worth your trek. From towering fountains with faces that occasionally spit water out on people (Crown Fountain) to the enormous reflective jellybean, Cloud Gate, this park offers so much more than your run-of-the-mill recreational area. Millennium’s other key attractions include the sophisticated Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is an outdoor concert arena designed by Frank Gehry, as well as the contemporary Lurie Garden, which features many perennials and a hardwood footbridge, flanked by a dramatically lit hedge. Just adjacent to Millennium is Grant Park, where you can visit the giant fountain (Buckingham Memorial Fountain) that you see in the beginning credits of the sitcom Married, with Children.

Millennium Park:

Navy Pier – Whether you’re hunkering for a delicious frozen Italian ice treat or a ride on the giant ferris wheel, Navy Pier is a one stop shop for fun. You can check out the gift shops and souvenir stands inside and out, catch a show, or grab a bite to eat. For an especially social evening, grab a seat at the Navy Pier Beer Garden, where you can enjoy live music and great fair food, like burgers, hotdogs, fries, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, salad, pizza, and much more, not to mention draft beer, bottled beer, and a fine array of mixed drinks.

Navy Pier:

Sports Fever – Wrigley Field, the home of major league baseball’s beloved Cubs, is a great destination for baseball fans and history buffs alike. The field may or may not be sold in the near future, so if you’re visiting Chicago anytime soon, take the cab ride over to the stadium – it’s sure to be worth your while. While you are in Chicago, you can also check out Comiskey Park (now known as U.S. Cellular Field), the home of the White Sox, or of course, take a ride over to the United Center to see where the Chicago Bulls basketball team and Chicago Blackhawks ice hockey team play.

Wrigley Field:
Comiskey Park / U.S. Cellular Field:
United Center:

No matter what you decide to do, tote along your camera to capture priceless memories and don’t forget some change for the meters or cash for your cab fare. Chicago is a great city to visit and explore, so get out there and enjoy it!

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