5 Unexpected Travel Tips for Chicago

This Midwestern charmer combines best-in-class culture (plus improv!) with front-row seats to one of the country’s greatest lakes. If you’re hitting the Windy City this summer, here are five things you won’t want to miss.

Under-the-Radar Excursion: For a low-key break from the bustling city center, take a stroll around The Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the last free zoos in the world.

Top Urban Hike: Got a weakness for granite facades? Wander the Loop—aka the financial district—for an architectural feast.

Best Treat: If you’re in thrall to a sweet tooth, head to Sweet Mandy B’s and get a cupcake. Seriously. This is one indulgence you won’t regret.

Coolest View: Sears Tower, eat your heart out. Visit the John Hancock Observatory instead—you can see across the lake to Michigan on a clear day! Plus, you can score a better view (and a pass on admission fees) if you visit the lounge for a drink.

Cheesiest Deep Dish: While Giordano’s may get all the love, the locals will recommend Pequod’s: Its caramelized cheese crust is truly one of a kind.

Not sure where to spend your precious summer vacation days? Take our travel quiz to find a destination that matches your style.

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