It doesn’t matter if you have visited Chicago or are now thinking of putting the city on your summer vacation list. Chicago simply does not stay still long enough to make any experience old or boring.
Millennium Park, home to the city’s famed “Cloud Gate” (“The Bean”) and Jay Pritzker Pavilion, keeps adding and changing sculptures and concerts.
The Art Institute of Chicago, connected to Millennium Park by the Sky Bridge over Monroe, moves from one block buster exhibition to the next. The theater scene, home of 200 live stage companies including Goodman and Steppenwolf Theatres and Broadway productions, keep turning out Jeff and Tony award winners.
Just as important, new restaurants pop up weekly and new and remodeled hotels cater to today’s plugged-in generation and suburbanites who want to take advantage of Chicago’s downtown attractions.
With so much going on, planning a weekend can either be fun or a challenge. Here are five top Chicago destinations that can be centerpieces of a great vacation minus the confusing what-to-do part.
- You don’t have to know anything about art to find something fascinating at the Art Institute of Chicago. The world-class museum happens to be showcasing French Impressionism from the Musee d’Orsay, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and its own collection now through Sept. 29, 2013. However, adults and youngsters ooh and ah at the miniature furniture and interiors in the Thorne Rooms and Medieval arms and armor.
- If you make it to Chicago before Aug. 18 you can still catch Goodman’s beautiful production of “The Jungle Book.” Another hot 2013 ticket is the “Book of Mormon.” At the Bank of America Theater through Oct. 06, 2013. This is the writers’ and director’s recently revised production which many critics think is even better than the original.
- Visitors often talk about and recommend the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s river boat tour. However if the price or times don’t match your pocket book or schedule you’ll do fine with the other boat companies’ architecture tours. If you don’t mind walking you’ll like the Architecture Foundation’s tours that go inside buildings.
- Movie and television producers love Chicago. To see where some of the 80 movies set in Chicago were shot such as “Dark Knight” and “Blues Brothers” take the Chicago Film Tour. The guides are knowledgeable. You see parts of Chicago that even locals have not visited. And you see clips on the bus while traveling.
- You’ve heard of China Town, which is fun and interesting. But other Chicago neighborhoods also have their own character and unique restaurants. You can learn more about the city and explore some of its culinary scene with Chicago Tours and Sidewalk Tours.
Photos (C) by Jodie Jacobs
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