Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 18, 2019

Chicago the Windy City


Our armchair travels have taken us to the U.S state of Illinois. This is a Midwestern state that borders Indiana with the Mississippi River to the west. It has been given the nickname of  “The Prairie State”. All through the state, you can see farmland, forests, rolling hills, and wetlands.       

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One of the largest cities in the U.S. is Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. This is where we’ll begin our tour.

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The Art Institute of Chicago has a large collection of artworks. It is known for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The main building was designed in the Beaux-Arts style and built foe the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. More buildings were added afterward.

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Millennium Park is part of Grant Park in downtown Chicago. The centerpiece of this park is the sculpture Cloud Gate. It has a polished mirror-like stainless steel surface that was inspired by liquid mercury.

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Another highlight is Crown Fountain. It is an amazing modern interpretation of the ancient gargoyle, giving the appearance of water flowing from the mouths of projected images of the residents of Chicago. Two glass brick towers face each other with LEDs displaying changing photographs. It is an interactive fountain and children enjoy playing here in the summertime,

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You can also catch a performance at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue

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and visit Lurie Garden.


Grant Park is referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard” and stretches along the Loop on Lake Michigan. One of the top attractions is Millennium Park. The park is a great place to relax and unwind. It includes the Museum Campus Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, Maggie Daley Park, and Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears NFL team.

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Maggie Daley Park is the latest addition to Grant Park was named after a former first lady. Children enjoy the Play Garden with six different zones such as the Watering Hole with a giant beached whale and the Enchanted Forest with upside-down trees. There is an ice-skating ribbon, picnic groves, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and rock-climbing walls.

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Navy Pier opened in 1916 as an amusement area and shipping facility. Today it has become one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions. There are 50 acres of gardens, attractions, shops, restaurants, concert venues, and parks. You can enjoy the 150 ft. Ferris Wheel and a historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Among the other attractions are seeing a film at the 3D IMAX Theater, watching performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater or visiting Crystal Gardens, a six=story indoor botanical garden.

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The Museum of Science and Industry is located at the north end of Jackson Park. The museum is devoted to the application of natural laws in technological and industrial development. This museum is considered to be the first in the U.S. to incorporate hands-on exhibits. Visitors can interact with hundreds of displays. There is also an OMNIMAX Theater.

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The Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain was built in 1927 as a donation from the family. It is one of the largest fountains in the world designed in the iconic Art Deco style. The central fountain is surrounded by four seahorses representing the four states bordering Lake Michigan. Hourly the fountain burst to like shooting 15,000 gallons of water through 200 nozzles each minute for an impressive display. After dusk, the water show is lit up. It is the central focus point of Grant Park.

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Willis Tower was previously known as the Sears Tower and until 1996 when the Petronas Towers were built in Kuala Lumpur it was the world’s tallest office block at 110 stories high, However, the view is still spectacular and you can get a fantastic view over Chicago and on clear days 40 to 50 miles over four states from the Skydeck on the 103rd floor.

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Visitors can thrill to a glass box with a glass floor called the Ledge where they can stand and look straight down at the city below.

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At the John Hancock Center you’ll find an observation deck on the 94th floor the large glass-walled observation deck overlooks the Chicago skyline.

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The newest feature is known as “Tilt” which offers visitors an unusual view from over 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile as they’re tipped outward at an angle to look straight down, The building has apartments, offices, and shops. An exhibit on the first floor has information about Chicago and the construction of the building/

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The Field Museum of Natural History was founded in 1893 to display the biological and anthropological collections of the World Columbian Exposition. In the beginning, it was known as the Columbian Museum of Chicago and the name was changed in 1905 to honor the owner of the department store Marshall Field, an art patron and major benefactor of the museum. The permanent collection has about 20 million artifacts and specimens. The permanent collection has displays on Ancient Egypt, and the cultures of North, Central, and South America.

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You can also see “Sue” the world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. All through the year there are rotating exhibits.

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Michigan Avenue is one of the most attractive boulevards in the U.S. The Magnificent Mile is a section of this avenue north of the Chicago River where you can find many galleries, boutiques, and luxury shops. Among the attractions here are the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower. At Madison Street it splits between North and South and this district is known for its theaters that host touring plays, musicals, and comedy acts.

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Michigan Avenue Bridge is an official Chicago landmark that opened in 1920. It is a trunnion bascule bridge that conducts Michigan Avenue over the main branch of the Chicago River. Taking a closer look at the north and south pylons you’ll see that they have bold reliefs depicting scenes from Chicago’s past. The south pylon depicts Defense and Regeneration and the north pylon depicts Discovers and Pioneers. The southwest bridge house is home to the McCormick Bridge House & Chicago River Museum chronicling the history of the bridge and the Chicago River.

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The Chicago River runs through the heart of Chicago parallel to the lakeshore. There are many moveable bridges with 18 bridges in just two miles each allowing large boats to pass.


The McCormick Bridge House & Chicago River Museum lets tourists have an up-close look at the mechanisms of the famous Michigan Avenue Bridge where you can see the gears moving.

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The Riverwalk is home to many dining options and special events all year long. Cruises and river tours depart from here.

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The Lakefront Trail is fully paved and offers fantastic views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, It is open to pedestrians and lined by parks, gardens, and recreation areas as well as beaches, Along the trail as many city attractions like the Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Soldier Field.

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Lincoln Park is a six-mile stretch of green space stretching along Lake Michigan and is the biggest park in the city.


It is home to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

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You’ll also find the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum


and the Chicago History Museum here. This is a great place to get outdoors with playing fields, bike trails, jogging paths, and beaches. You can see many significant statues and


pieces of public art like the Standing Statue of Lincoln by Augustus Saint Gaudens.

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Lincoln Park Zoo dates back to 1868  and is one of the last remaining free admission animal parks in the U.S. You’ll find over 1,100 animals here in their natural habitats. Visitors enjoy the polar bears and African penguins in their revamped enclosure.

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The Regenstein Macaque Forest opened in 2014 where Japanese macaques can bathe in hot springs as they do in the wild. Among the favorites here is the Kovler Lion House, Helen Brach Primate House, seal pool, and family petting zoo.

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Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a masterpiece of landscape architecture in Lincoln Park, The pond is named after its designer, Alfred Caldwell, who worked on it in the second half of the 1930s. Since 2006 it has been a National Historic Landmark with winding stepping stone paths, circular benches, plants native to the Midwest, a waterfall, and waterside pavilion.

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Wrigley Field is home to the Chicago Cubs and was built in 1914. It is the second-oldest Major League Baseball Park in the U.S. Ballpark tours are available when no game is played and you can visit the press box and field as well as the dugouts.



The Rookery Building was designed in 1888 by architects Daniel Burnham and John Root but the lobby in the interior and the patio were remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. This 12-story building has a Roman Revival and Queen Anne-style façade. The highlights of the building are the central light court and the ornamental ironwork of the impressive staircases. The Rookery was named after the many pigeons that once frequented the building, It is on the list of National Historic Places. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust gives tours of the building,

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Chicago Cultural Center was once the home of the Chicago Public Library. In 1991 this neo-Classical building in The Loop became the first free municipal cultural center in the U.S. Every year there are over 1,000 exhibitions and programs offered. You can catch theater, dance, music, film screenings, lectures, and family-orientated event for free. It is an impressive building to take a look at.

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There are two impressive domes. The south dome is the largest stained glass Tiffany dome in the world. The one on the north side is the larger Renaissance-style dome with 50,000 glass panels.

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Shedd Aquarium is an indoor aquarium that has 32,500 aquatic creatures from all over the world.

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There are many things to see and enjoy like Amazon Rising where you can see caimans, anacondas, piranhas, and freshwater stingrays in tanks among the roots of rainforest trees and the Caribbean Reef with a rescued green sea turtle, the Wild Reef has four varieties of sharks and the historic Waters of the World with colorful starfish and seahorses. Stingray Touch lets you feel a cow nose ray or yellow-spotted ray and in the Oceanarium, you can see sea lions, penguins, and sea otters.

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Chicago Picasso in the mid-1960s Pablo Picasso created this monumental piece of public art for Chicago. It can be found at Daley Plaza. It has become a city landmark. It is now a well-known meeting place and a backdrop to events like the Christkindlmarkt at Christmas.

illinois cathedral

Holy Name Cathedral is a Gothic Revival Catholic cathedral by Chicago Station on the Red Line. It was completed in 1875. It has impressive bronze doors that have been cast to resemble wood planks. A bit of Chicago gangland history remains outside of the cathedral where a cornerstone inscription was chipped when mob boss and Al Capone rival Hymie Weiss was murdered in 1926.

illinois tribune-tower

Tribune Tower was built in the mid-1920s for the Chicago Tribune. It is an iconic Gothic Revival skyscraper on the Magnificent Mile. Today it has become condominiums. Embedded in the stonework are pieces from famous monuments all over the world like the Hague Sophia and Taj Mahal among others.

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Brookfield Zoo is just a metro train ride out to the suburb of Brookfield. The zoo has over 450 species of animals. It opened in 1934 and pioneered the use of moats and ditches instead of cages. It was the first in the U.S. to have giant pandas.

Among recent additions is the Great Bear Wilderness and Wild Encounters where tame goats can be petted, you can walk through a wallaby enclosure and see one of the largest free-flight parakeet aviaries in the world,

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  1. A stunning city though I dont think I would do the tilt view or like standing on a glass ledge.

    • Chicago is amazing I have been to this city a couple of times long ago. Yes, I am scared of heights so no tilting for me too, Maria,

  2. Reblogged this on Momentary Lapse Of Sanity.

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