Here are some of the reasons Chicago is my favorite city:

Varied architecture, green spaces, the river, the lake. This is the view from the museum campus – the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. You can walk to the campus from the loop, take a bus or a cab, bike the waterfront, or catch the water taxi which goes between the train station, the museum campus, and Navy Pier. You can also take boat trips on the river, including a nice one by the Chicago Architecture Foundation ( that will descibe the buildings as you go.

The museums. This is Sue at the Field Museum (one part of the Marshal Field legacy that Macy’s can’t buy!) The Field is the first museum I ever went to – and the first exhibit I remember was the mummies. Other favorite museums of mine are the Museum of Science and Industry further south and the Art Institute right in the loop.

Parades, art fairs, and neighborhood celebrations. During the summer, there is always something going on. Chicago is divided up in differently named neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own personality and its own events open to all. Chicago has a lot of Irish, especially on the south side. This is the south side St. Patrick’s Day parade. There’s also a parade in the loop, but fewer bars, and LOTS more people.

The trains – subway and elevated. This is an easy way to get between neighborhoods. Trains also go out into the various suburbs and other parts of the country. If you are uncertain what to take, you can go to and tell it where you want to go and it will tell you how.

The Taste of Chicago. The Taste can get very crowded, but is a lot of fun. You can sample different fare, or get a meal at your favorite. Various other events occur during the Taste. It ends of July 4th and one of the last events is a free concert in Grant Park. People usually come fairly early to stake out their spot, but I’ve arrived pretty close to concert time and found a place to sit. It’s helpful that the concert is also shown on a big screen (Sheryl Crow was one concert.)

Fireworks. If you like fireworks, be sure to come to Chicago on the 4th of July …or the 3rd of July… or any Wednesday in the summer…or any Saturday in the summer…or Memorial Day…or during some White Sox games…or on Venetian Night …In other words, the city is big on fireworks!

Navy Pier. It gets touristy on summer days, but it’s still fun. You can rent bikes or bikes built for 4 (like a big pedal car) here and bike along the lakefront – even up to the museum campus. There are several good restaurants, outdoor band concerts with a beer garden, a gigantic Ferris Wheel, a stained glass museum and more, including boating (see below.)

Boats. There are a wide variety of boats that you can ride on from Navy Pier. There are smaller fast boats, bigger cruising types, and two tall ships. This is one of them. The boat goes around in the lake and is a lot of fun. Taking the last trip on a Wednesday night is pretty cool since it lasts a little longer and lets you watch the fireworks from out in the lake.

And finally – the four seasons. Nothing is better than bright spring days when the flowers are all starting to bloom, unless it’s warm summer days in a park or at the beach or out on the lake, or maybe crisp fall days when the trees are turning colors, or even a sparkling winter day with a blanket of snow and hot chocolate!


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