Millennium Park offers a lakefront experience like nothing else you'll find in America. The park's iconic Cloudgate, a mirrored sculpture affectionately dubbed "The Bean," will give you a whole new perspective of the skyline behind you, and in the winter time, you can hit this Loop hot spot to ice skate on a huge temporary rink. The Art Institute of Chicago is right next door, giving this whole part of town a very Central Park feel.
Settled in the 1780s, it's possible that Chicago was explored as early as 1679 -- when the first reference to the city was made by Robert de LaSalle, a French explorer who focused on the Great Lakes Region. He wrote about a place called "Checagou" in his memoir, where he claimed the name came from the "quantity of garlic which grows in the forests." 
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