I used to go to Chicago only for conferences or other job-related reasons. Then during one of those conventions, I decided to stick around and actually see the city. It was summer and so I rented a bicycle and off I went. That’s when I gained a real appreciation for Chicago. Lots of outdoor activities, the lakefront beaches, the thriving neighborhoods; a bustling center, great restaurants! Once, I even decided to spend a winter in Chicago for the sheer experience. The Windy City lived up to its reputation, with temperatures dropping to below freezing and lots of snow falling and I loved it. Bundle up in winter and you should be fine. There are enough cafes to keep you warm. Take a trip to the top of what until recently was the tallest building in the United States – the Willis Tower – for spectacular views.
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A long 3,300 foot pier on the shoreline of Chicago's Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier is a 50 acre play are filled with entertainment, restaurants, activities, museums, and shopping areas which makes it an ideal place to have fun and visit in Chicago. At the time it was constructed in the 19th century, it was arguably the largest pier in the world attracting ships and visitors from all around the world. Inside it is also a Navy Pier Ferris Wheel which is a 150 feet tall structure and looks even more beautiful when fully illuminated in the night.
Boasting more than 4 million visitors a year from all over the world, the Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the must visit tourist attraction favored by both international and local tourists. It has some of the best gardens and play areas in the city which includes BP Footbridge, Cloud Gate, Lurie Garden and the Crown Fountain. Its ideal atmosphere and children loving environment makes it a must visit place in Chicago. The park also features The Grant Park Music Festival every year which is a musical concert series held for around a week and is known all around the United States.
The Field Museum
The Field Museum in Chicago is one of the largest natural history museums in the world attracting up to 2 million visitors annually having some of the best exhibits in the United States. It also has a Library which has over 275,000 books, journals, and photo archives focused on biological systematics, evolutionary biology, geology, archaeology, ethnology and material culture, supports the Field Museum’s academic research faculty and exhibit development  which makes visiting the museum one of the best things to do in Chicago. Some of the best known permanent exhibits are the Nature Walk, the Mammals of Asia, the Grainger Hall of Gems, the Underground Adventure, the Inside Ancient Egypt and the Working Laboratories.
Gleaming as one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of the best man made wonders housing more than 8,000 species of aquatic animals like sea lions, dolphins and sea turtles making it one of the must visit places in Chicago. Also surrounding it is the famous Museum Campus Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium. Online purchasing of tickets are available at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Flew on NH12 from Narita to Chicago O'Hare (ORD). Flight was good as expected, and the night went past real quick with a comfortable sleep made possible by being extremely tired from staying up the previous night. However ORD is a horror of an airport to arrive as an international passenger. Immigration queue took 2 hours and the airport was dreary and lacking in facilities. Star Alliance lounge in ORD provided the bare necessities, and very limited food and drink. *TRAVEL TIP: try not to use ORD for a long layover or international entrance point to the USA, as an O&D passenger I think it works just fine*
One of the famous landmarks of the city of Chicago, the iconic Buckingham Fountain located in the center of the Grant Park is one of the largest water fountains in the world. The fountain is also decorated with festival lights during winter which makes it one of the best places to visit in Chicago. It measures over 280 feet in diameter and has a capacity of 1,500,000 U.S. gallons of water and the central jet is capable of pushing the water to a unbelievable height of 150 feet.