Chicago

Perhaps best known by its nickname ‘The Windy City’, Chicago sits on the shore of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, but it is the only one located entirely within the United States. Chicago is divided into distinct districts, with prominent ethnic quarters offering multicultural shopping and dining experiences. Its reputation for food and jazz is also well-deserved, with a wonderful nightlife just waiting to be discovered. Native Americans led French explorers to Chicago in 1673, but the first settlement wasn’t established until more than a century later when the local Native American chief, Black Hawk, was defeated. Chicago’s position was prized as a strategic trading route. Now the metropolitan area is home to more than 9 million people and the city is now one of the world’s most recognisable cities.
USA Map showing chicago

Architecture

Celebrated for its architecture and parklands on the banks of the lake, Chicago is an easy city to explore on foot. The Magnificent Mile, the Willis Tower, Navy Pier and the Millennium Park are key landmarks, while the Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and planetarium in the Grant Park Museum are all fantastic for families.

Downtown Chicago
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Deep Dish Pizza & Other Sustenance

Chicago's main contribution to world cuisine is the deep dish pizza but that is not the only culinary highlight of the 'The Windy City'. Chicago is an incredibly diverse ethnic melting pot and that is reflected in the local cuisine. There's Greektown, Devon Ave Indian Corridor, Chinatown, Chatham's Soul Food to name just a few, and then there are concentrations of Middle Eastern, African & Asian foods around the city. Chicago does have a fascination with Polish food, in particular sausages, and this has contributed to the Chicago hot dog. Another Chicago speciality is the Italian Beef Sandwich. Whatever your predilections, Chicago is a foodie heaven!

 

Deep Dish Pizza

History & Culture

One of the USA's great cities, Chicago has quite a history. Known to the local Native Americans as a place for harvesting wild onions, Chicago is basically built in a swamp, however enterprising settlers expanded on Fort Dearborn and in 1833 the area was incorporated into a town. The city expanded quickly and sewers and other civic works to keep the water at bay were soon commonplace. In 1871 Chicago suffered the Great Chicago Fire, which basically wiped the city out. The old stone water tower was one of the few buildings to survive and you can visit it in the middle of the city today. The Chicogoans were a tough bunch though, and soon the 'The Windy City' was back on its feet and growing at an unprecedented rate, but having learnt from their mistakes, there was much more planning and forethought in the new incarnation of the city. 

Due to its rail connections and geographic location, Chicago became the slaughteryard of the USA, with cows and pigs being butchered in record numbers. Germans, Irish and Poles flocked to the city and it grew at a phenomenal rate to become the second largest city in the US. With the first World War came lots of jobs which attracted African Americans in the South and soon the blues music they brought with them from the delta was echoing through the streets in the form of Chicago Blues and Jazz. Chicago has contunued to grow and attract waves of immigrants from all parts of the globe especially Latin America & Asia, making Chicago one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the US.

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Sports

Chicago has its fair share of famous sports teams & Sporting News named Chicago the "Best Sports City" in the United States in 1993, 2006, and 2010. The Chicago Bears are the NFL team and have one more NFL games than any other team in NFL history and only the Green Bay Packers have won more championships ... The Bears have won nine!

Ice Hockey is big in these northern climes and The Blackhawks are one of the original founding teams and have won six Stanley Cups. The Chicago bulls were famously the team Michael Jordan chose to play for for most of his career and became one of the most recognisable temas of any sport in the world.

What really gets the Chicagoans fired up, though, is the local derby's between the two major league baseball teams, The White Sox & The Cubs. The rivalry between these teams is fierce and during the season, splits the city in two.

The Infinity Experience

Home of Jazz
The term 'Jazz' was coined in Chicago in 1914. The city's native musicians included band leader Benny Goodman and drummer Gene Krupa.

Packages

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
air-and-land

USA

Chicago

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

4 Star
  • Return economy airfare to Chicago with Air New Zealand including pre paid taxes.
  • 5 nights accommodation at the 4-star Sofitel Chicago Water Tower in a Classic Room.
  • Return seat in vehicle transfers O'HARE Intl Airport to Downtown Chicago Hotels.
5 nights
from$1,965*