Chicago Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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Complete Video Transcript

0:07Chicago is situated in the Great Lakes region of the American Midwest,
0:11in the state of Illinois.
0:14Rising from the edges of Lake Michigan,
0:16Chicago began as a tiny trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River,
0:21and has boomed into a modern global center of commerce and culture.
0:31The Windy City has always been driven by an unshakable optimism and can-do attitude.
0:36The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed half the city,
0:42was seized upon as an opportunity for the metropolis to reinvent itself.
0:47What followed was the biggest building boom in US history
0:50and a skyline that is almost beyond beautiful.
0:56Start your visit in The Loop –
0:57the central business district encircled by the ‘L’, Chicago’s elevated train line.
1:03The streets within The Loop are a showcase of architecture,
1:07from the world’s first high-rises, to the cloud-piercing towers of today.
1:13Willis Tower held the title of world’s tallest building for almost 25 years.
1:19Take the 60-second ride to the Skydeck.
1:21On a really windy day you might even feel the building sway a little,
1:26but don’t panic, it was designed to do just that.
1:32The Loop also contains some amazing outdoor sculpture
1:35and an historic theater district which makes the area feel
1:38like a cross between a museum and a film set.
1:43Running north from The Loop is the Magnificent Mile,
1:46where you’ll be able to gaze up at even more wonders
1:49from the Chicago School of architecture.
1:53Looking a little out of place is the Old Water Tower,
1:56a lone, but much-loved survivor from the Chicago Fire.
2:03Shop ’til you drop in the upscale boutiques
2:05which line The Magnificent Mile’s wide boulevards.
2:09And when it’s time to refuel,
2:11sink your teeth into a deep dish pizza – an old Chicago favorite.
2:18Following the south bank of the Chicago River
2:21and winding between the canyons of glass and steel,
2:24The Riverwalk offers a relaxing change of pace from the downtown bustle.
2:30Still within The Loop is Millennium Park.
2:34Once the site of railway yards and car parks,
2:37the area has been transformed into what critics have hailed as ‘the future of parks’.
2:43The centerpieces of this visionary space are the
2:46Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the BP Footbridge.
2:52The park showcases a number of public sculptures,
2:55including a futuristic stainless steel archway to the city, Cloud Gate,
3:00or as it’s affectionately known to locals – ‘The Bean’.
3:05Just across the road is The Art Institute of Chicago
3:08whose exterior is a work of art in itself.
3:13Set aside at least a day to explore this treasure-house of
3:16European, American and Asian masterpieces.
3:20There are plenty of treasures to be found outside The Loop.
3:26Just to the west is one of Chicago’s hidden gems,
3:28the Garfield Park Conservatory, an inner-city haven for nature lovers
3:34and a first-date favorite for Chicago couples.
3:40In nearby Oak Park, step inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio,
3:45where for 20 years he pioneered an entirely new architectural vision for America.
3:52Unity Temple is just a short stroll away.
3:55Completed in 1908, this Lloyd Wright masterpiece
3:58is widely regarded as the world’s first modern building.
4:03While you’re in Oak Park,
4:05stop by the birthplace of one of Chicago’s most famous sons, Ernest Hemingway.
4:10In the nearby museum,
4:12fans of the novelist can read from his childhood diary and original manuscripts.
4:19Down by The Loop’s waterfront,
4:20the historic Navy Pier offers entertainment for all ages.
4:23The pier is also the place to climb aboard
4:26one of the many lake and river cruises on offer.
4:30Just south of Navy Pier, The Field Museum houses over
4:3420 million specimens from the world of natural history.
4:38Say hello to Sue, the largest and most intact skeleton of a
4:43Tyrannosaurus Rex ever unearthed.
4:45The museum might look a little familiar,
4:48after all, it was the home base for Indiana Jones in the blockbuster movie series.
4:54A little further south along the waterfront
4:57you’ll find the Museum of Science and Industry –
5:00known by generations of school children as ‘the best field trip ever!’.
5:05Here you’ll get to explore the inner workings of man and machine,
5:10and discover the secrets of natural phenomena
5:12like tornadoes, lightning and avalanches.
5:17Chicago’s largest green space is Lincoln Park,
5:20a seven mile stretch of shoreline which runs north from The Loop.
5:26It’s home to nature reserves, a conservatory,
5:30and monuments to many of the nation’s heroes,
5:33including the park’s namesake – Abraham Lincoln.
5:37The park also features the Lincoln Park Zoo
5:40which has been entertaining and educating visitors since 1868.
5:44The zoo features two sections specifically designed for children,
5:48and best of all it’s free.
5:51The park is also home to the Chicago History Museum.
5:55From gangsters to baseball, this is the place to visit
5:59if you really want to know what makes this unique city tick.
6:04As the sun sets, Chicago truly lights up.
6:07But don’t plan on going to bed early,
6:09the city offers some of the best jazz, blues and theater in America.
6:15So come on over to Chicago, the memories you’ll take away will last a lifetime –
6:20no matter how hard the wind blows.