The USA, the country of opportunities, who would not love to visit? Everyone would love to travel to United States to live the American dream. The USA, the country of opportunities and the world's financial powerhouse, is visited by millions of people every year, let it be on a US tourist visa, J-1 visas, or else. The country is home to many amazing cities, such as Boston and New York. New York City is arguably the most visited city in the USA. But in this article, I want to bring your attention to another beautiful city in the USA, namely, Chicago. Why should you travel to Chicago? What to do in Chicago? What places to visit in Chicago? Well, there are full of stunning places to visit in Chicago. It is enough just to mention Millennium Park. What is the best time to travel to Chicago? The best time to visit Chicago is starting from April-May until October. During that time, the Chicago weather is warm enough to let you enjoy a good summer. During the summer, you may also participate in a variety of festivals in Chicago. In this article, I will write about the places to see in Chicago and why Chicago outshines New York City.
In general, the US is an expensive place to visit if you are traveling on a budget. This is a stark difference between New York City and Chicago. Almost everything in Chicago is more affordable than in New York. Of course, it is understandable that there are more people in New York City, and it is one of the top three main prestigious cities in the USA. You can be sure that when you travel to United States, you will spend less if you travel to Chicago instead of New York. From the bed you are sleeping to your beer, everything is relatively cheaper in Chicago. Especially regarding your accommodation, if you book it way before visiting Chicago, it would save you some money. Besides, transportation is cheaper in Chicago than in New York. For a single ride in Chicago, you will be charged $2.50 by Chicago Transit Authority against $2.75 in New York. Concerning unlimited passcards, you can save up to $12 in Chicago compared to New York City.
2. Lake Michigan
Another thing making Chicago shine better than New York City is Lake Michigan. Are you wondering about the best time to travel to Chicago? As I mentioned before, you better travel to Chicago starting from the end of spring until October. Warm Chicago weather would allow you to enjoy Lake Michigan, one of the places to visit in Chicago. You can dive into many activities in Lake Michigan. First, you can have a very good time swimming in the lake while enjoying golden sandy beaches, such as North Avenue Beach, Hollywood Beach, South Shore Beach, and 12th Street Beach. You may also go kayaking, paddleboarding, taking a boat tour, birdwatching, fishing, and biking around the beach. Apart from these activities, if you love fireworks, do not miss the chance of visiting Chicago on the Fourth of July. You will enjoy dazzling annual Navy Pier summer fireworks over Lake Michigan with an amazing view.
3. Better transportation
Unlike New York City, Chicago's airports are more accessible. It is easy as pie to get from Chicago's airports, such as O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport. You can take the Orange Line train from Midway International Airport to the city center, while the Blue Line train will take you from O'Hare International Airport to the western neighborhoods of the city. Unlike Chicago, getting to John F. Kennedy International Airport from New York City center is not that simple, and you will need a taxi for your comfort. Also, you will not have to go beneath the city to use the subway; instead, you can opt for The Chicago "L" (short for "elevated"), which is preferred by many. It is a rapid transit system serving Chicago's people. The fact that it travels among buildings instead of under the land makes it arguably better transportation than a traditional metro.
4. The less hustle and bustle
I am sure that those who have been to New York City can confirm the city has the hustle and bustle. It sometimes feels so dizzy. When you are in the city center, it feels like everyone is in so much hurry. A lot of people talk about business on the phone and are rushing to work. When I was in Manhattan, I felt like everyone is coming at me. If I call New York a hyperactive city, that wouldn't be a lie. There are lots of people and cars in New York City streets that do not feel clean. Compared to Chicago and other cities, say Boston, the streets are not that clean in New York. At night, you can find a pile of trash in New York streets. The fact that Chicago's streets and the air are way cleaner makes it a lovelier place.
5. Willis Tower
Chicago is the birthplace of skyscrapers. There was an infamous fire in 1871, after which there was an aggressive rebuilding process. In 1884, the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago was built and became the world's first-ever skyscraper. A prime example of such skyscrapers is the Willis Tower in Chicago. After completion, this 110-story building surpassed the World Trade Center in New York City at the time to become the tallest building ever. The height of the Willis Tower is 442.1 meters. It is one of the best places to see in Chicago. The Willis Tower is the world's 21st tallest building.
6. Field MuseumWhat places to visit in Chicago
? I would suggest visiting the Field Museum of Natural History, aka Field Museum. Established in 1893, Field Museum is one of the largest museums of its kind. It is a large museum where you can see items representing cultures and environments worldwide. With its massive exhibits of ancient cultures, the latest scientific discoveries, and more than 20 million objects, it is one of the best museums in the world. You will enjoy exploring the ancient Egyptian tomb, the skeleton of the largest creature that lived on Earth (Maximo the Titanosaur), and so on. Permanent exhibits include Evolving Planet, Cyrus Tang Hall of China, Underground Adventure, etc.
7. FoodWhat to do in Chicago
? Of course, enjoy food! It is for sure that New York has more options regarding restaurants and cafes. But Chicago has better prices when it comes to restaurants. Almost everything in New York City has a steep price tag. In Chicago, though, a wide spectrum of choices that ranges from cheap to very expensive meals from nearly every cuisine around the world, such as Mexican, Italian, Korean, and Turkish food. Bring a typical New Yorker to Chicago and see how they will get frustrated to realize how reasonable the bills are. You should not forget to taste Chicago's excellent deep-dish pizza and hot dogs.
8. Ease of living
As mentioned earlier, Chicago scores better in terms of affordability. Public transportation is good and relatively cheap. Accommodation and food are also for more reasonable prices than New York. In general, life in New York City is hard; you constantly need to hustle to make a good living. If you are living close to the city center, I am sure you will get very tired of the noise and heavy traffic. In contrast, it is much easier to navigate in Chicago for groceries and other necessities. It is cleaner than New York. You will also enjoy jogging and cycling along the shore of Lake Michigan.
9. Amazing parks
Amazing places to see in Chicago also include beautiful parks. Millennium Park has a worldwide reputation for its beauty and the Cloud Gate, aka the Bean. Going to Chicago and not taking a picture or selfie with the Bean would be a great mistake. Being located at the heart of the city, it became one of the main touristic symbols of Chicago. Another excellently relaxing park is Lincoln Park. Being located in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city, the park also has a zoo inside. In general, when you travel to Chicago, you will see that the city is home to many beautiful parks. Apart from the ones mentioned, you can visit Grant Park, Garfield Park, etc.
10. Quantity and quality
There are definitely pros and cons of living in the USA's largest city, namely, New York. The keyword here is "the largest city." As a tourist, I am sure you would enjoy traveling to Chicago more than New York City if you have limited time. Chicago is a big city with quality tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, and bars. With limited time, you will see the best places to visit in Chicago.
A quick recap
Today, I have written about one of the most beautiful cities in the USA, Chicago. When you travel to United States, don't miss the opportunity of visiting this amazing city. I have also tried to answer the following questions: What to do in Chicago? What places to visit in Chicago? I also wrote about the best time to travel to Chicago and warm Chicago weather during the summer. I have highlighted ten reasons why you should visit Chicago instead of New York are affordability, Lake Michigan, better transportation, less hustle and bustle, the Willis Tower, Field Museum, good food, ease of living, amazing parks, as well as quantity and quality.