Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois

Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois, is a vibrant American city that boasts an endless variety of outdoor activities. Its efficient public transportation system makes it easy to get around, and the paved sidewalks are pedestrian-friendly. In fact, Chicago's abundance of cultural, natural and architectural attractions makes it the perfect destination for anyone interested in a walking vacation. However, be advised: You've probably heard about the Chicago wind. You were not misinformed. Unless you're planning a kite-flying vacation, avoid the late fall, winter and early spring. Summer offers a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity. It's the best time to visit Chicago.

Walk the Magnificent Mile

Chicago's Magnificent Mile has been compared with the Champs-Elysees in Paris. It spans the northern section of Michigan Avenue, from the Chicago River to Lake Shore Drive. Its abundance of big-name department stores make it a popular, albeit overcrowded, shopping area, and the wide streets, strategically adorned with colorful flower beds, provide a pleasant walk. The architecture along the Magnificent Mile provides a visual motivation to keep going. For example, when the Hancock building was built in 1969, it trumped the Empire State Building as the world's tallest. In addition to its height, the steel, X-shaped braces supporting the building's structure are an architectural anomaly worth seeing. Be sure to check out the 1869 Water Tower and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Go to the Beach

When travelers visit the business section of Chicago, they are surprised to find that the area boasts 26 miles of man-made shoreline, with 29 beaches. The beaches are safe for swimming, but if you don't feel like getting wet, you can take a walk or a jog in the sand. Some of the beaches only have restrooms, but some, such as the North Avenue Beach, have a beach house for changing your clothes. The North Avenue beach house also has bicycle rentals and a small gym.

North Avenue Beach House
1603 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60614
(312) 742-7529

Visit Grant Park

Grant Park is a good choice for anyone who wants to combine culture with outdoor activities. It is home to the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Shedd Aquarium. The 300-acre park is famous for its rose garden, its summer concerts and the Buckingham Fountain, which boasts 133 water jets. Movie trivia buffs will be interested to learn that the park was the site of the softball game featured in the Demi Moore/Rob Lowe movie "About Last Night."

Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, Illinois 60601
(312) 742-7648

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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