Chicago is a city rich in culture and art. Nothing showcases that better than the iconic and thought provoking Cloud Gate, referred to by Chicagonians as “The Bean”. If you’ve never been to Chicago, you’ve missed out. Chicago is the ninth most visited city by nationals in the U.S. with over 40 million visitors a year. As a city that embraces art and diversity with an open and willing heart, Chicago draws art lovers and culture junkies from across the globe. Visiting Chicago is like stepping into a giant art gallery. No sooner have you arrived at the airport, than you begin to notice the vibrancy of the place.
From Glowing Neon Tubes to Towering Skyscrapers
Moving through a tunnel that connects one concourse to another, visitors are met with a sea of shifting colors as neon tubes and glowing wall panels light their way. At this point people realize this isn’t just a city, this is an expression of art. The heart of Chicago is filled with imposing skyscrapers that stand like guardians over the city. Somewhere among them, scattered generously about are dozens of tourist attractions.
The Bean – One of Art’s wonders
The Bean confuses visitors at first. They arrive and ask locals for the Cloud Gate, only to find that in Chicago people refer to it as “The Bean”. The Bean is the unofficial artistic heart of Chicago. Built in 2006, this cloud shaped piece of art’s surface is mirrored, making it appear otherworldly. It certainly produces some interesting photos.
Music and Window Shopping
For shoppers, Chicago is also home to The Magnificent Mile, a one mile stretch of store after store. Strolling down along the Magnificent Mile is an eye-opening experience. Something of a Mecca to business people and tourist, this mile-long stretch is a feast of architecture, dining and of course shopping.
Music lovers flock to Millennium Park to enjoy the daily outdoor concerts, film screenings and many other interesting outdoor events. The park is decorated with modern art and the huge open spaces offer some amazing views.
Yes, other major cities have museums and art galleries too, but there’s one thing they don’t have that Chicago does – A Soul. It’s as if the city’s affection for art has imbued it with a tangible energy. One thing is for sure, Chicago deserves its prestigious 9th rank on the list of the most visited cities in the U.S.