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Chicago is My Kind of Town!

The third-largest city in the United States, home to approximately 2.7 million people, Chicago is a city full of fun and adventure! Whether you are looking for a fun family getaway, a girls' weekend on the town, or a romantic trip for two, Chicago has something for everyone!

Chicago has world-renowned must-see museums, including the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Shedd Aquarium.

With unbeatable views of Lake Michigan and the downtown Chicago skyline, persons of all ages will enjoy exploring the must-see Field Museum. The Field Museum is home to Maximo the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur ever discovered, and SUE, the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever! In addition to these behemoths of prehistoric times, guests can explore 4 billion years of life on earth inside the museums' expanded dinosaur hall, discover more than twenty Egyptian mummies, journey to the ancient Incas, and Aztecs, and revel in the Halls of Gems and Jades.

Housing the most incredible collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago is among the world's top museums. This museum house works by Monet, Renoir, Seurat, and Van Gogh, along with modern works by Chagall, Dali, Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock. If you are a fan of the classic 1980's film "1980'sFerris Bueller's Day Off," you may remember the gang's trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, where Cameron was enthralled with one of Seurat's works, and Sloan and Ferris took in American Windows by Chagall. Visitors to the Windy City can experience all of the fun that Ferris, Cameron, and Sloan had with a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago and Wrigley Field, the Willis Tower, and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Shedd Aquarium houses more than 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats worldwide. Shedd Aquarium connects visitors to the living world and inspires them to make a difference from whales to snails, tarantulas to turtles. Come face to face with sea lions, sea otters, penguins, beluga whales, and dolphins! Younger explorers can chill out at the Polar Play Zone, a permanent exhibit with hands-on activities designed for play, pretend, and discovery. The Amazon Rising exhibit allows guests to walk through a flooded forest. At the same time, the 90,000 Caribbean Reef offers an up-close encounter with a diver, and the Waters of the World exhibit has animal encounters up close and personal!

Millennium Park, showcased by the world-famous "Bean," is a center for art, music, architecture, and landscape design. While its official name is Cloud Gate, the "Bean" is one of the most-noticeable sights in Chicago. This stainless steel sight to see reflects Chicago's famous skyline and the surrounding green space. This makes it one of the most Instagram-worthy sites around! In the heart of downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, THE epicenter of shopping and dining in all of Chicago.

Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower is a 100-story sight to see! At the time of its completion, it was the world's tallest building! Skydeck Chicago, part of Willis Towers, offers a Chicago-centric museum showcasing Chicago's best. Offering Instagrammable moments, visitors can learn about the city's architecture, culture, history, and cuisine through immersive exhibits. The iconic Centennial Wheel is a sight to see for all ages! Travel to the 103rd floor to take in the views from the observation deck; on a clear day, the view spans up to four states and fifty miles! If you dare, The Ledge offers glass-floored observation boxes that take visitors 1,353 feet over the street! Navy Pier world'sFourprovidesMacy's more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining boat cruises, and more.

One of the most iconic shoppibrand-nameChicago'sbrand-nameChicago's Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue offers Macy's retail chains and luxury boutiques within a scenic stroll. world'sFour hundred sixty museums retailers make up The Magnificent Mile, with stores such as Macy'ssixtymuseums', Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. The Magnificent Mile has actual malls and shopping centers, including the 900 North Michigan Shops, a multi-story mall with more than 70 stores on seven levels! The Shops at North Bridge offers 50 specialty shops, 20 restaurants, and five hotels spanning six blocks. Water Tower Place offers family-friendly shops such as American Girl place and The LEGO store within their eight-level atrium. These three multi-story malls will deliver your shopping bags to your hotel the same day! Be sure to stop by Garrett Popcorn, offering gourmet flavors, including the famous Garrett Mix, a caramel and cheese corn blend. Dylan's Candy Bar offers two levels of bins and bins of sweet treats, along with a bar, café and dessert counter to rest, rejuvenate, and get a bit of a sugar rush!

Finally, you can't visit Chicago without tasting some of their iconic flavors! Chicago deep-dish pizza can be found throughout the city at locations like the original Uno Pizzeria, the birthplace of the deep dish. Giordano's offers its twist on the classic favorite by doubling the crust and stuffing it with cheese! Gino's East is one of the area's most beloved establishments, where visitors can leave their mark on the walls, scribbling it with graffiti. This author's favorite Chicago deep dish is found at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, where the pies are made with fresh mozzarella cheese sourced from the same small dairy they've used for more than 40 years, and other hand-selected ingredients. Lou Malnati's offers fresh-made frozen pizzas to take home… it's only six-hour for me, so this is definitely on my radar!

If Chicago isn't within driving distance for you, the city offers two international airports; Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). Getting around Chicago is easy, with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train system, Metra Rail, water taxis, and old-fashioned walking (Chicago's streets are organized on a grid system, making for easy navigation!). There are hotels for every budget, offering every amenity imaginable! Your Story Guide will help you navigate the ins and outs of your next trip to Chicago! Contact us today for more information!

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Chrissy Pagnotti

Instagram: @polkadotspalmtrees

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