Chi-Town: A Few of the Lesser Known Places

“Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled”

Chicago has many nicknames known throughout the world, all being embraced by the locals. “Second City” (the locals will say no way to being second except for the comedy troupe), “Chi-Town,” “Chicagoland” (inclusion of the suburbs), “Hog Butcher to the World,” and “The Windy City” (because of the weather, the World’s Fair of 1890, the rivalry with Cincinnati in the 1860’s and ’70’s, or the long-winded politicians? It’s up to you, the reader, to decide).

Downtown Chicago

Photo by travelbug via Trover.com

No matter the nickname, Chicagoans are hard-working, extremely passionate about their city, and very welcoming to everyone. Imagine a heartwarming welcome of relatives into your home – this is Chicago to the rest of the world. Many outsiders are familiar with Chicago’s sports teams, its skyscrapers, and geography along Lake Michigan. Deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches are masterpieces of the city’s food scene. Made up of 77 different neighborhoods, Chicago offers so much more than just these well-known foods and attractions. Here are some experiences locals would encourage travelers to engage in while in Chi-Town.

Street Scenes and Markets

Chicago is host to year-round cultural events, festivals, street markets, and street fairs. Famous among them are Taste of Chicago, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the annual green dying of the Chicago River, and the Chicago Blues Festival. These special events last no longer than a few days up to a week in any given year. For a year round festival celebration look no further than the Randolph Street Market.

West Loop

Photo by Erin… via Trover.com

This European style indoor-outdoor market is an umbrella host to the Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago, Chicago Antique Market, and the Holiday Market. Dubbed “the mecca of cool,” “the best hot spot for antiquing,” and “the best Chicago venue for people watching,” the Randolph Street Market is the place to see and be seen in Chicago. If you want to shop, eat, drink, and browse on the last Saturday and Sunday of every month, you’ve come to the right place. Dozens of vendors, thousands of collectibles, live music, and some of Chicago’s finest food served all within a few blocks is a party worthy of attending.

Chicago is Picnic Friendly

The Osaka Garden (a short walk south of the Museum of Science and Industry), Lincoln Park Conservatory, Grant Park, and Chicago Lake Front Path are just a few places to enjoy a summer picnic. But if you are traveling to Chicago and will be spending time in the Loop, head over to Millennium Park. Pack a picnic basket full of your favorite goodies (don’t forget a bottle of wine and glasses), spread out a blanket, and enjoy free music at Pritzker Pavilion. After the sun goes down, music lovers are surrounded by lights from some of Chicago’s famous skyscrapers with the stars shining from above. There is no better place for a picnic in Chicago than here.

Pritzker Pavilion

Photo by Eagrick via Trover.com

Staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown offers easy access to all of Chicago’s attractions, both big and small. Whether bar hopping, museum trekking or restaurant crawling, staying in the heart of the financial district will put you in the center of one of the most diverse cities in the world.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

 

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