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.
Modern day Chicago is awash with performing arts including an array of theatre, opera, ballet, comedy, and of course, jazz and blues clubs. Also a culinary Mecca, Chicago's 9,000 plus restaurants offer everything from Lebanese to Japanese; Cajun to Creole. But don't forget to save room for Chicago's specialty- deep dish pizza - it's truly the best pizza you’ll ever eat and reason enough to visit Chicago on your USA holiday.
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!
Route 66 - The Classic Tour
Route 66 - The Mother Road
Route 66 Guided Motorcycle Tour - As featured 'Sunday Times Hot 100 Holidays'
USA Rail Holiday - The Northern Explorer
USA Rail Holiday - Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans
USA Rail Holiday -The California Zephyr
The Great Expectations Tour - The Great Lakes of North America
A Great Lakes Adventure
Route 66 - Fully Escorted Tour with Trafalgar
Route 66 - Three Week Extended Road Trip
Route 33 Fly-Drive Holiday
Get Your Kitsch On Route 66!
USA Coast-to-Coast with Glacier National Park
Blues, Bourbon & BBQ Guided Motorcycle Tour Deep South
Route 66 East Guided 8 day Motorcycle Tour
The Mother Road Festival, Route 66 - Illinois
Water Tower Place
Chicago Greeters - A great introduction to the Windy City
See Chicago With A Cop
"The Ledge" at the Willis Tower, Route 66 - Illinois
Al Capone and The Burnham Hotel
Destination - Illinois and the history of Route 66....
The Shops at North Bridge
Tilt at 360 Chicago
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.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford