I Heart My City: Lizz’s Chicago

Lizz Riggs was born and raised in the Southern United States, but there’s no city that stands out to her more than Chicago, where she writes for ChicagoTraveler.com. “I love the comfort of the food, all of the beautiful and scenic places to run, the welcoming ambiance you can feel in your bones when you step off the plane, and, of course, some of my favorite breweries in America.” Check out her recommendations for the best things to do and see in the Windy City, then add your own. Follow Lizz on Twitter @Travel_Chicago.

Chicago is My City

Get a feel for the Windy City from the John Hancock Center. (Photograph by TheeErin, Flickr)

Get a feel for the Windy City from the John Hancock Center. (Photograph by TheeErin, Flickr)

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is Al’s Beef for an Italian beef sandwich (to go) and then to the John Hancock Observatory.

Summer is the best time to visit my city because even though the temperatures are high and the crowds are dense, there are a million things to do all summer long — and you’re not confined by a bulky coat when doing it all. Plus, this is the time that pictures seem to turn out the best!

You can see my city best from the John Hancock Observatory.

Locals know to skip double decker bus tours (hello, traffic is terrible) and check out a boat tour instead.

Eli’s Cheesecake is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs. Yum!

In the past, notable people like Oprah, Michael Jordan, and President Obama have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is The Field Museum because Sue, the most complete T. rex currently in existence, lives there.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s taking the trains during rush hour is hectic! But also if you’re here to see the sights, it’s easy to do a lot by foot!

For a landlocked city, Chicago has an impressive amount of "coast." (Photograph by Bust it Away Photography, Flickr)

For a landlocked city, Chicago has an impressive amount of “coast.” (Photograph by Bust it Away Photography, Flickr)

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is Millennium Park or one of the beaches. Chicago has 28 miles of shoreline to choose from!

My city really knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because we know how green a river can get. Oh, and because it’s an important day in history!

You can tell if someone is from my city if they know not to put ketchup on a hot dog.

For a fancy night out, I spend the day shopping and drinking martinis on Michigan Avenue, then head to a show at one of the theaters.

Just outside my city, you can visit Chicagoland. It may not be NASCAR’s best track, but it’s ours!

My city is known for being the authority in deep dish pizza, but it’s really  the authority on all pizza. That’s right New York City, I said it.

The best outdoor market in my city is Evanston Farmers’ Market.

Cornerstone Cafe is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Hot Doug’s is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Redeye Chicago.

My city’s biggest sports event is whenDa Bears” are in town! Watch them at Soldier Field, or The Field House.

Watch out New York! Giordano's deep dish is a Chicago institution.  (Photograph by Heather Clemons, Flickr)

Watch out New York! Giordano’s deep dish is a Chicago institution. (Photograph by Heather Clemons, Flickr)

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I drink my craft beers at happy hour! Chicago has tons of bars with great craft beers on tap, and many of them have fantastic happy hour specials.

To escape the crowds, I hang out in Lincoln Park, but not at the zoo.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Christian Bale because it’s beautiful and there’s no doubt it’s the best there is, despite a little bit of a temper.

The dish that represents my city best is a deep dish pizza, and craft beer of your choice is my city’s signature drink.

Aqua is my favorite building in town because in a city of innovative architecture, even this building manages to stand out.

The most random thing about my city is Joakim Noah’s facial hair.

Grant Park in the summer is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Smart Bar.

Taste of Chicago could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should run the Chicago Spring Half Marathon.

The Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park. (Photograph by John Picken, Flickr)

The Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park. (Photograph by John Picken, Flickr)

In the summer you should take a boat tour.

In the fall you should come for Chicagoween and check out the farmers’ markets.

In the winter you should check out the Christmas lights on Magnificent Mile.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Shedd Aquarium.

The best book about my city is The Jungle.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind isMy Kind of Town” by Frank Sinatra.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because there’s no city more dedicated to delicious food, running, sightseeing, and learning than Chicago! We’ve really got it all!

Do YOU heart where you live? Fill out our I Heart My City questionnaire for a chance to share the love on the Intelligent Travel blog.

Comments

  1. Anne
    Chicago
    January 1, 9:59 pm

    I agree Chicago is a fantastic city…I’d like to question the mention of Evanston farmer’s market (is a suburban market) and doesn’t compare to Logan square, a vibrant example of how amazingly a neighborhood can turn a market into a weekly event complete with entertainment.
    Another concern is comment about happy hour…an illegal concept for the entire state of Illinois. It seems reduced prices on alcohol caused far too many DUI related arrests and incidents. Any promotion must last the entire day, and in most instances is actually on food.
    I totally agree on the Field museum for Sue and the Egyptian tomb exhibit, and highly recommend the Art Institute!

  2. daria
    March 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Hot Doug’s closes at 4pm :( not great for a late-night eat.

  3. P rizzles fo shizzles
    Savannah, GA
    March 5, 2013, 7:49 pm

    I’ve never been to Chicago, and I know nothing about it. However, I know for a fact that the young lady who wrote this is a total babe and I miss her very much!

  4. Susan Hrdlicka
    Sonora, CA United States
    March 2, 2013, 12:55 am

    We, my husband & I, have been to Chicago four times. Each time has been for a brief stop; once a game at Wrigley (awesome), once to see Edward Hopper’s art at the Museum of Art (incredible), the other two times for stopovers from Wisconsin. Yet, it calls us back. Perhaps so we can see Lizz’s Chicago! Thanks for the insights.