Located at the edge of oceanic Lake Michigan, Illinois’ largest city (and the nation’s third-largest metropolis) has endured devastating fires, Al Capone’s corruption and beleaguered baseball teams. Best known as the “Windy City” because the politicians blow hot air, Chicago is one of the best cities, especially in the summer. Its hearty Midwestern character not only endures but flourishes, with dazzling architecture, gritty blues, innovative theater and comedy, rich cuisine and a welcoming heartland disposition. Its biggest draw today is its green space and architectural beauty, the most famous of which is Grant and Millennium park, home to the famous Chicago Bean. Most visitors stay in or near the downtown area, and there are ample attractions here, such as the nation’s tallest skyscraper, the Willis Tower, built as and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower; the art deco masterpiece The Chicago Board of Trade Building; and the resplendent civic green space of Grant Park. More than that, you’ll find world-class food, fun nightlife, lots of activities, and just a cool atmosphere.

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