Chicago is definitely my kind of town! My name is Crystal Gonzalez and I am an alumna from the Alpha Omega Chapter at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Even though I went to undergrad at SIU, I was born and raised in Chicago. I moved back because I could not stay away from the city too long! I am also attending graduate school here in downtown Chicago.
I joined the Conference Committee to help bring different ideas as well as show how amazing Chicago is. Below are some of the top places to visit, I hope you enjoy! Be sure to keep a lookout for what else is in store in Chicago! I look forward to seeing you all!
Willis Tower (Skydeck)
Many Chicagoans still call it the Sears Tower. I still do.
Visit the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere! The Skydeck has amazing views of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and neighboring states from the 103rd floor! If you’re not afraid of heights, be sure to step out onto the glass ledge that extends from the building! For more information: theskydeck.com/
John Hancock Center
I have heard people sometimes confused for the Sears Tower...I mean Willis Tower ;)
John Hancock Center also has amazing views of Chicago, the lake and neighboring states! It has a new feature called TILT, where a glass tilts and extends out from the building! You can also check out their Café on the 95th floor for some refreshments while you view Chicago! For more information: 360chicago.com
(View of the Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountain)
Millennium Park is home to the iconic Cloud Gate or “Bean” as many call it. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Crown Fountain, a reflecting pool in between two glass towers. The glass towers are also video animated. Another feature in Millennium Park is the Pritzker Pavillion. If you’re lucky you may be able to enjoy free entertainment on the Great Lawn. For more information: Cityofchicago.org
(View of the city from Museum Campus)
Museum Campus is home to three of Chicago’s well known museums: the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Planetarium. It is also home to Soldier Field football stadium. It is also a great place to view the majority of the city’s Skyline! For more information: tripadvisor.com
(View of south end of Navy Pier from Lake Michigan)
Navy Pier is a pier that extends out to Lake Michigan. It has rides, such as a Ferris Wheel, musical carousel, Wave Swinger, and the Light Tower Ride. It also has an IMAX movie theatre, The Children’s Museum, the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and many sightseeing tours. For more information: navypier.com
Clarence F Buckingham Memorial Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. It is in operation from April to mid-October. It also displays a water show every hour. The center of the fountain shoots 150 feet into the air! When its windy and hot out, the water breeze feels amazing! Another feature is the beautiful lights shown at night! For more information:chicagoparkdistrict.com
Magnificent Mile is located along Chicago’s Michigan Ave adjacent to downtown. There are many high end department stores, , restaurants, hotels, luxury retailers and companies. Mag Mile, as it is also called, has many historic landmarks and historic places. One of them being the Chicago Water Tower (not Water Tower Place), which is one of the few buildings that survived after the Great Chicago Fire. For more Information: themagnificentmile.com/
Chicago Cultural Center
(Tiffany Dome. Photo credit to City of Chicago website)
The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. It hosts many free programs and exhibitions throughout the year where many international, national and local artists, musicians, and performers showcase their work here. It is also home to the world’s largest stained glass dome. For more information: cityofchicago.org