The city that gave us skyscrapers, Lloyd Wright, the blues, deep dish and deep house is one helluva looker, where you can go from cheese fries to freeze-dried gastronomy in just a few blocks. Add stunning Lake Michigan, pumping culture and wowza architecture, and of course, THAT cityscape.
Walking boots on for the pedestrian-friendly Windy City – there’s glitzy retail strip the Magnificent Mile, from there the Gold Coast, chic Lincoln Park and Lakeview lie northwest, while The Loop and West Loop sit pretty south across the river. And no matter where you are, the lake is always east.
Need to Know
Weather: Mid-spring to mid-autumn (Apr-Oct) is the best time to visit; in winter your freezer will be far cosier
Airport: O’Hare Int’l Airport = nightmare, $35-40 (meter) / 60-min to downtown, if you’re lucky
Sales Tax: A whopping 9.25%, among the highest in the US, like, ugh…
Dress Code: In many ways it’s the conservative Midwest, many establishments still require blazers and slacks, and forbid trainers (though you could try your luck with your Balenciaga high tops)
Sport:Major League Baseball season runs April to Oct = Wrigley Field, Cubs, bleacher bums, fanatics and crazed alcoholics… Prepare yourself
Transport: Don’t call it ‘the subway’ – it’s ‘the el’
Reservations: Get friendly with your concierge. Chicago’s best tables often get booked up months in advance, but there’s always a last-minute reservation with your name on it