Chicago is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper. Here, the age of railroads found its center, and airplanes followed suit. "Stormy, Husky, Brawling / City of Big Shoulders," Chicago is a Heartland boomtown, its ethos defined by urban planner Daniel Burnham's immortal vision: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." It is one of the world's great cities.
As the hub of the Midwest, Chicago is easy to find — its picturesque skyline calls across the waters of Lake Michigan, a first impression that soon reveals world-class museums of art and science, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks and public art, and perhaps the finest downtown collection of modern architecture in the world.
With a wealth of iconic sights and neighborhoods to explore, there's enough to fill a visit of days, weeks, or even months without ever seeing the end. Dress warm in the winter, and prepare to cover a lot of ground; the meaning of Chicago is only found in movement, through subways and archaic elevated tracks, in the pride of tired feet and eyes raised once more to the sky.