Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tourist towns - Chicago Style

Quebec city is usually referred to as the "village" by people living in Montréal.
It is a bit of a poke but no harm intended.
And usually we draw on the comparisons of what tourists would enjoy in the city (Montréal) to
what they would find exciting in the village (Québec).

BUT.... let's step outside of that rivalry and see what happens when we compare the "village" to a great city like Chicago.

I will admit that I have no experience with this lovely city.
It is certainly a lot bigger than Québec but I think the truth is that discovering a city is all about understanding what makes it great for the people that live there.

What makes the city buzz at night and what brings people together during the day?

A possible 17 hour drive away from us, given relatively traffic-free roads and I could be there.
And as the kids start flying from the nest there seems to be more and more time to discover some of these destinations.

So, Kendra from Chicago is giving us a peek at her city, and tomorrow I will share some of my own little city.   ( I hear you Montréalers....but for now "city" is what it is) 

click image to go to source
Being In Chicago

As a long-term resident of Chicago, I'm constantly asked for my favorite places to eat, visit, catch a movie, et cetera. Being a local, I like to think my recommendations will be for the "real" Chicago as opposed to the "travel brochure" version.  While there are many wonderful places to visit in the Windy City, here are my personal favorites.

1: Oak Street

Let’s start with something for the shopping aficionados. Not to exaggerate, but Oak Street is one of the most amazing shopping blocks you'll ever see in modern America. It's a one-block radius absolutely packed with jewelers, boutiques and salons, making it one of the busiest, most breathtaking places in the city. Even if you don’t want to spend money on upscale shopping, it's a beautiful neighborhood for walking around and soaking in some real Chicago culture.

2: Shedd Aquarium
click image to go to source
I could spend all day in this aquarium. There is so much to do and so many fun attractions that it’s easy to lose track of time! Not only do they offer a truly impressive amount of marine life (32,500 animals!)--but they'll even let you get up close and personal with everything from dolphins to beluga whales. If you're at all a fan of awesome underwater beasts, you won't want to miss this aquarium.  Also, with October being National Seafood Month, the Shedd Aquarium is highlighting sustainable seafood, finding a middle ground between protecting the animals and only eating those that can sustain it.

3: Downtown Chicago

One of the most fun, safe, and family friendly things you can do is explore downtown.  I know you are skeptical, but the downtown scene has really livened up from an entertainment standpoint for families!  Not to mention the skyline is beautiful, especially at nighttime when the buildings light up like a million stars.  It's an amazing site, and one that still thrills me even after living here for years.  If you ever visit Chicago, use a site like gogobot to read what others have to say about hotels to help you pick the best one for you.

Click image to go to source
4: Lou Mitchell's

Uncle Lou is one of the friendliest guys in town, and stepping into his diner is like stepping into a movie. One, it's located in a historic building with lots of character, and is so warm and welcoming once you're inside. Two, the food is always hearty delicious--real "Chicago" style. Three (and this is my favorite thing), Lou likes to hand out Milk Duds to all the women and children who come in his restaurant! The candy was invented here in Chicago, so Lou likes to pass along the spirit of the city to all his customers.

These are just a few of my favorite places in Chicago. I have plenty more, but there are only so many hours in the day! You'll just have to experience it all firsthand when you come to our great city. Happy traveling!

So have you ever been to Chicago?
If so, what would you add to the list?

Tomorrow I will show you a bit of the village..... Québec!

Kendra Thornton is a long time travel expert and you can follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KendraThornton
Thanks Kendra!!


  1. Can't wait to read you view of Quebec! I'll be back tomorrow!

  2. I have never been to Chicago but am always hearing about what a beautiful city it is. Thanks for this informative post!


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