"The place I call home" Top 5 Page for this destination Chicago by Dabs

Chicago Travel Guide: 5,908 reviews and 12,104 photos

When I'm not busy jaunting around Europe...

I'm having fun in my hometown of Chicago. Summer is my favorite time of the year in Chicago, the city really comes to life from Memorial Day until Labor Day with a multitude of festivals every weekend, the lakefront is jammed packed with bicyclists, walkers, joggers and roller bladers, the al fresco dining areas are open, it's perfect weather to hop on a boat and go for a ride on Lake Michigan or the Chicago River or catch the Cubs at Wrigley Field or the White Sox at Cellular Field.

Current/Coming Soon Hot Events in Chicago

While I'm at a loss to explain who is left that hasn't seen this and is buying the extremely overpriced tickets, Wicked has returned for a short run from October 31-December 21, 2013

The Museum of Science & Industry has a special exhibit on Walt Disney October 16, 2013-May 4, 2014

The Field Museum is celebrating the 1893 Columbian Exposition October 25, 2013-September 7, 2015. The Chicago History Museum also has an exhibit on the Columbian Exposition Siam: The Queen and the White City through March 2014

Everyone likes free things to do, especially in this economy, here's a list of FREE THINGS TO DO

There are a ton of daily deal sights but the original and the one with the best offers is Groupon, I've bought many of them now and they are a great deal!

One to see discounted entertainment options for specific dates is Goldstar, I've bought tickets for several shows through Goldstar

If you are looking for some ideas on what to do in Chicago for the Christmas holidays, have a look here

Late Spring/Early Summer starts festival season, here's a guide to the city's official festival listing

**Choose Chicago festival guide**

2014 Festivals, the BIG ONES

**31st Annual Chicago Blues Festival, June 13-15**28th Chicago Gospel Music Festival, June 20-23**34th Annual Taste of Chicago, July 9-13**Lollapalooza August 1-3**56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show, August 16-17**36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug 28-31**16th Annual World Music Festival, September 11-21**

Monster Page

I've lived in and around Chicago since I was 8 years old and like many Chicagoans love this city and can't imagine living anywhere else (just don't ask me that question in February when the wind chills have dipped below zero!!!) My Chicago page has turned into a monster page, since joining VT I keep finding things that I want to share with all of you-interesting architecture, neighborhoods to explore, restaurants that I want to try...

I've tried to organize the tips into sections to make it easier to navigate if you use author's order

Must Sees
Top 10 which is what most visitors to Chicago will see, I know there are dozens of tips on these but I wanted to have a complete page
Art Institute, Cultural Center, Shedd Aquarium, Hancock Building, Architectural River Cruise, Buckingham Fountain, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science & Industry, Sears (Willis) Tower, Field Museum

I guess I could even make it a top 15 since I've left out seeing the Cubs play at Wrigley Field, Blue Clubs, shopping on Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier and Pierogi Fest :-)

Architecture which is one of my favorite things about Chicago, here's a few of my favorites
Chicago Tribune Tower
Wrigley Building
Carbide & Carbon Building

Public art the major public art in the city
Misc things that don't fit anywhere else


I've tried to identify the neighborhood that the restaurants are in, the NMA (North Michigan Avenue), River North and Loop restaurants are the most centrally located and I've located them together if you use author's order. If I've made a more recent visit than the tip, I try to remember to note that at the top so you know if the information is current. Here are a few of my favorite spots:
Italian-Rosebud on Taylor in Little Italy, there's also a location on Rush Street downtown
Greek-Greek Islands
Mexican-Salpicon or Adobo Grill
Spanish-Cafe Iberico
Steaks-Wildfire for more casual, Morton's for a special occasion
Pizza-Lou Malnati's, Edwardo's, Giordano's
Seafood-Joe's Stone Crab or Shaw's
Dim Sum-Shui Wah in Chinatown
Chinese-Lao Sze Sichaun in Chinatown
American contemporary Atwood Cafe
Breakfast-Bongo Room
Indian-Tiffin or Viceroy on Devon Avenue

Off the beaten path
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods that Chicago visitors often don't get a chance to see as they are outside the central area. If you are staying longer than a weekend, venture out into the neighborhoods to have a meal at one of the terrific ethnic restaurants throughout the city, take a free tour with a Chicago Greeter or one of the excellent tours offered by the Architecture Foundation. Here's a couple of my favorite neighborhoods:

Hyde Park

Top 10 reasons to visit Chicago

Chicago is often overlooked as a tourist destination for overseas visitors, it's the 3rd largest city and yet is only the 9th popular for overseas visitors, partially because of it's Midwestern location and partially because people thinking of visiting a large US city choose New York. Here's my top 10 list of reasons to visit Chicago:
Chicago Top 10

Best websites on Chicago:

Explore Chicago
Chicago Reader
Center Stage
Chicago Loop Alliance Loop walking tours
Yelp, user reviews
LTH Forum dining reviews

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Architecture, museums, FOOD!
  • Cons:Cold and snowy winters
  • In a nutshell:My favorite city in the US
  • Intro Updated Mar 26, 2014
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Reviews (409)

Comments (117)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    As a child I used to go to the games at Wrigley Field sometimes, but then when I was nine years old the Cubs had a thirty-six game losing streak. I was so disappointed I vowed never to set foot in Wrigley Field again, and thus far I haven’t.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Hello, Kristi!~ What an interesting page! It's very detailed and comprehensible...

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Nice--Much better than that dour "American Gothic" couple!

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Yeah, I know there's no corn there... I dated a girl for a long while who was from Merriville and the family was spread across Schererville, Crown Point, etc. Even that far south is just barely on the fringes of corn.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Hi Kristi, Just looking for pix of the latest vt meet mate. Got any?... Cheers, Ann.

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Wow! Only 1 comment on your Chicago page in 2011 and that from Kaspian. Is anybody looking at our Chicago pages anymore??

  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Ooooh, 61 and 62!!? And they're both in the Caribbean according to your homepage! This snow is even more depressing now! Which two lovely islands will you be adding to your list? :-)

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    excellent chicago tips! im buidling up my chicago tips and read your tips a lot before going there last september :-)

  • Jul 14, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    Dabs, ty SO much for your tips on safety in Chicago. We're planning a visit there in Sept. and could use some help. Would you mind corresponding with me via email? My address is Angelvoice2@gmail.com. I'd really appreciate talking to you. Ty so much! - AV

  • TXgal's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Great info on Chicago, look forward to reading more! I'll be visiting a few times before I make the big move there next year.

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