The “City of Big Shoulders” was devastated in the Great Fire of 1871, and has risen from the ashes to become Chicago, whose sights and sounds make it just the place for a memorable holiday.
Start with a bang at the Chicago Cultural Center. Everything from workshops to theatre performances is held here at the “People's Palace,” the stage for about 1,000 events annually. It is a grand building acclaimed for its stained-glass domes and its beaux-arts style.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is a tribute to the great architect, who was known for his “Prairie Style.” An example of this is the Robie House, also in Chicago, illustrating the American Midwest’s landscape, with low structures, built-in furnishings, and art glass windows.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is where kids of all ages can see flamingos, lions, penguins, and more -- all for free. The Regenstein Center for African Apes is not to be missed, home to endangered chimps and gorillas. Have a sip from the bronze Elephant Drinking Fountain, just one of the sculptures which complement the trees dotting the zoo.
“Go a little overboard” at Navy Pier by Lake Michigan, with parks, outdoor theatres, and fairgrounds. Fireworks light up the sky every Friday and Saturday. Another outdoor bonanza is in store at Millennium Park, where the Grant Park Music Festival is held every year.
Buddy Guy’s Legends is “the nation’s premier blues club.” Owned by the master of electric blues, Buddy Guy, equally talented musicians have taken the spotlight one time or another: The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, and David Bowie, to name a few.
There are loads of tours to enjoy during a holiday in Chicago, such as “Women of Influence at the Graceland Cemetery,” “Temples of Culture,” and “Architecture River Cruise.” Food tours are available too, with stops at a Jewish deli, a Chicago-stuffed pizzeria, and a fudge and confectionery store.