Top Things to See and Do
Visit Millennium Park to see the trove of free and arty sights the city has to offer. You will find Pritzker Pavilion, Frank Gehry's swooping silver band shell, which hosts free concerts most nights in summer; Anish's Kapoor's famous Cloud Gate sculpture (known as 'The Bean') and Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, a de facto water park that projects video images of locals spitting water, gargoyle style.
Head to Grant Park for wide open spaces, great views and the choreographed display of Buckingham Fountain.
Half-mile-long Navy Pier is one of Chicago's most-visited attractions, sporting a 196ft Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides, an IMAX theater, a beer garden and lots of chain restaurants. Locals groan over its commercialization, but its lakefront view and cool breezes can't be beat. The fireworks displays on summer Wednesdays and Saturdays are a treat too.
Shop along the Magnificent Mile, a 13 block stretch with more than 300 stores to explore, and be sure to stop by the iconic Water Tower Place.
Built in 1914 and named for the chewing-gum guy, Wrigley Field is the second-oldest baseball park in the major leagues. It's known for its hand-turned scoreboard, ivy-covered outfield walls and neon sign over the front entrance. It's also known for its team’s legendary losing streak. The Cubs hadn’t won a championship since 1908, a cursed dry spell that was unrivaled in US sports. Then in 2016, they triumphed in mythic style.
It's Chicago's tallest building, and the 103rd-floor Skydeck puts you high into the heavens. Take the ear-popping, 70-second elevator ride to the top and then step onto one of the glass-floored ledges jutting out in mid-air for a knee-buckling perspective straight down. On clear days the view sweeps over four states.
Make time to discover many of its 77 vibrant neighbourhoods such as Wicker Park/Bucktown, Logan Square and Pilsen for street art, diverse culture and delicious cuisine.
Enjoy local museums such as the amazing Art Institute of Chicago, the fascinating Field Museum of Natural History and geek out at the Museum of Science and Industry. Make sure to check out Sue at the Natural History Museum, she is the largest Tyrannosaurus rex yet discovered and even has her own gift store.
Chicago's North Shore
Join the locals and escape the city as you head to the walking trails along Lake Michigan. Bordering Chicago, north along the shores of Lake Michigan, find numerous attractions including the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Baha'i House of Worship and the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Chicago's elevated train brings you to Evanston, a lively city that's home to Northwestern University.
Last Updated: 03 April 2018
All travellers to the USA must carry a machine readable passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of departure. Travel advice is available from the New Zealand Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.safetravel.govt.nz
All travellers to the USA are required to obtain the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) prior to travel, see www.cbp.gov/esta for more details.
GETTING AROUND by Car
Take the time to explore and discover as you make your way around the USA. Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Talk to your Travel Consultant for details about US Rental Car or Motorhome Hire.
The US Dollar (USD) is the official unit of currency in the USA
In the USA Tipping is expected in restaurants, bars and taxis (15-20% of the bill) as well as for hotel porters (USD1 per bag) and tour guides (10% of the tour price)
110V 60Hz. Two flat pin plug. (An adapter is required)
Many properties charge a Daily Resort Fee. This is a compulsory fee, payable direct to the property, covering a variety of inclusions. Fees and inclusions are always subject to change.
Last Updated: 03 April 2018
Weather & Events/Public Holidays
July is the hottest month in Chicago with an average temperature of 23C and the coldest is January at -6C with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in July. The wettest month is July with an average of 100mm of rain.