Photo courtesy of American Airlines
Chicago’s history, fantastic food scene and stunning architecture are a major draw for tourists year after year. Every neighbourhood in Chicago offers its own unique vibe, particularly the Loop, where most of the action happens. It’s full of amazing restaurants, bars and other attractions. This area is a great home base for a short vacation in the Windy City and with direct daily flights from YVR it is easier than ever! Here are some of my recommendations:
Chicago is definitely the place to eat! It’s known for local star chefs, Michelin rated restaurants and cuisine inspired by every culture out there. It’s also home to celebrated food festivals like Taste of Chicago, Windy City Smokeout and Chicago Gourmet. If steak is what you want, you’re going to the right city. Chicago is famous for its steak houses and they range from old-school classic joints to upscale, sleek and modern restaurants. There are dozens to choose from, most of them right in the downtown area.
You can’t go shopping in Chicago without a trip to the Magnificent Mile. This cosmopolitan, history-packed strip on downtown Michigan Avenue has department stores, multi-story megamalls, luxury boutiques and brand name retail chains. Just outside of the city center is Chicagoland outlets, where everyday pricing is discounted 25 - 65%. You can also find rare vintage goods at Chicago's various street fairs and pop-up events that set up shop in neighborhoods year-round, including the Randolph Street Market Festival, Renegade Craft Fair and Dose Market.
Chicago is a great place to take a tour. And you can do it by foot, bike, trolley, boat or even on a Segway! The Chicago Riverwalk is a fun hotspot with gorgeous city and river views. Navy Pier is great for the kid in all of us with rides, attractions and fun for the whole family. At world-renowned Millennium Park, you can take the perfect selfie at Cloud Gate also known as “The Bean”. The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise is an excellent tour and was voted one of the top ten tours in the U.S. by TripAdvisor. If you purchase a CityPASS you will save 50% on almost all Chicago’s top attractions. Or you can save up to 45% on multiday admissions to attractions with a Go Chicago Card.
There is no shortage of nightlife activities in Chicago. There are roof top bars, dance clubs, cocktail lounges, comedy clubs and craft beer havens. Chicago boasts numerous bars at the forefront of the cocktail culture; in fact it was named "Greatest Drinking City in America" by GQ Magazine in 2014. Chicago’s comedy scene is responsible for launching the careers of John Belushi, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey, just to name a few. Traditional stand-up, competitive improv and sketch comedy can be found at The Second City, Zanies, ComedySportz and Chicago's other top comedy clubs.
Getting to Chicago is easy with American Airline’s non-stop daily flights from Vancouver. You can get there in just over 4 hours. American Airlines has 3 different flight options for travellers to choose from: Business Class, Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class.
Those are just a few of the great things Chicago has to offer. It’s time to add the Windy City to your travel wish list! Happy Travels!
About Claire Newell
Claire Newell is a travel expert, author and a recognized authority on the international travel industry. She is the founder and owner of Travel Best Bets, one of the largest agencies in Canada and the best-selling author of Travel Best Bets – An Insider’s Guide to Taking Your Best Trips, Ever. She has appeared in top broadcast and print media throughout U.S. and Canada over the last 25 years, including Canada’s Global TV network, NBC’s Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, and others. Claire also writes regularly for print and online publications including Readers’ Digest, Today’s Parent and more