Chicago Chicago is not really a teddy bear place, even though they have a sports team called “The Bears” (who used to be good). Chicago is on the lake, so it is a big city but with a pier and a beach. And not a small beach either, and it gets very hot in the summer, very hot. Just as it gets bitterly cold in winter, and bears of all nations have to stay home to keep warm. For humans there is a lot to do. Great restaurants, boat trips, theatre, music galore, wonderful shopping and it’s all in walking distance. You can sit by the river and drink wine. You can go into the park and play mini golf. Or visit one of the zoos. The Art Institute is one of, if not the best in the USA. The science and industry museum is huge (don’t miss the submarine), the orchestra is world leading and does a free concert in the park in September. The people are chatty and funny. They always want to help. Little dogs come up and say “woof” (hello). The cleaning lady in the last hotel I stayed at used to tidy me every day and put me in a different place, usually on the most comfy chair imaginable. If you go, try to catch Puppet Bike. Sadly, the last few times I went it was not happening, anywhere near me at least, but is usually down by the art institute. The main thing about Chicago though, for humans at least, is the architecture. If you are only there for a short time, head to the Architecture Center and book a trip. You can see a lot from one of the river boats, and on a sunny day it can be glorious (take sun cream). Lots of famous names are represented, including, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies Van Der Rohe. There are some of the tallest buildings in the USA, many with observation decks. We recommend going onto the pier for a beer, or to see some Shakespeare. Have a nice roof top cocktail (especially a Moscow Mule) or indulge in some wonderful steaks, but make sure the credit cards are clear before you go. And while you are there, get a bus/subway pass as it’s good value and gives you a chance for a day trip somewhere.
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