CHICAGO is a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty, drawing visitors from around the nation and the globe, including members of the National Tank Truck Carriers, who will be in the city for the association's annual meeting May 9-11.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the heart of the Midwest, Chicago is home to the blues, several sports teams, an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra, spectacular live theater, celebrated architecture, and thousands of restaurants, museums, and shopping.
Chicago is world-renowned for its diverse collection of museums, which explore a variety of subjects including Chicago history, art, African-American culture, astronomy, natural history, and much more.
Those visiting Chicago should plan on spending time at the city's Museum Campus. A scenic park conveniently joins the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, the Shedd Aquarium/Oceanarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History with easy access to all three locations.
The Shedd Aquarium offers the world's largest array of more than 8,000 aquatic mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and fish.
After exploring the oceans, attendees can gaze up at the heavens in the nearby Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. The Field Museum offers exciting displays of mummies, Egyptian tombs, Native American artifacts, and dinosaur skeletons.
Other Chicago museums include the Chicago Historical Society (the city's oldest cultural institution), the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum of African-American History, the Art Institute of Chicago (one of the world's leading art museums), the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
In addition to world-renowned museums, Chicago is home to a variety of spectacular attractions including Navy Pier — the city's lakefront playground and the state's most popular attraction. Navy Pier offers visitors a unique blend of family-oriented attractions from the thrilling ride on the Wave Swinger in Pier Park to the 3-D Time Escape ride.
The Pier also boasts the 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, a musical carousel, the Chicago Children's Museum, a variety of restaurants, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Chicago's latest showcase, Millennium Park, opened in July 2004. The 24.5 acre park has instantly become a world-class attraction and a Chicago landmark. It contains an outdoor performing arts pavillion, an indoor year-round theatre, restaurant, ice-skating rink, contemporary garden, public art, fountains, promenade area for special events, and landscaped walkways and green spaces.
Other attractions not to miss include Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park, the Hancock Observatory, and the Sears Tower Skydeck.
Visitors from around the world come to Chicago, the birthplace of the modern building, to admire its architectural marvels.
From historic landmark buildings to contemporary technological masterpieces, Chicago is built of the unique and innovative designs that have shaped American architecture. The city is a living museum of architecture thanks to the work of such greats as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, and hundreds of others.
Chicago is home to the world's first skyscraper designed by William Le Baron Jenney in 1885. Although the Home Insurance Building no longer stands, today Chicago is also home to three of the world's 10 tallest buildings including the Sears Tower, which opened in 1974.
Other city landmark buildings include the Chicago Cultural Center — completed in 1897 in the Beaux Arts style, Adler and Sullivan's 1889 Auditorium Building, and the Art Deco era Chicago Board of Trade Building, designed by Holabird and Root in 1929.
Once in Chicago, visitors never have to worry about finding a place to eat. The city features thousands of restaurants that offer culinary favorites to suit every taste, budget, and mood.
Whether the preference is Chicago-style hot dogs or a burger, fried clams or smoked ostrich, pirogues or pizza, Chicago has it all. Soul food, Italian, Chinese, French, Japanese, Mexican, Asian, or Spanish, Chicago offers a virtual United Nations of eating choices.
Ethnic neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Greektown, West Rogers Park, and Pilsen are among those offering tempting tastes from around the world.