Taking up a massive chunk of Lake Michigan’s western shore, Chicago spent much of the past century and a half building itself into a world-class city. The architecture is stunning, from the John Hancock Tower to Tribune Tower and Willis Tower. Residents and visitors enjoy watching a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, strolling the botanical garden before hopping aboard a dinner cruise at Navy Pier, or grazing the posh designer stores along the Magnificent Mile. Summers are spent relaxing on the beach – there are many in Chicago, such as 12th Street Beach and Oak Street Beach. While out on the town, dance the night away at any one of Chicago’s jazz and blues clubs, like Andy’s Jazz Club or the Green Mill.
Next to the historic Water Tower and John Hancock Building, Water Tower Place offers six indoor stories of shops and restaurants, including the Chicago Sports Museum and the American Girl Cafe and store, where young girls can customize their own doll, browse her entire wardrobe collection, and even attend a tea party with theatrical reenactments of the associated books.
Even if you don't rent an apartment near the Loop, North Side, or Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Pedway is a six-mile system of underground and indoor pedestrian walkways that you can access from the Red and Blue El Lines, as well as the Metra. It connects many iconic Chicago shopping destinations, including the Macy's that replaced the iconic Marshall Field's on State Street. 

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."
×