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From stunning architecture and world-class museums, to cool festivals and cuisine that foodies' dreams are made of, there is certainly no shortage of things to see, do and, most importantly, eat in Chicago. Despite living in a city where there's so much to brag about, Chicago's locals still radiate the warmth and hospitality that America's Midwest is known for.
Chicago is a tourist-friendly city, with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operating trains and buses throughout the city. The CTA is fairly cheap, safe, and you rarely need to wait more than 15 minutes for a bus or train. You can pick up a free map at any CTA station or plan your route online.
Chicago is home to a colourful set of neighbourhoods, each reflecting culture and cuisine from a different part of the world. There's an enormous Chinatown on the South Side, but head southwest and you'll find Polish, Mexican, and Lithuanian neighbourhoods. There's a large Indian population on Devon Avenue, Koreans on Lawrence Avenue, Persians on Kedzie Avenue, and that's only the beginning of Chicago's diverse collection of cultures. Aside from the authentic world-wide cuisine available, Chicago has its own claims to culinary fame, including legendary deep dish pizza, fully-loaded hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches.
You could go dizzy trying to take in all of Chicago's museums and architectural points of interest. Museum Campus alone is home to the Adler Planetarium's interactive space exhibits, the Field Museum of Natural History's Egyptian artifacts, and Shedd Aquarium's fascinating marine life. Few tourists leave this city without making time to see famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, as well as Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the US.
For shopping, you can't miss the Magnificent Mile, a stretch of chic boutiques, sprawling malls, and big department stores. If all that isn't enough to keep you entertained, Chicago also hosts over 200 festivals between March and September every year, so there's almost always something going on, from Blues Fest to Lollapalooza. If you feel the need to escape the city, head to the beaches of Lake Michigan or one of the city's dozens of pleasant waterfront parks.
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