20 Reasons to Visit Chicago in 2015
Collected by Danielle Walsh, AFAR Contributor
There's so much going on in the Windy City this coming year, it'd be crazy not to go. There's a crop of new hotels, like Soho House and the forthcoming Grupo Habita and Branson Hotels. There's a slew of restaurants opening. There's a new national museum for writers. There's a park being built on a repurposed train line. And next year is Chicago's Architecture Biennial. Check out our list to see more ways to experience the new Chicago.
2007 W Churchill St, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Rising nearly 18 feet above street level, the 606 (which takes its name from the common numerals in all Chicago zip codes) serves as a 2.7-mile elevated park and trailway for cyclists and runners, while also connecting neighborhoods...
233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, USA
Willis Tower—originally known as the Sears Tower—was the world's tallest building for 23 years until it was unseated in 1996 by the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The 110-story skyscraper is still mighty impressive. Its "bundled...
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
It’s difficult to design a museum suitable for both kids and adults, but Adler makes it look easy. Children will love the area known as Planet Explorers, where they can play astronaut with space rovers and rocket-launch simulators, peer...
2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Lincoln Park is a wonderful green area nearing Lake Michigan in Chicago. It has a Zoo free to the public as well as green lawns and flower beds. Near the North end is the multiple room conservator. Like the rest if the park it is open free to the...
3535 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
One of the first craft beer breweries in Chicago, Goose Island is now owned by Anheuser Busch but I’d still recommend checking it out as part of your Chicago experience. The Goose Island Brewpub in Wrigleyville is smack in the middle of a...
2959 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
Heritage Bicycles General Store is so many things: a coffee shop, a general store, and a place to buy a few key items for your hip closet. Most importantly though, it's a place to grab a cup of joe and watch art being created that you can ride...
5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Anyone who's into model trains should visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Originally opened in 1941, The Great Train Story was the largest model train of its day. After being briefly shuttered in 2002 for extensive additions, this...
Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Visitors take their best Chicago photographs in front of the iconic Millennium Park sculpture called Cloud Gate (known colloquially as the Bean, for its shape). Conceived by British artist Anish Kapoor and constructed from 168 stainless steel...
6836 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626, USA
Ask any local where to try your first real deep-dish pizza and they'll say "Giordanos." It's obviously the best in town. Chicago-style pizza is unique and totally different than what you'll find in Italy. More like a pie, the crust is tall and...
619 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661, USA
When it opened doors in 1998, this West Loop destination helped pave the way for Restaurant Row and all of the gastronomic glory that would follow. Ever since, Blackbird's been filling seats (intimate banquette seating, thank you) with diners...
1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Everyone knows Big Star is famous for its cheap and tasty tacos but it's the queso fundido that really wowed my tastebuds. Melted queso Chihuahua cheese compliments the peppers and meaty chorizo in this dish. I didn't even use the tortillas. It's...
2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
In 2011, one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, Longman & Eagle, expanded into an inn with the creation of six rooms. The owners, two of whom run the music venue Empty Bottle, built and outfitted the whole place. Each of the rooms is...
5507 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640, USA
The goods at Arrin Williams’s year-old Andersonville shop, Haymaker, are mostly handmade by local artisans. Powder-coated-steel side tables by David Greene, hanging plant holders made from reclaimed wood, and coveted leather bags by Chicago-based...
51 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
Chicago’s beloved South Side hat shop, Optimo, recently opened a downtown location in the historic Monadnock building. A favorite of Johnny Depp and former Mayor Richard Daley, the new shop sells handmade felt fedoras and porkpies that appear to...
141 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
For their roving, event-based Volume Gallery, Claire Warner and Sam Vintz pluck contemporary American designers like Thaddeus Wolf and Rich Brilliant Willing and set up short-run installations at galleries all over Chicago. One of Chicago’s own,...
111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, USA
Just imagine having 264,000 square-feet of modern art at your disposal seven days a week. That is exactly what you have if you visit the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Above is but one example of the funky-cool exhibits that await...
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