Handy Guide to Chicago
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
The Adler connects people, communities, and institutions to one another through the wonder of space science so we can explore our Universe together and use our collective knowledge and skills to create a better world for everyone.
American Writers Museum
180 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
The American Writers Museum strives to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, identity, culture and daily lives.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan, Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago's Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million guests annually.
- The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster (through Sept. 2)
- Everyone's Art Gallery: Posters of the London Underground (through Sept. 5)
- Manet and Modern Beauty (through Sept. 8)
- Christien Meindertsma: Everything Connects (through Oct. 20)
- Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara (through Oct. 16)
- Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute (through Dec. 31)
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60614
The Chicago History Museum shares the stories of the city and its people through exhibitions, programs, publications, and digital media. Thousands of school groups from Chicago and the surrounding area visit annually. The Research Center serves thousands each year, from schoolchildren working on History Fair projects to PhD students writing dissertations to filmmakers researching documentaries.
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place, Chicago
The museum promotes understanding and inspires appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art.
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
The museum’s collection grew out of items on display in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City.” The exposition delighted visitors with 65,000 exhibits filled with natural wonders and cultural artifacts, many of which later found a permanent home in Chicago at the newly created Field Columbian Museum. This museum’s name still honors entrepreneur Marshall Field, who donated $1 million to make the collective dream of a permanent museum a reality. Since opening the Museum in 1894, the collection has grown to nearly 40 million artifacts and specimens. Exhibits include Máximo the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived; Sue, the T.Rex; the Hall of Dinosaurs; and more!
Museum of Broadcast Communications
360 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654
The museum includes a two-story, glass and steel lobby atrium; Oprah’s Door (through which she made her famous grand entrance each day); a Svengoolie Exhibit, including key elements of the Svengoolie studio set; the inductee plaques of the most recent class of National Radio Hall of Fame inductees; the original Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, and Effie Klinker; scores of radio memorabilia and vintage radios; working radio and television studios, and more!
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Located one block east of the historic Water Tower, the MCA champions the provocative side of contemporary art and culture. The innovative exhibitions, performances, and programs will inspire you.
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago—one of the largest science museums in the world—is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity.
National Veterans Art Museum
4041 N Milwaukee Ave 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60641
The National Veterans Art Museum inspires greater understanding of the impact of war. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans. The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. Since its inception in 1981, the NVAM has been a space for military personnel, veterans, and civilians to open a dialogue over the impact of war. All artwork is created by veterans.
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
With animals from oceans, rivers and reefs to meet (including dozens to touch!), award-winning exhibits to explore and in-depth, hands-on activities to try, the possibilities are almost endless. The Abbott Oceanarium immerses you in the vibrant coastal ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. As you stroll along the coast, encounter beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and sea otters. You’ll also find a host of fishes and invertebrates who make their homes where freshwater flows into the ocean or where tides turn seascapes to landscapes and back again each day.
Restaurants, Clubs, Bars
Al’s Italian Beef
169 W. Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654
The history of Al’s #1 Italian Beef Restaurants dates back to 1938 when Al Ferrari and his sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Chris Pacelli, Sr., developed the original idea and recipe for the original Italian beef sandwich. The great Chicago sandwich was actually formed out of necessity during the Great Depression when meat was scarce. In order to make the most of what they had, Chris and Al would slice the meat very thin and place it on thick loaves of freshly made Italian bread. The original recipe, which is still used in all Al’s Beef locations today, was developed in Al’s home kitchen. The family sold the delicious sandwiches at a neighborhood food stand and delivered them to local businesses until they opened their current location on West Taylor Street in Chicago. It was at this storefront where they added other items to the menu, including Italian sausage, Chicago hot dogs, homemade hand-cut French fries and Polish sausages, to name a few. Taylor Street remains one of Chicago's truly iconic food destinations.
Billy Goat Tavern
1535 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60607
The original Billy Goat Tavern location was “born” in 1934 when Greek immigrant, William “Billy Goat” Sianis, purchased the Lincoln Tavern. Billy Goat bought the tavern for $205, with a check that bounced but was later repaid with sales from the first weekend. The tavern was located across from the Chicago Stadium (now United Center) and attracted mainly sports fans. Sianis became known as “Billy Goat,” when a goat fell off a passing truck and wandered inside. Sianis adopted the goat, grew a goatee, acquired the nickname “Billy Goat,” and changed the name of the bar to the Billy Goat Tavern.
Fernando’s Tequila Bar & Grill (Mexican)
3450 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Friendly neighborhood restaurant for more than 30 years. New exciting menu options available. The menu features a wide array of great selections, made from only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with something to please everyone.
Frontera Grill (Mexican)
445 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
It was 1987. Rick Bayless and his wife, Deann Groen Bayless, had just returned from an extended stay in Mexico, where they had been researching their first book. They wanted a restaurant that tasted and felt like their travels. So they hung colorful Mexican folk art on the walls, turned up the Mariachi music and packed the menu with the foods that reminded them of their travels: tangy tomatillos, rich black beans, fiery chiles. And that’s how it’s been ever since.
Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse
500 N. Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654
Gene & Georgetti was founded in 1941 by Gene Michelotti and his partner Alfredo Federighi, who was nicknamed “Georgetti” after a famous Italian cyclist. Located in the heart of River North, Gene & Georgetti is Chicago’s oldest and one of its finest steakhouses. Partners Gene and “Georgetti” worked hand in hand to establish the reputation of excellence that continues through today.
Girl and the Goat
809 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Girl & the Goat opened in summer of 2010 with the goal of serving a family style menu of tasty, bold flavored foods with global influence in a fun and lively setting that makes our guests feel at home from the moment they walk in the door. To enhance the experience, there is a selection of wines from around the world with a focus on small producers, a rotating list of craft beers with a celebration of local Chicago breweries and a list of fun cocktails created by our bartenders. The menus are extensive and have a little something for everyone, and the staff is happy to help create the perfect dining experience for every guest that joins them.
House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
House of Blues is the ultimate night out. It's where great food sets the stage for amazing live concerts. From VIP experiences with the world's best artists to our world-famous Gospel Brunch on Sundays, House of Blues is truly where music and food feed the soul. Currently on the schedule: Aug. 10 - Jonny Lang & JJ Grey & Mofro; Aug. 11 - World Famous Gospel Brunch at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
134 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL
Whether it’s a business lunch, an after-work cocktail, dinner on your way to the theater, coffee and dessert after a visit to the Art Institute, a banquet to celebrate a special occasion, a post-game burger and beer, a 3 a.m. nightcap or anything else in between, Miller’s Pub Restaurant is a Loop destination for hospitality since 1935. Stop in and make yourself comfortable in one of many booths while enjoying delicious and reasonably-priced American cuisine in a nostalgic ambiance accentuated by dark wood, stained glass and a huge collection of vintage oil paintings. Or step up to the 50-foot bar and sample an extensive beer collection while watching the game on one of many televisions. Be sure to check out the numerous photos of Hollywood movie stars, professional athletes, Broadway actors, musicians and local politicians who have frequented Miller’s over the years.
Pizza, pizza, pizza
There are many pizza places in Chicago, and many different styles of pizza, although Chicago is best known for its deep-dish pizza. Midwest Living magazine recently tried to encompass the many variations of Chicago pizza. Check out their recommendations. http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/illinois/chicago/the-best-pizza-chicago-an-expert-shares-his-picks/
Pizzeria Uno’s and Pizzeria Due’s (Deep dish pizza)
Uno’s: 29 E. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611
Due’s: 619 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60611
Uno’s: It all began when Ike Sewell imagined a pizza unlike any other. Fresh dough with a tall edge, topped with homemade sauce and more cheese than you could believe. People have been lining up ever since. Due’s: Because Uno's didn't have enough room to expand, Ike did another wonderful thing. He opened Pizzeria Due on the opposite street corner in the lower level of a beautiful Victorian mansion.
Chicago locations: 520 W. Taylor; 100 W. Ontario;
Italian beef sandwiches, ace Chicago hotdogs and hamburgers, and much more. The fries are great too. Beer in a schooner, milkshakes, and Portillo's famous chocolate cake!
The Purple Pig (Mediterranean) – “Cheese, Swine and Wine” – does not take reservations
444 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611
Jimmy Bannos, Jr., brings his love for Mediterranean food to the Windy City in fun, inventive ways – at this rustic sharable plate restaurant, conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile. Standout dishes showcase the flavors of Italy, Greece and Spain.
445 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Rick and Deann Bayless opened Topolobampo in 1989, a few years after opening Frontera Grill. The two restaurants were designed to have the same front door, but that would be one of the few things they would share. If Frontera rocks and claps, Topolo slinks. She is the quiet, sleek, classy sister. She’s also the more daring one. Topolo’s food has always been contemporary, and it becomes more so every year. Now almost 30 years old, the dinner menu is divided not into appetizers and entrees but rather into three distinct, chef-selected tasting menus – the five-course “classic” and “seasonal” options, or the showcase seven-course “Perfect 7” tasting menu.
Tortoise Supper Club
350 N. State St, Chicago, IL 60654
Tortoise Supper Club was founded in the fall of 2012 when the owners were inspired to open the type of place that combined all the things they love in a restaurant. The best example of how they wanted the restaurant to feel is embodied in the scene from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where Holly Go-Lightly’s cocktail party is stylish, sophisticated, and yet fun and energetic, but mostly warm and welcoming. Enjoy live jazz Fridays after 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays after 8:30 p.m., in the Lounge.
Places to Go, Things to Do
1200-5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
Burnham Park totals 653.63 acres and sits on Chicago’s Lakefront just south of Grant Park. The park was named for Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham, who envisioned a south lakefront park with a series of manmade islands, linear boating harbor, beaches, meadows, and playfields, as published in his seminal The Plan of Chicago of 1909.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise
112 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL
Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr. Look for the blue awning marking the stairway entrance.
Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr., Chicago, IL
If you are in town slightly before the AANA Annual Congress, you can watch a pre-season game on August 8 with "da Bears" up against the Carolina Panthers.
The North side baseball team will be out of town, playing the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati while the Annual Congress is in session. However, there are tours available of the storied Wrigley Field ballpark if you are interested.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO)
CSO will be performing at Ravinia (Highland Park, Ill.) on Friday, Aug. 9. Listen to the orchestra perform the soundtrack from the movie “On the Waterfront,” with Oscar-nominated music by Leonard Bernstein, underneath the stars (or in the pavilion).
175 N. State Street, Chicago, IL
Gladys Knight will be performing here on Sat., Aug. 10.
Chicago Water Tower
806 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
It’s a common myth that the Chicago Water Tower was the only building that remained standing after the Great Fire of 1871. In truth, it only became the most iconic structure left standing. Though large sections of the south and west sides of the city were never touched by the Fire, the Water Tower became a rallying point for the city. It stood as a symbol for a city determined to rise from its own ashes.
Chicago White Sox
The South side baseball team will be in town, playing the Oakland Athletics while the Annual Congress is in session. Check the schedule and see a game!
Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain
301 S. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL
While in operation, the fountain produces a major water display for 20 minutes every hour. During the major display, a center jet shoots water to a height of 150 feet into the air. Major displays begin daily at 9 a.m. and continue thereafter, every hour on the hour. Beginning at dusk, a spectacular light and music display accompanies the major display, beginning every hour on the hour for 20 minutes. Each evening, the final major display begins at 10:35 p.m.
Cloud Gate (“The Bean”)
201 E. Randolph St, Chicago, IL
Cloud Gate was created by using computer technology to cut 168 massive stainless-steel plates into precise shapes which were then pieced together like a puzzle and welded shut. Once fully assembled, the 12-foot-high central arch provided a “gate” to the concave chamber on the underside of the sculpture prompting its creator, Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor, to formally name the piece Cloud Gate. A network of two large internal rings connects a truss that allowed the sculpture to be assembled and direct the weight to two points at the base. The stainless-steel skin was attached to the internal structure with flexible connectors that allow it to expand and contract in response to the extreme weather conditions in Chicago. The cost of Cloud Gate was completely underwritten by the Millennium Park Foundation using funds from private donors.
John Hancock Center (now called "875 N. Michigan Ave.")
875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
The ninth tallest building in the world. Be sure and check out the 360 Chicago observation deck, which offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the Windy City. Have a drink or dinner at the famed Signature Room at the 95th (located on the 95th floor).
Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton, Chicago, IL
Find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. No matter the time of year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a stroll and let yourself be transported away. Admission is free.
201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60602
Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a new kind of town square – a lively, spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike.
600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL
Originally called the Municipal Pier, and intended for freight shipping, the pier had a short life as a jail for draft dodgers, and was then renamed in honor of Navy veterans who served during World War I. From 1946-1965, the pier was home to the University of Illinois Chicago campus, which then moved to where the Circle Campus is now. After a period of not being used, Navy Pier is now multifunctional, and includes an amusement park (Pier Park), boat rides, shops, dining, cultural events, and so much more!
1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, IL
The Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island is an outdoor amphitheater located on the man-made peninsula, Northerly Island, in Chicago. The venue provides beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. On Aug. 10, Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington will play. On Aug. 14, Beast Coast: Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution will perform.
418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL
Aug. 9 - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform the soundtrack from the film “On the Waterfront;” Aug 10, 11 – The band Chicago will perform; Aug. 12 – Sarah McLachlan will perform.
Theater in Chicago
Check out what’s currently playing in Chicago theaters!
Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) with Skydeck
233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL
Step outside the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. At 1,353 feet in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. Offering spectacular views spanning up to four states, a one-stop Chicago experience full of interactive exhibits and…The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower!
TV (Local Networks)
560 WIND (News/Talk)
670 WSCR AM (Sports)
720 WGN AM (News/Talk)
780 WBBM AM (News)
890 WLS AM (News/Talk)
1000 AM WMVP (Sports)
1390 WGRB AM (Gospel Music)
1690 WVON AM (News/Talk)
90.9 WDCB (Jazz)
91.5 WBEZ (Public Radio)
92.3 WPWX (Hip Hop)
93.1 WXRT (Alternative)
93.5 WVIV (Latino)
93.9 WLIT FM (Adult Contemporary)
94.7 WLS (Classic Rock)
95.5 WEBG (Country)
96.3 WBBM FM (Top 40)
97.1 WDRV FM (Classic Rock)
98.7 WFMT (Classical)
99.5 WUSN FM (Country)
100.3 WSHE (Adult Contemporary)
104.3 WBMX (Rhythmic Oldies)