06 December 2016

 
Fabulous views of Lake Michigan from one of Chicago's many rooftop bars
Chicago it’s everyone’s kind of town
Mike Anstead is blown away by the towering attractions of the Windy City
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rank Sinatra said it was his kind of town. The Windy City has everything - for food-lovers, sports fans and outdoorsy types. From top chefs serving international cuisine to rocking music festivals, art galleries and a thumping club scene. Dominant features are its location on the edge of Lake Michigan and towering skyline.

There’s no better way to combine the two than a cruise along the rivers carving through the city. From the silver Trump Tower to the neo-gothic Tribune Tower, there’s ample opportunity to gaze skywards and marvel. Willis Tower, better known as Sears Tower, was once the world’s tallest building at 1,451ft. Kick off your evening at one of many rooftop bars. Start at drumBAR, wood-panelled on the 18th floor of the Rafaello Hotel.
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A city of contrasts: from the buzz of the city to the tranquility of Anderson Japenese Gardens
The Terrace at Trump International Hotel
Chicago possesses two big clubs in American football (the Bears) and basketball (the Bulls), but for history head to Wrigley Field. The name comes from the chewing gum company despite them relinquishing sponsorship decades ago.

It’s the last big ballpark to have a manually updated scoreboard and in the 7th innings has a marvellous rendition of ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’. If you’ve ever fancied hiring a classic American car and heading out on Route 66, here’s your chance. It starts bang in the centre of Chicago on Adams St. If driving 2,400 miles to Los Angeles doesn’t appeal, simply head to Starved Rock State Park about two hours away. Once considered just a petrol stopoff, it now offers something for everyone. At Rock Cut State Park you can kayak on tranquil Pierce Lake - or fish for your dinner and camp by the water. Anderson Japanese Gardens on Rockford’s outskirts is wonderful for a stroll amid a ten-acre kaleidoscope of colours.

Back in Chicago it’s foodie time. It’s famous for deep dish pizzas, launched in the 1940s. But each neighbourhood brings a distinct flavour, serving treats from Lebanese lentil soup to Vietnamese pho and Greek saganaki. Chicago holds around 200 musical events – this year hosting at the Lollapalooza festival Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith and alt-J. Blues Fest attracts half a million, and smaller street festivals take place every weekend.


Original article published in Aug 2015. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Take a Gin Rickey - gin, lime and soda - on the terrace for views of the lake and skyline. The Packing House has 360-degree views with the DJ playing to a packed terrace. The Dec has cool concave mirrors and The J Parker stunning views of Lincoln Park.
"The Windy City has everything - for food-lovers, sports fans and outdoorsy types. "
 
 
 
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