Pinned for its vibrant sports scene, rich musical influence, and mouth-watering food, Chicago is a dazzling and diverse destination. This city has so much to offer all types of travelers. Let's find out what else Chicago is known for!
Nestled in the state of Illinois, Chicago is a city that boasts a rich history of captivating culture. It's also a pioneer across the music, food, and sports scene. If you're planning a trip to Chicago, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Chicago's home to the notorious gangster Al Capone, hip-hop legend Kanye West, and basketball teams like the Chicago Bulls. Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of famous celebrities or head out on a foodie trail, this city sure won't disappoint.
The Top 9 Things Chicago Is Known For
There's a lot going on in Chicago, from the architecture and dining to the festivals and cultural events. Here are all the top features that Chicago is known for!
9. The Famous People
The city is home to as many brilliantly famous people as New York. From stars coming out left, right, and center, Chicago is renowned for people like the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, late-comedian Robin Williams, and basketball player Derrick Rose.
8. The Gangsters
Organized crime has unfortunately become well known in this city, with famous gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger. While I don't mean literally seek out gangsters, there are definitely museums and tours that will give you an insight on rich the city's history with gangsters are.
If you're keen to dive into the illustrious history of this city, sprinkle some excitement into your Chicago itinerary with a mob and gangster tour. You'll visit locations via bus, learn about the unique history, and hear from a tour guide. Did somebody say fun?
7. The Architecture and Skyscrapers
Home to a postcard-worthy city skyline, Chicago's shimmering skyscrapers dominate the scene. You'll find towering buildings scattered throughout the city. Famous architecture seems to be around every corner, including the John Hancock Center, Aon Center, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.
For top-notch panoramas, climb to the heights of one of the tallest buildings in the United States, the Willis Tower. Originally known as the Sears Tower, you can score tickets to the 103rd-floor Skydeck for less than $30. This is a suitable budget-friendly option if you're looking for something to do in Chicago at night.
If you're a fan of stellar scenery, don't miss this Chicago River architecture tour. This wallet-friendly activity is perfect for whipping into your trip to Chicago. You can learn about what Chicago is famous for while soaking up all the stunning skyscraper views!
6. The Windy City
If there's one thing that Chicago is known for, it's the wild, windy weather due to Lake Michigan's high-speed winds that relentlessly sweep into the city. If you're planning a trip here, don't forget to layer up with jackets. Chicago lives up to its name as the Windy City!
5. The Museums and Art
Like any of the other major cities in the United States, museums in Chicago are an absolute must-see. Whether you're a fan of contemporary sculptures or centuries-old paintings, Chicago is well-known for its vibrant art scene.
Must-See Art Galleries in Chicago
- You can find a mix of old and new at the Art Institute of Chicago
- Admire rich cultural pieces at the National Museum of Mexican Art
- Explore mind-boggling rooms at the WNDR Museum
- Visit the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art at a reasonably affordable price of $15!
4. The Festivals
What is Chicago known for? Festivals! This city is popping! If you're in the mood to celebrate, you can bet your bottom dollar there's an excuse to do it here! Chicago is known for festivals like the Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, Taste of Chicago Food Festival, and Pitchfork Music Festival.
If you're thinking about visiting Chicago during the festive season, don't miss all the Christmas highlights! Hop on this festive food and walking tour and lock your lips with some seriously delectable treats. Local favorites include Chicago-style hot dogs, gingerbread, cotton candy, and roasted nuts! Delicious!
3. The Sports Teams
Chicago is just as well-known for its top-notch sports teams as it is for its rowdy sports fans. Having been around for over 100 years, the Chicago Bears boasts an exciting NFL history. If you're a sports fan who is visiting Chicago, don't miss the unparalleled roar of a football match!
Thanks to big names like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, basketball enthusiasts are well aware of the Chicago Bulls. As one of the most popular sports teams in the NBA, grab the opportunity to see a game at the United Center on your trip!
Dating back well over a century, the Cubs have also made their mark on baseball history. Having won a World Series title, don't miss the chance to get in on the baseball action when you're in Chicago.
2. The Cuisine
Calling all traveling foodies! This is for you. Chicago is home to a divine dining scene boasting seriously creative dishes. If you're wondering what Chicago is known for when it comes to food, there are plenty of iconic dishes you should try. Prepare your taste buds because this is next-level tasty. Here are some of the best foods that Chicago is known for:
A thick-crusted pizza that's covered with multi-layer toppings.
Chicago-style Hot Dogs
These hot dogs come in a poppy seed bun that's filled with mustard, onions, tomatoes, relish, pickles, peppers, and salt.
Chicago-Italian Beef Sandwich
This drool-worthy sandwich comes on an Italian roll that's packed with thinly sliced roasted beef and peppers.
Did you know chocolate brownies were invented in Chicago by Bertha Palmer at the 1893 World Fair?
No explanation is needed. Who doesn't love donuts?
If you're a serious foodie, you can take your Chicago trip up a notch on this food and walking tour. You'll sample a series of all the famous foods Chicago is known for. Did somebody say food coma?
1. The Music Industry
Aside from the ample art, food, and architecture, Chicago is internationally known for its astounding music scene. With everything from classic blues to funky jazz and hip hop, the Windy City sure knows how to slay a good beat.
Whether you want to boogie to house music, keep it classy with some jazz, or straight out rave to electronic dance music, this city is pumping crazy tunes! Head out on the town to one of Chicago's clubs, bars, or music theatres. Make it a memory you won't forget!
Are you planning on hitting the town? With everything from LGBTQ+ clubs to underground bars, this city has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife. Save this guide to the best nightclubs in Chicago for your next trip!
Want to Get Active in Chicago?
If you need a break from city sightseeing in Chicago, you'll be surprised by how much outdoor activity is available! Whether you want to set out on a rigorous hike or a simple stroll through nature, Chicago serves as an ideal base for an active vacation.
From Starved Rock State Park to Moraine Hills State Park, your retreat to nature is just a stone's throw away! Don't miss this in-depth guide on hiking in Chicago.
Why Visit Chicago?
Chicago is a must-see destination because of its renowned architecture, passionate sports teams, rich music scene, and too-die-for food. On top of all that, Chicago is known for its immersive art scene, gangster history, and music too. Whether you want to keep it low-key or hit up the high-paced energy, Chicago has it all.
The Windy City and Beyond!
Chicago is known for a lot of things - it can be challenging to fit it all into your trip. That's where we can help. Start planning your trip with Pilot and don't miss out on a thing!