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Travel and Culture - Illinois

The Prairie State

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty, drawing visitors from around the nation and the globe. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the heart of the Midwest, Chicago is home to renowned architecture, an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra, cutting edge cuisine, miles of public green space, world-championship sports teams, and much more.

Visitors to Chicago experience a virtual explosion of cultural activity, civic pride and multicultural expression. From stunning architecture and world-famous museums to lakefront parks and vibrant ethnic neighborhoods, Chicago offers a range of attractions that keep visitors coming back again and again. The famed "Magnificent Mile" which runs along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street offers hundreds of specialty shops and boutiques presenting top-of-the-line goods from around the world.

The Chicago Cultural Center, an architectural showplace for the lively and visual arts, is a great place to begin a visit to Chicago. In addition to housing one of the city's official Visitor Information Centers, the Chicago Cultural Center offers more than 600 free art programs annually. It serves as a cultural crossroads where visitors can meet and learn about Chicago and its residents.

Chicago's residents beam with pride for their city. See this civic pride in action by registering for a visit with a Chicago Greeter. The Chicago Office of Tourism's free visitor service, Chicago Greeter, highlights more than 40 special interest areas and over 25 neighborhoods for visitors to explore. Chicago Greeter is designed to match a friendly, enthusiastic, and city knowledgeable local with a visitor for a two to four hour informal, insider orientation to Chicago's sights. Visitors meet with a greeter who takes them around the city and demonstrates its walk-ability and the user-friendliness of its public transportation system. Visitors are matched with greeters through an online registration system based on special interest and language.

Chicago's multicultural heritage is reflected in its neighborhoods, which now attract thousands of visitors each year. The Chicago Office of Tourism encourages all visitors to explore the tapestry of Chicago's neighborhoods with Chicago Neighborhood Tours. From exploring the city's African-American legacy on the Historic Bronzeville tour to experiencing the Old World flavor of Ukrainian Village and the eclectic neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown or Humboldt Park, enjoy an up-close view of the history, traditions and people of Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. Special Interest Tours and Summertime Sampler Tours visit various neighborhoods and are a perfect way to savor the flavors of Chicago neighborhoods. Whichever type of tour you choose, you will be able to experience the heart and soul of the city.

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