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Chicago City Guide

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Chicago isn’t just about fierce winds and frigid winters. Sure, Chicago’s weather is a force to be reckoned with, but the trade-off is well worth it! This unique city by the lake has a gorgeous skyline, a rich history, and it features some of the world’s greatest architecture, art, museums, restaurants, and nightlife. Considered one of the most affordable major cities on the map, Chicago is large enough to accommodate millions of diverse city dwellers, but small enough to navigate with ease.

Here are a few things you may not know about Chicago:

  • Chicago is home to the world’s first skyscraper.
  • Chicago is home to not one, but two of the world’s top 50 restaurants.
  • Chicago is home to the world’s largest free outdoor food festival -- The Taste of Chicago. In 2006, 3.6 million people from around the world attended the Taste of Chicago festivities.
  • Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is the world’s second largest aquarium in the world. It holds 5 million gallons of water to support 20,000 aquatic animals. The first largest is The Georgia Aquarium which holds 8 million gallons of water to house over 100,000 aquatic animals.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago holds the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside the Louvre in Paris.

So, whether you’re a native or a newcomer, you’ll always find something exciting and unique within the boundaries of this bustling city. Here’s how:

If you’d rather read the paper than surf the net, pick up a Chicago Reader or a Time Out Chicago to see what’s going on in the city on any given day or night. The Chicago Reader is updated weekly and can be found on just about every street corner, in all coffeehouses or at any record store in the city. Look for the bright yellow boxes on street corners. Time Out Chicago can be found at convenient stores, bookstores, fitness clubs, and coffeehouses throughout the city.

If you don’t do “paper publications,” surprise -- we’re right there with you -- which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best sites to help you whether you’re a local looking to paint the town red or you’re thinking about moving to Chicago. If you’re just visiting, you can use these links to plan the entire entertainment portion of your vacation and more!

Chicago Office of Tourism
The City of Chicago takes pride in its festivals, parades, parks, galleries, and museums, which is why this site is so tight, you’ll spend hours browsing through exciting places to go and interesting things to do throughout the city. Take a virtual tour, plan a visit, find out how to get around -- you can do it all at here.

Centerstage Chicago
This is Chicago’s oldest, and one of its most reliable, online entertainment guides. Find everything from restaurants and festivals to spoken word and gallery openings.

The Chicago Reader
The Chicago Reader is Chicago’s number one alternative newspaper -- and it is considered THE source for everything Chicago. From apartments, neighborhoods, and jobs to art, music, and nightlife -- this publication is a true one-stop shop for locals and tourists alike. 

Metromix Chicago
Metromix is one of the most used searches in the city -- just enter where you want to go and what you want to do and Metromix will find it for you. You will also find some very useful reviews here, so you can check out an establishment without ever walking through the front door. Saves precious time!

AOL Chicago City Guide

This is a great place to find out information about Chicago’s most popular activities and attractions. You won’t find much here that’s off-the-beaten path, but the site does offer some very straightforward information about the best of the best in Chicago.

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