Without question, Chicago is one of America's truly outstanding cities rich in culture yet down to earth, sophisticated but not expensive, with a friendly Midwestern vibe and a great restaurant/nightlife scene. The Windy City welcomes millions of visitors to major attractions that include Hancock Observatory, Adler Planetarium, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Navy Pier alone gets over eight million visitors a year. The city's attractions run the gamut from black tie to blue jeans. Dress up for a night at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, or put on a ball cap and cheer for the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, or White Sox (depending on the season and your affiliations). Take the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry for an educational outing and then to Six Flags Great America for some out-and-out fun. Pig out on great barbecue or on deep-dish pizza at the original Pizzeria Uno, north of the Loop, or splurge on celeb-chef cuisine at Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill. Hang out with hipsters in River North, and see great live music at local fave Metro.
Big and blustering, Chicago is the quintessential American metropolis with its sleeves rolled up, a strong hub of industry and commerce with an intense focus on pro sports, comfortable food and good times. Rising along the windy shore of Lake Michigan, the downtown skyline proudly proclaims this the birthplace of the skyscraper. The generations of immigrants who made Chicago their home still define the character of its neighborhoods: the Irish and Italians, Germans and Poles, and migrants from the South who brought with them the first flowering of early jazz and then the blues -- legacies that are still flourishing and very much part of the city’s allure.