After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a third of the city, including the entire central business district, Chicago experienced rapid rebuilding and growth. Chicago became known as the Second City, since the first city was largely destroyed. During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction and still boasts some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world – the Willis Tower (formerly Sears), the Aon Center and the John Hancock Center.
From April to October the lakefront and Grant Park come alive with different festivals most weekends. One of the most famous is Taste of Chicago, the largest food festival in the world which runs the final week of June through the 4th of July. Lollapalooza is Chicago's alternative music festival which grows more popular every year and of course - it wouldn't be Chicago without Blues Fest and Jazz Fest. Best advice we can give - book early.
Sports fan? Chicago has professional major league teams in all the popular American sports. Cheer on the Chicago Cubs baseball team at famous Wrigley Field. Located in a residential neighbourhood affectionately known as Wrigleyville - you can't get more American apple-pie than this!
And, if you can bear to drive away, Chicago is also the start of historic Route 66. Only 2,400 miles to Los Angeles!
To include Chicago in your tailor-made holiday to North America contact the experts at Bon Voyage on (0800) 316 3012.
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.