Local Culture, Weather, Events:
We hope you’ll take the opportunity of the FTA Technology Conference to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer. Come into town early; bring the family; heck, take the rest of the week off.
Here are just a few suggestions for planning your visit. We also recommend visiting the Illinois Department of Tourism’s website, GoChicago.com, for travel essentials, suggested itineraries and downloadable maps. Visit Metromix.com for up-to-the minute entertainment listings.
Chicago is home to several world-class museums and a few odd-ball ones, the latest addition is the recently renovated, Chicago History Museum. Here are a few other favorites – because sometimes it rains in June.
- Art Institute of Chicago
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
For other suggestions, visit GoChicago.com.
In Chicago you’ll find every kind of ethnic cuisine, award-winning chefs and fabulous dives. There’s even a gourmet hot dog stand, Hot Doug’s, where the line on Saturday is around the block. The New York Times recently wrote, “eating in Chicago is almost painful: to choose one superb restaurant is to reject a dozen others.”
For restaurant reviews and “Top 10” lists, visit Metromix.com, the Chicago Tribune’s entertainment guide.
Tip: Many restaurants in Chicago do not take reservations, and the hostess will invariably tell you the wait is 45 minutes to an hour. It’s never as long as they say. Go to the bar and relax; it’s part of the experience.
Since the Great Chicago Fire leveled downtown in 1871, Chicago has been known for its innovative architecture and soaring skyline. At the top of any visitor’s “must-do” list should be the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Architectural River Cruise. Check out the Foundation’s website, www.architecture.com, for other walking and specialty tours.
Built on a platform over rail lines, a parking deck, Chicago’s Millennium Park, at Washington Street and Michigan Avenue downtown, is truly magnificent and a great addition to the city’s public spaces. Take time during your visit to wander its gardens, see the Michigan Avenue streetscape reflected in the impossibly shiny surface of “Cloud Gate,” and catch a free concert at the Frank Gehry-designed band shell.
In August, it’s all baseball, all the time. The Chicago Transit Authority’s “Red Line” can take you to the doorstep of either stadium. The White Sox will be home on August 8-14, and the Cubs are in town from August 8-10.
Chicago has a vibrant music scene with top-notch venues in every category. To see who’s playing everywhere from Symphony Center to the Green Mill to the Metro, visit the Chicago Reader, Chicago’s free weekly.