Chicago was designed to please arriving visitors and tourists. Everything about the city is inviting to visitors from its restaurants and nightlife to its museums and various attractions. It’s no wonder why it is rated as the 3rd most popularly visited destination in the US.
As the city, like most other parts of the country, continues to adapt to the realities of living through a pandemic, mass gatherings are still not recommended. However, the great news is that most of the city’s businesses and attractions are up and running following the strict recommendations by the state.
What this means for you is that you’ll still be able to enjoy everything that the Windy City has to offer. You just have to maintain your distance, which is quite frankly a very small price to pay. So if you are ready to pack and go, here are some tips to help you enjoy Chicago this fall in style:
Learn about the sports culture
No one loves their sports quite like Chicagoans. It’s not just the attitude of the fans that’s pulsating, it’s the atmosphere that’s fueled by the love and passion shared by all. As one of the greatest sports cities in the country, there is a lot for sports lovers to look forward to in the Windy City.
Chicagoans live and die by the teams and you’ll get this sense as soon as you arrive at the O’Hare airport. Each level of the airport’s parking garage will likely have the name of one of the city’s many thriving and vibrant sports teams. Chicago is one of just 4 cities in the country that boast successful teams in all 5 major professional sports. We’re talking soccer, ice hockey, American football, and basketball here, which is no small feat.
If that’s not enough to get you excited, sports betting was recently legalized in Illinois. These days, anyone can wager on casinos, racetracks, and even sports stadiums. In the next coming months, people will be able to place bets on their phones once state regulators put all their ducks in a row. The number of legal sportsbooks is also slated to go up in the future so if you’ve been looking to get in on the sports betting action, Chicago is where it’s at.
Enjoy a river cruise
You’ll have some lovely weather in Chicago so take full advantage of it by booking a river cruise. The city’s Architecture Foundation offers great river cruises that will teach you almost everything that you need to know about the many beautiful and striking buildings that make up Chicago’s skyline.
Aside from learning about all the great architectural styles, there really is no better way to experience the city than on a boat. What could be better than gradually seeing the city unfold before your eye as you enjoy a long wine-soaked dinner, experiencing Chicago’s most iconic sites and landmarks? Best of all, you don’t even have to wait in line or lift a finger to schedule it all.
Take a simple stroll along the Riverwalk
All the best things in life are free and so is a simple stroll along the Riverwalk. If you are not in a hurry, take 30 minutes to an hour to take a lazy walk- both your health and your Instagram feed will thank you. The Riverwalk is easily one of the best ways to experience Chicago’s Loop area.
The Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile passageway that follows the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive down to Franklin Street. The river is lined with quaint little restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can pick up a few knick-knacks here and there to take home with you to your loved ones.
Have a taste of culture at the Chicago Cultural Center
It should come as no surprise that Chicago has a thriving arts and culture scene. Why wouldn’t you be inspired to create beautiful masterpieces living in a city like Chicago? With new and flashy attractions close by as well as a vibrant shopping paradise situated just up the road, the Cultural Center often gets overlooked but you shouldn’t make the same mistake.
The center’s many galleries, inexpensive exhibits, and performances spring to life daily so if you are looking to enjoy a curated led tour, make sure you reserve your spot early to avoid disappointments. At the center, you will find the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome and a lot more similarly unique handcrafted décor that will cause you to stop and stare for a couple of minutes.
Get an up-close view of public art at the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park
No one needs to tell you about the proven benefits of spending time outdoors especially now in a pandemic. Skokie Sculpture Park is like an artists’ wonderland, featuring more than 70 works by artists from all over the globe. Take your time viewing the sculptures that are made from different materials such as copper, glass, fired clay, concrete, steel, aluminum, and more.
The park is divided into 4 large sections so dedicate at least an afternoon if you want to fully explore what the park has to offer. One area of the park is dedicated to works done by local high school students so if you are traveling with young ones, be sure to pass by this area for a motivational boost.
After you are done, wander the city on foot or a bike as you explore what the rest of the city has to offer. Northshore Sculpture Park is great, but it’s not the only place in the city to enjoy some fresh air. The entire metro area is surrounded by a 210-mile nature trail that can be explored safely. Don’t rush, give yourself time to stop and smell the roses.
If you are not quite ready to take tours in real life, there are plenty of virtual tours being offered all over the city including a virtual Chicago tour. Remember, we are still fighting our way through a pandemic. As such, exercise caution at all times, keep your mouth covered and sanitize as often as possible to stay safe.