Chicago Travel Guide - Page 2
We've said this before, and we mean it: When visiting a new place, getting a bird's eye view -- preferably at the forefront of the trip -- is high on our priority list. This is especially true of cities, when getting to the top of the canopy can help you a) develop a perspective and orientation you can't get from street level and b) appreciate the beautiful views that in turn help you appreciate the size and stature of modern day cities.
Last time we were in Chicago, we took a helicopter ride, but for those who want to stay on a budget, there are more affordable ways to get a glimpse from above. The Willis (Sears) Tower might have the Windy City's tallest observation deck, but only the one found at the city's 4th tallest building offers panoramic views.
It’s never too early to start planning for the New Year, and that’s especially the case when we’re just a couple weeks away. We’ve checked out what our favorite cities are up to when it comes to welcoming 2014, and we’re here to share. So check out what’s going on in Chicago to celebrate the countdown to 2014.
The Second City knows how to ring in the New Year, and with the lakefront as a backdrop it’s a great spot to launch some fireworks into the sky. Navy Pier is where you'll want to be at midnight, but we’d probably recommend getting there a little bit earlier than that—of course you need time to scope out the best spot.
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Believe it or not there’s no better place to relax than the airport, and that’s especially the case as more and more places are adding a little yoga to the terminal and concourse menu. We’ve mentioned a few of the airports where you can practice your warrior or cobra poses, and now’s there’s one more airport that’s all about stretching it out during your layover.
Chicago-O’Hare is famous for a lot of things, and you can now add yoga to that list. The place now has a yoga room right within Terminal 3, and it’s situated right next door to the airport’s indoor garden. The yoga studio features bamboo floors, mirrors along one side of the room, plenty of yoga mats, and a spot to store your stuff while you are doing your thing. There are even frosted windows within the room to let in a little more light, and to kind of create a less sterile environment.
Christmas is coming early this year for fans of Chicago's annual Riot Fest.
The festival has announced a limited number of three-day early bird tickets for 2014 will go on sale tomorrow, Nov. 27, at 12:00 PM CT.
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Big news out of Chicago-O’Hare, as the rumor is that the airport will no longer face any delays. Okay—you caught us—we’re exaggerating a little bit, but there is some news out of the airport that should make things run a little bit smoother on your next trip through the area.
Late last week the airport’s new runway opened up for business, after over a billion dollars was spent to get things constructed. Initially airport officials were quick to point out the runway’s merits, as the claimed that typical delays due to the weather—it was overcast—just weren’t happening thanks to the new piece of asphalt.
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Sweet Home Chicago!
More than half of the population of Illinois calls Chicago home and with it being a world class city, millions of travelers either come to walk the Magnificent Mile or spy on the city from one of two rooftop sky-decks. Whichever category you fall into, you can't help but to be awe-inspired with this video.
Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, Windy City Nights is a beautifully shot time-lapse video that showcases everything that makes the Second City awesome. Max Wilson is the film-maker and spent about 2 years traipsing around Chicago to nab the perfect shot as the rest of the world whizzes by. Spoiler alert: his hard work paid off.
Tickets are now on sale for one of our favorite film festivals, the Chicago Film Food Festival, taking place Nov. 21 - 23, 2013.
The Food Film Fest, which also takes place annually in NYC and Charleston, is the only festival where attendees watch food films, then eat the food from the films.
The festival will take place at Kendall College and will be hosted by Travel Channel’s George Motz. Highlights of this year's CFFF are the opening night feature film about Michel Chapoutier and his wines, Food Porn star Larry Cauldwell's fondue film, and Matt Timms and his "Sugar Takedown."
We know that airport parking can get expensive. Even if you plan ahead and park in a remote lot, just a few days can make quite the negative dent in your bank account. But after hearing one traveler's total bill to pull her car out of an airport parking lot, be thankful that you only pay as much as you do.
After having her car parked in a lot at Chicago's O'Hare for three years, one Chicago resident was socked with a parking bill for $106,000. The car owner, Jennifer Fitzgerald, actually didn't park her car in the lot; it was her then O'Hare-employee boyfriend who abandoned the 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in November of 2009 in an employee lot.
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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!).