Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Chicago combines awesome architecture with a rich cultural heritage – all on the sandy shores of the massive freshwater Lake Michigan.

As city strolls go, you can’t beat Millennium Park and catching your reflection in ‘The Bean’ – Anish Kapoor’s huge art installation. But have you seen the Windy City from above? Take in the skyline from The Ledge, a glass platform on the Skydeck at Willis Tower, or the 360 Chicago Observation Deck which leans you out 300m above Michigan Avenue.

For cultural kicks, discover Chicago’s fascinating jazz heritage. When the Great Migration brought thousands of African Americans to the city in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, Chicago became the jazz capital of the world. Over 70 nightclubs, ballrooms and theatre halls lined the streets of Bronzeville and saw jazz greats like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong come of age.

Cut to today, and Chicago’s Blues Fest attracts half a million people, there’s the four-day Lollapalooza rock megaparty and tons of smaller street festivals in neighbourhoods throughout the spring and summer. Comedy-lovers should catch a show at The Second City, where stars such as Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Amy Poehler and Mike Myers cut their teeth.

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