24 hours in Chicago

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Adversity builds character. In Chicago, it also built skyscrapers. The massively destructive Great Chicago Fire of 1871 set the stage for the city's transformation into what it is today.


Out of the ashes came world-leading urban planning and building innovation  including the worlds first skyscraper  creating a liveable, easy-to-navigate city along the lake.

Rebuilding efforts established early careers for internationally acclaimed architects, with others following on to push Chicago as an architectural leader for the next century.

Visitors today can find works from Chicago School spearheads Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright; mid-century greats Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Bertrand Goldberg; and contemporary stars Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Helmut Jahn.

Scouting the past century of styles could absorb several days, but its possible to see many of the great landmarks in a one-day tour of Chicago. A rich and diverse culinary culture offers endless stops along the way to recharge and refuel.

Join the bustling crowd of cyclists, walkers, and runners on the path along Lake Michigan. End at the Oak Street beach in the Gold Coast, where warm weather draws beach volleyball players and yogis alike.

From the Gold Coast, go by foot, cab, or bus, south on Michigan Avenue to Chicago-based Intelligentsia for a freshly roasted, single-origin coffee, available in multiple pour-over brewing styles.

Across the way is Millennium Park, home to Frank Gehry's pedestrian bridge and bandshell; Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, or 'The Bean'; and the Lurie gardens that go to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Head back north to the Chicago River and board a boat to see the best views of the city. The Architecture Tour is a must-see, packed with historic tales about the bridges and buildings that line the river.

Pizza is legendary in Chicago; Lou Malnati's is the best place to get it. If pizza isn't your thing,  your tastebuds will love the diversity of River North: tortas at Xoco, shellfish at GT Fish & Oyster, or burgers at Hub 51.

After lunch, head east to the Driehaus Museum, founded by philanthropist Richard Driehaus. A grand residential building, it has been restored and filled with fine and decorative art pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Within blocks of Driehaus lie a handful of indie boutiques to shop, including menswear haven Haberdash, luxe baby shop Odile, and upscale, designer-forward Ikram, a shiny red box of a store that can't be missed.

After your shopping tour, grab a seat at the bar for a pre-show tipple at The Boarding House, a restaurant and wine bar from top sommelier, Alpana Singh, where 20 wines by the glass and 450 wines by the bottle are on offer.

Chicago boasts more theatres than anywhere in the world outside of London and New York. Book tickets at the Goodman Theatre, which welcomes work from both emerging playwrights and seasoned talents.

A quick cab takes you west to Randolph Street, where dinner options abound. Try high-energy Girl and the Goat, cosy Au Cheval, or always-packed avec. Finish with an elegant, pre-Prohibition cocktail at Maude's Liquor Bar.


Chicago, USA
Distance: 11,473 km
Flight Time: 14 hour, 35 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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