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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Old Marine Dr, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Rolling through five countries in 14 days, the opulent Pride of Africa whisks passengers from the tip of South Africa to Tanzania’s largest city. The trip includes two nights at a five-star game lodge, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and...
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1616 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
The Second City has come a long way since the small cabaret theater that launched in 1959. As a sketch comedy and improvisational performance theater, the venue has been keeping people laughing for over 50 years. Situated in the historic Old Town...
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337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
I know, I know, Lollapalooza may be a little overpriced and overrated. But the truth is, it is still one of the best music festivals in the country. Amazing live performances by well-known artists and new talents, worldwide travellers, a quirky...
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1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA
Steeped in history, loved my many, loathed by some, and sorely in need of a championship, Wrigley Field is a true cornerstone of the always controversial sporting world. No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to this monument to to...
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201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust. For my inaugural highlight on AFAR, I am starting with my wife's favorite quote, and a local sight in Chicago. Sometimes people feel they...
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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...
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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...
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825 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
A primo sourcing grounds for picnic provisions or a casual cafe meal, Publican Quality Meats is the latest food enterprise by the never-miss restaurant team behind Avec, Publican, and Big Star. Billed as a contemporary American butcher shop, its...
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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...
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West Town, Chicago, IL, USA
The annual Design Harvest festival brings more than 50 vendors to West Grand Avenue. Oversize tents fill up with metal sculptures, handmade messenger bags, and beautiful wooden furniture by Chicago designers such as Jason Lewis. September 29–30....
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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...
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820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Stephanie Izard puts together a great restaurant. The Girl and the Goat has been hard to get into since it opened and Little Goat had a 90 minute wait when we went last month. 90 minutes for diner food! That's impressive. Other things that were...
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809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
West Randolph Street in Chicago’s West Loop has become a new home to the city’s culinary talents. Stephanie Izard first drew crowds cooking dishes like roasted pig face at Girl & the Goat (the restaurant pictured above)....
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875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Are you ready? Behold because I never thought I'd get a view from the Hancock Tower like this for free. It's in...the women's bathroom. Yes, bathrooms are more than for gossiping and refreshing your lipstick. They are also used to take photos of...
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600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Most visitors to Chicago see it from only one perspective: from the city looking out over the water. But what would it look like if your vantage point was from out over the water looking down at the city? Just a little bit north of Chicago there...
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Illinois Medical District, Chicago, IL, USA
Chicago is the king of comedy, hot dogs, and extreme Midwest weather. But since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city has been reinventing itself. Today, clever design projects (such as “Color Jam,” shown) top the list of reasons...
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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...
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99 Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Catch this unique experience twice a year - a couple of weeks in April and October when each of the 20+ movable bridges over the Chicago River open in succession to let the sail boats out to or in from their Lake Michigan marinas for the summer...
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1 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
If you're visiting Chicago in the winter, be sure to make your way to one of the city's many ice rinks. For outdoor skating with a view, head to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millenium Park. The ice skating rink is sandwiched between Cloud...
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111 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
Chicago is amazing during the summer, but winter visitors are in for some seasonal perks. City ice rinks open. Christmas trees go up along Michigan Avenue. And the Macy's on State Street decorates its windows for the holidays. This Macy's is one...
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1301 N State Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60610, USA
Ian Schrager unveiled the first location of his affordable, frills-free luxury hotel chain, Public, in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Previously the historic Ambassador East hotel—which housed the storied restaurant and celeb haunt, the Pump...
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5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640, USA
In the center of Andersonville, a trendy neighborhood on Chicago's far north side, you'll find a bar with 18 different Belgian beers on tap. One of my favorite memories at The Hopleaf (and let me stress, these are blurry memories) involves teasing...
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1551 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610, USA
I've been to most of Chicago's well-known wine bars, but this one surpasses the rest. In the fashionable Old Town neighborhood just north of downtown, Flight 1551 pours more than 250 wines by the glass and by the flight. Burger flights, hummus...
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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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100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
One of the best fast food chains in the States has to be Portillo's Hot Dogs. With 48 stores exclusive to the Chicagoland area, it's a must-stop while visiting the city. Eating in or driving through, you can enjoy the timeless local classic -the...
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100 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Adventure awaits at this West Loop indoor playground, where visitors can boulder, auto-belay, and rappel their way through 25,000 square feet of space. Pros can take to the walls in no time, but those seeking a little more guidance (or off-wall...
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26 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
A combination of sugar and salt, sweet and savory, there's nothing like Garrett's "Chicago Mix"—a combination of caramel corn and cheese popcorn. It's the kind of thing I crave in such a way that it's a good thing I don't live in Chicago....
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1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
My three year old was fascinated by the Jellies Exhibit—one of many engaging displays—at the Shedd in Chicago. What a joyful moment, capturing the wonder of a young mind.
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816 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Randolph Street in Chicago boasts a plethora of choices when it comes to excellent cuisine. De Cero is but one of places where you can go with a group of friends and feel like you are right at home. With an impressive selection of tequilas, and...
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2519 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
B.L.U.E.S. is not a big bar, but they play plenty of great blues (and have been voted best blues club on Chicago's North Side). Primarily local artists play in this comfortable, intimate setting. If you want a seat, push way in past the stage and...
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Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, USA
Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the USA. It's bursting at the seams with fantastic restaurants, hole-in-the-wall pubs and bars, world-class stadiums, art galleries, and everything else you'd expect in an Alpha World City, though it retains...
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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...
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Unnamed Road, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
The Patio at Cafe Brauer is a great place to relax over a cold brew while taking in the scene of a nearby nature walk and pond with the city skyline in the distance. A respite to enjoy the energy of people out enjoying their diverse city,...
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875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Every city has a building with great views and Chicago’s most famous is the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. But a little Chicago secret is that the John Hancock building has better views and their Signature Lounge on the 96th floor has free...
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1230 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago, IL 60626, USA
For the most relaxing beach experience, travel a short distance north on Lakeshore Drive and you will find idyllic beaches that you can have almost all to yourself. Here you'll feel free to play, exercise or take a romantic stroll away from the...
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Old Town, Chicago, IL, USA
Located a short train ride from the Loop, this wrought-iron doorway marks the entrance to Chicago’s Old Town. You'll find plentiful shopping and restaurant options in the neighborhood, as well as St. Michael’s Church, one of the city's oldest...
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401 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
I have two pieces of advice for you regarding the Doughnut Vault: 1. Go early. They open at 8am Tuesday-Friday and 9:30am on Saturdays and if you want a breath of a hope of a chance of getting a doughnut before they sell out, you want to be there...
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Lower, 430 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Billy Goat Tavern achieved international fame in the 1970’s with a Saturday Night Live skit that mocked the order process and the lack of options. No Pepsi… Coke! No Fries… Chips! The tavern’s been open since 1934 on the lower level of Michigan...