Chicago Travel Guide - Page 2
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Have you ever wanted to walk on a major airport runway? Hopefully you never have to because of emergency circumstances (see an example of that here), but there is a legal (and safe) way to take a stroll on one of Chicago-O'Hare's runways, and that's by registering for the 5K/10K On The Runway.
Okay, so its not so much a stroll as it is a full-fledged race, but the highlight is without a doubt the ability to run down an actual runway and, when you've finished and caught your breath, visit a United plane for a photo op. United is one of the sponsors of the event alongside the Chicago Department of Aviation and WLS Radio, and they've brought a 747 for the photo op in the past. Fingers crossed the 787 makes an appearance this year, but it's best just to focus on finishing the race for now.
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The customs and passport control process just got a little bit easier, as a slew of new kiosks have just arrived over in Chicago. The city’s O’Hare Airport is the first in the country to be hooked up with the new transportation technology, as the hope is that travelers will be able to make their way through the whole darn process just a little bit quicker.
We’ve mentioned these border protection beauties in the past, as the original test of these things was going on up in Vancouver. In total there’s like 32 of the new machines now awaiting US travelers as they make their way back home and into Chicagoland.
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A new coffeeshop isn't the only notable new addition to Chicago O'Hare Airport this week. Inside the terminals, passengers now happily fill up on caffeine and baked goods while, outside, four-legged animals chow down on the grasses surrounding the airport.
As promised, O'Hare has introduced natural lawn maintenance in the form of goats, donkeys, sheep and llamas. The animals, all overseen by a shepherd, have a job to keep 120 acres of airport land tidy. They've even already made themselves at home, as one goat recently gave birth to a kid. Guess what the airport named it? Yep, a baby goat named "O'Hare" now lives at O'Hare (you can see him through the grass a little, in the photo below)
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Chicago, you're the best.
While many airports focus on installing new wine bars or sticking as many iPads as possible in the faces of passengers trying to grab a bite, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports are refining the basic offering of an airport coffee by opening serious coffeeshops backed by local roasters.
Kiss that calorie-heavy, caffeine-light caramel frappuccino with whip cream goodbye, or at least until you arrive at your destination airport. Chicago will see you off (or welcome you) with a proper fresh cup, made with beans sourced from exotic destinations and then roasted and ground right in town.
First up is O'Hare's Terminal 5, which houses Rick Bayless' airport outpost of Tortas Frontera and has just opened Kofe by Intelligentsia, a European-style stand-up coffee shop past security. In addition to Intelligentsia's regular roasts, Kofe will also feature a monthly special. Right now, according to The Moodie Report, it's a Yirgacheffe coffee "with notes of jasmine and lemongrass from southern Ethiopia." Yes, there will be souvenir mugs and coffee beans for purchase (and Black Cat espresso!).
Design Travel / Airports / Art Travel / Runways / Travel Gifts / Awesome Stuff / DFW / HKG / Avgeek / → All Tags
It doesn't matter if you're a frequent flyer or an avid armchair traveler so long as you're a lover of good design when it comes to what we've got for you. Picture this: your walls, decorated with schematics of airports, but in more of a minimalist-Apple sort of way and less back-of-the-inflight-magazine.
The Chicago-based NOMO Designs fulfills this fantasy, with the runway layout (and pertinent facts) of some 30 international airports printed in white ink on 18" x 24" steel gray sheets. The two newest? Dallas-Fort Worth and Hong Kong. There's even a few available on T-shirts if your airport allegiance runs truly deep.
When the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins last night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, do you think they were worried about catching their flight back home? The answer is no, because the team arrived to Chicago with their trophy very early this morning, via private Boeing jet.
Now, the focus is on when and where the city of Chicago can celebrate the Stanley Cup win with the official victory parade. Whether you're a Blackhawks fan, a hockey fan, or just a fan of taking a half-day at work, you'll want to mark this Friday, June 28 on your calendar. That's the date being reserved for the Blackhawks' official victory parade, which will tour downtown and likely see record-breaking crowds. If you're not in Chicago, the event will be livestreamed online by WGN.
The full details of the parade route and exact start time haven't yet been released as the parade is still in planning stages, but we'll update this story when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel makes the statement. Stay tuned.
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Gurnee, Illinois, as Six Flags Great America is celebrating the start of the amusement park season with a new take on an old ride.
BATMAN: The Ride has been doing its thing for plenty of summers now, and it’s proud to be known as the world’s first suspended looping coaster. Well this year things are a little different for the ride, as after a winter filled with upgrades and improvements the thing is now heading backwards.
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The Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Chicago’s Union Park July 19-21, and it's not too late to get tickets.
The independent summer fest will once again bring together 40 bands that highlight the "best in new and emerging music", specialty fairs, local food, and artists. The 2013 line-up includes Solange, Frankie Rose, Low and M.I.A., Angel Olsen, Pissed Jeans, Trash Talk Frankie Rose, The Breeders, Low, DJ Rashad, Treem and headliners, Bjork, Belle & Sebastian, and R. Kelly.
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The temperatures are warming up and that can only mean one thing for the city of Chicago; it's festival season! We don't know, but it might be that fact that the majority of the year Chicagoans are cooped up indoors to dodge the wintery weather, but very few cities around the world love their street fairs as much as Chi-town does.
Annual events like Taste of Chicago, North Halsted Street Market Days and Blues Fest will be in full effect on their respective weekends, but we've got some festival favorites. Pack some comfy shoes, sunscreen and social skills because it's time to hit the streets.
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Earth Day is in the rearview mirror at this point, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think green throughout the rest of the year. That’s clearly the idea over in Chicago, as both major airports are all about the eco-friendly.
Officials have issued some new rules and guidelines for those restaurants doing business at both O'Hare and Midway airports, as they hope to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The new green concessions policy provides a little bit of encouragement in hopes that the restaurants will do a better job utilizing eco materials and sustainable ingredients.
The crazy popular young adult novel Divergent, about a teenage girl named Tris who lives in a dystopian Chicago, is headed to the big screen. And, even though filming has just begun, fans are already buzzing about which Chicago landmarks mentioned in the book will make it into the movie.
On top of the list of potential filming locations (and future, inevitable movie tour stops) is Millennium Park which “used to be a park” in the book, John Hancock Center, a now abandoned building Tris ziplines from, Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel which Tris climbs at one point, and Michigan Avenue, where the production was already spotted setting up.
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2013 probably won't be the year of the airline club since that designation really belongs to 2012, but don’t tell the designers and organizers over at United that. After changing the name of their lounges following their merger with Continental, it looks like United is going all in with a little bit of a revamp and renovation to the United Club.
It all starts with one of the clubs over at Chicago-O’Hare, as the airline has released a sneak peek of what things will look like in Terminal 2.
To our eyes, the new design mimics the stylish lounges for long-haul travel, and by that we mean that they’re skipping the domestic carrier coffee-machine-and-a-comfy-chair look. Think a dash of Virgin's panache, but without all the additional features—and food and beverage—that come along with a true international airline lounge experience.