Did you know that Chicago is the home of the world's only backward-flowing river? Or that the very first skyscraper was built here? Or that it houses the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton? (Its name is Sue.)
Known for its iconic architecture and the impressive depth of its pizza dishes, Chicago looms over the crossroads of the country's heartland. If you've ever heard of Sears Tower, Wrigley Field, or impressively-adorned hot dogs, then you know that Chicago is as American as it gets. From its humble beginnings as a trading post to its boom years as a railway hub and meatpacking center, Chicago long ago evolved into one of the largest and most influential cities in the Midwest, and a major player on the world stage.
This sprawling metropolis hugs the crescent-shaped shoreline of Lake Michigan and is pierced by twin branches of the Chicago River. It is a constant hub of activity as visitors choose from countless activities and attractions in and around Chicago.
Take in a world-class show at the Cadillac Palace or applaud your favorite vocalists in a powerful performance at the iconic Madison Square Garden. Stroll down the Magnificent Mile, where you will encouter a dizzying array of shopping and entertainment on this cosmopolitan strip. Admire the magnificence of the Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hempishere.
The Junket Chicago Experience will reveal legendary tales and intriguing facts that made this majestic metropolis such a fascinating urban getaway.
Discover the unbelievable nightlife at haunted locations all over the Windy City. Follow expert local guides as they introduce you Chicago's tragic history, tell legendary stories, and reveal hidden secrets of the city on the Windy City Ghosts tour.
Immerse yourself in the mysteries of Chicago's shadowy past, from authentic accounts at historic buildings, to investigations at notorious crime scenes. This thrilling ghost tour will lead you to some of the most haunted locations in Chicago:
In addition to the Junket Chicago Ghost Tour, the city offers a downtown teeming with world-class shopping opportunities, incredible restaurants, and a wealth of attractions to interest any visitor. Here is a list of some of Chicago's must-see hotspots:
Join us for an exploration of Chicago, and immerse yourself in the extraordinary heritage of this Midwestern metropolis, with its untold stories, captivating scenery, and unprecedented rise to greatness.
Before it was claimed as American soil, the land that we now know as Chicago was home to numerous tribes of indigenouspeoples, who traveled to the area from the East Coast and made a living from fur trading. The name Chicago comes from the Algonquin word "Chicagou," meaning "onion field" or "wild garlic."
The first Europeans to arrive in the area were Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, two French explorers on a quest to find the waterway that links the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, in 1673. However, the French did not settle the area. The first resident of what would be Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Caribbean traveler of French and African descent, who operated a trading post with his Ptawatomi wife.
The American government established Fort Dearborn near what had then become a very profitable trading post, and the small settlement adjacent to the fort boomed in population. By 1800, Chicago had become a rowdy frontier village made up of French Canadians, Native Americans, and American settlers from the eastern states. Due to the growing railroad industry and its midway position between the East Coast and the Wild West, Chicago became a fixture on the national stage as a strategic economic location in the new American frontier.
In October 1871, a fire began in a barn that would spread throughout Chicago's downtown area. Most of the city's wooden structures burned for 2 days, killling 300 people and making about one-third of the population homeless.
Chicago rallied and rebuilt, becoming famous in the transportation and meatpacking industries as its population rose rapidly throughout the late 19th century. A pattern of building innovation expanded following the Great Fire and Chiacgo would become the home of the world's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, erected in 1884.
Chicago developed a reputation as an aggressively self-promoting city that lured residents and businesses away from the East. Its nickname became the Windy City- not from the strong lake breezes, but from the bombastic attitude the city's leaders adopted. This reputation would be established when Chicago was selected to host the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, pushing New York and St. Louis aside as competition. This significant event put Chicago on the map and established it as one of America's top trading centers.
"Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, Chiacago grew into a collection of architectural designs and multicultural influences that attracts travelers worldwide. Now a city where Old-World design meets New-World innovation, from the jaw-dropping heights of its towering structures to its distinct neighborhoods developed by immigrant communities, what was once a small colonial settlement has morphhed into a metropolitan oasis perfect for anyone looking for excitement in one of the liveliest cities in the counttry.
Known as a city of neighborhoods, Chicago is a cultural playground- a destination that invites you to explore the richness of communities based on cultures from all over the world. Once called the "Paris of the Midwest" for its architectural glimpses of France, Germany, and Italy, Chicago offers limitless entertainment options and countless attractions for every member of the family.
With its stunning museums, colorful parks, and vibrant neighborhoods inhabited by friendly Midwesterners, Chicago's diverse cultural offerings make it impossible to see and do everything in one visit. One of the prominent features that lures visitors to the Windy City is its abundance of art and entertainment. For decades, Chicago has been at the forefront of some of the country's most influential artistic movements and theatrical spectacles to grace the world stage.
"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago- she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time."
Defined by its iconic sights, renowned architecture, and legendary cuisine, Chicago is a city with world-class attractions and curiosities on display all in a convenient collection by the shores of sparkling Lake Michigan. No matter your taste or interests, you will find there is never a dull moment in Chicago.
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