May 6, 2011

Consider the Best Resources for Information on Chicago

Chicago skyline at sunrise

Image via Wikipedia

Chicago can be overwhelming for visitors since there is so much to do, so unless you have months to spend checking out every tourist attraction, do some research before you go. Most resources are free or inexpensive, and all are easy to access. Spending just a few minutes on each one can help you save time once you arrive in the Windy City.

One of the first resources you will likely consider is the Internet, but even this can seem intimidating due to the wealth of information related to Chicago. Check out websites presided over by either professional travel agents or frequent travelers who have been there often. This way, you will get an idea of the must-see venues for tourists.

You should also check out print publications about this city, such as brochures and books. The latter resource tends to have pages of details about each attraction. On the other hand, brochures about the city usually have more updated information than books do. Additionally, this type of publication usually highlights the most important information you will need, so do not hesitate in accepting brochures that you may see about Chicago.

Of course, if you have any friends or family members in the area, you should turn to them for help before visiting. Not only can they tell you where to go, but they will probably want to go with you, and may even offer you a free place to stay.

Feel free to use all of these sources of information, as you will probably get different answers from each one. Take note of your favorite facts, and then make a list of the attractions that you want to visit, keeping in mind how long you will be there. This way, you are unlikely to run out of time before seeing all the sights that you want to check out.

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Vacationing in Chicago Illinois

There are a wide variety of ways that you can choose to spend your tax refund when it arrives in the coming months. For example, you may decide that your tax refund is going to allow you enough leeway to go on a vacation, and there are a wide variety of destinations that you can choose from, including a vacation to Chicago, Illinois. There are many different things that you can do while you are staying in Chicago, including visiting the Sears Tower and visiting a wide variety of world-famous restaurants, steakhouses, museums, and more.

When you save money with a free online tax filing, the result is that you will have extra money to spend on the finer things in life, such as enjoying a genuine Chicago hot dog. Chicago is a fast-moving, bustling city that has a seemingly infinite amount of things for you to do. Ride the carousel, visit the pier, and make sure that you bring a camera so that you can capture absolutely everything on film along the way. Stunning architecture and beautiful scenery is in abundance to behold while you are on your vacation.

To save as much money and as much time as you possibly can while you are filing your taxes, you should definitely try to take advantage of free taxes online services. This option is going to give you an opportunity to have more of your hard-earned money coming back to you when you file your taxes. Why spend more filing your taxes than you actually have to? Save some money and enjoy yourself with a much needed and much deserved vacation to a pretty place like Chicago, Illinois, instead. If you work hard all year long, you should view your tax refund as a reward that you can enjoy fully.

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Visit Chicago in Style

The next time you visit the Windy City, you should plan to stay in style! Even on a tight budget, you can stay at a luxury hotel in Chicago and be pampered without completely breaking the bank. Don’t believe it, well it is true! There are several luxury hotels in the Chicago area that are close to sights to see and exciting things to do. Many of these hotels offer lower rates than you would think possible for a night in the lap of luxury.

The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel
. This is a four star luxury hotel offering 33 luxurious suites with designer decor and large marble bathrooms. It is located close to downtown boutiques and exciting attractions, and is minutes away from the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Lake Michigan, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sax Chicago. A Thompson Hotel is touted as a “different luxury hotel experience.” Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, this amazingly beautiful hotel offers a unique design and luxurious atmosphere. As the “hub” of the Marina, Sax Chicago is within minutes of the House of Blues Restaurant and Concert venue, Smith and Wollensky Steak House, Wine Cellar, and Crimson Lounge. The New York Times listed Sax Chicago as “a stylish place to stay.”

The Talbott Hotel. It’s ranked as one of the top hotels in Chicago and was ranked as third best hotel in the United States on the top 25 hotel list for 2010 on TripAdvisor.com. If you want to visit a luxury hotel with old world charm, you will want to give the Talbott Hotel in Chicago a try. The Talbott Hotel is also found in the heart of Chicago, only a short distance from great shopping, food, and entertainment.

What’s the best luxury hotel Chicago has to offer? Only you can answer that question after sampling some of these outstanding lodging options.

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BlueMan Group Adds Another Chapter to Their Repertoire

The Blue Man Group is a show you don’t want to miss. These talented blue men put on a performance that is both stimulating to your senses and funny bone alike. Their use of science, artistic flow, theater prowess combined with music and rhythm has to be one of the most unique shows to come along in awhile. If you are into vaudeville, you will not be disappointed by their mesmerizing affect on your physice.

The Blue Man Group was started by Chris Wink, Mike Goldman, and Phil Stanton in the late 1980′s. Their live performances on the Manhattan streets of New York City gave way to theater performances that began in 1991. This show is one of the longest running shows in New York . They were just three bald men, wearing blue makeup, with the slapstick ability of the old fashioned comedians of yesteryear. Since those days over 60 blue men have taken part in this unique show which encompasses cities like Boston, Vegas, and Chicago in addition to New York City.

Their newest project is a 3-D film, which will be shown in science centers and museums starting in 2011. The film’s director is David Russo. The gist of the movie will be quite unusual, which is to be expected. The blue men begin on the inside the brain of a man who is full of creative and social intricacies. Their presence inside eventually allows him to bring those pent up issues to the outside. The Blue Man Group have made five albums and will write the music for the movie.

They will be presenting their original show at the Briar Street Theater , which is located at 3133 North Halsted Street, Chicago on December 15th at 8:00 pm. The Blue Man Group is a family-friendly performance that will be enjoyed by everyone.

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Attractions To Visit In Chicago

Navy Pier Ferris wheel
Image via Wikipedia

During a visit to the windy city there is a large number of different attractions that you should visit. Chicago is famous simply for the multitude of places that you can see. We shall overview some of the more prominent places to visit below.
A visit to the Navy Pier can not be forgotten. The navy pier is basically a boardwalk deck filled with stores, restaurants and attractions. It is the top tourist attraction in the Midwest United States. It even includes a ferris wheel and boat or segway tours. This attraction is a great place to visit with the family as well.
Should snazzy architecture be your forte than make a visit to Millennium park. During the winter prepare to sharpen up your ice skiis and should it be summer prepare for a splashy swim in the fountain. This park also has a one of a kind outdoor concert venue, making it a perfect place to listen to some music on a sunny day. Don’t forget to bring the dog to this awesomely designed outdoor park.
Afraid of heights? Than you should definitely make a visit to the Skydeck Chicago. This tourist attraction allows the daring to venture out into a see through box which extends outward from the windows of the 103rd floor of the building. Many describe the experience as similar to floating in mid-air. While the ability to look outwards is awesome, this is not an attraction for the feint hearted. Make sure to bring the daredevil in the family.
If your tired of the city then head out to the Six Flags Great America amusement park. The park is open May through October and is located north of the city. Besides rides this location also offers entertainment in the form of shows and music.

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Red Light Cameras Fail To Net Expected Revenue

A red-light camera in use in Beaverton, Oregon...
Image via Wikipedia

In an attempt to gain extra traffic ticket revenue and possibly make the roads a safer place cameras were placed at several suburban intersections in Chicago in an attempt to prevent people from rolling through red lights, instead of fully stopping. While this idea has worked to reduce the rate of red light running, the traffic revenue has fallen short of what was expected.
While the red light cameras had been initially accepted, some controversy exists about their effectiveness in increasing road safety. Often the red light camera would fine those turning on yellow, forcing drivers to either slam on the brakes to avoid turning on a red light or bight the ticket. This has created a dangerous situation which could increase the rate of fender benders, something no vehicle owner ever wishes to experience.
The red light cameras however have netted a revenue hire than the cost to install them and have reduced the number of drivers rolling through red lights. This means a budget surplus and safer roads for those in the suburbs of Chicago.
Across the United States red light cameras are becoming more popular as a method to obtain more revenue and create safer streets. In fact over five hundred cities across the country now use red light cameras. While many communities are adapting the technology it is not a sound replacement for a trained police officer. With automatic traffic control comes failures that can wrongly give innocent drivers tickets simply due to a malfunction or human error. Its important to remember that a human must sort through all pictures to assign tickets.
While red lights in Chicago may now be safer, the lure for other automatic traffic control devices beckons. Devices which record your speed or detect impaired driving may not be too far off.

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Family Friendly Places To See In Chicago

Apes, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Image via Wikipedia

Seeing the sights in Chicago is something that everyone visiting the area should explore. However with so many different places and sights to see it can be difficult deciding which one’s to visit, especially when traveling with the family. Family friendly attractions must be interesting for every member of the family while catering to their needs as well.
One of the best family friendly places to visit is the Brookfield Zoo, located just West of Chicago. This zoo includes an interactive play zoo and children’s petting zoo. The zoo also features a tropical section and very popular dolphin show. Be sure to check the zoo’s schedule before visiting.
Every child deserves a trip to the farm. Lambs farm accomplishes is located just north of Chicago in Libertyville, Illinois. This farm has a multitude of activities that the entire family will enjoy. These include a petting farm with goats and sheep, a miniature golf course and a train ride. This location also includes a pet shop full of souvenirs and a country style restaurant.
For a great history lesson consider visiting the Chicago Cultural Center. Half of this locations elegance is based on its brilliant architecture. With marble, stained glass, polished brass and shiny hardwood it is a site to see. The most spectacular attraction at this location is the thirty-eight foot glass dome, the largest tiffany stained glass dome in the world. A variety of art shows are performed on a daily basis at this location as well. All of this combined with the free admission make it a must see stop.
Should you been in the area between June 25th and July 4th feel free to explore the taste of Chicago event. Here you will find a variety of cuisines that truly represent the great food in Chicago.

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Planning To See The Sights

Chicago is a city filled with many things to do and plenty of things to see. Planning to see it all in a time effective fashion can sometimes be a challenge. With the busy city streets, lines and normal traveling downtime traveling through Chicago can seem effectively. With effective planning and reasonable intuitive ability you can assure that the sights of Chicago are embedded in the memory of your travels forever.
The first thing you need to decide on is how you are going to travel to the destinations that you have decided to visit. Should all the locations be within the busy city it may be wise to take the taxi, a bus or a train. While driving may at first seem like a good idea because of the family, traffic and being unfamiliar with how to drive in the city can make it take much longer to find locations. You must also consider the time wasted as well as the money spent on finding parking and the chance of running into stand still traffic. By taking public transportation it is relatively assured that you and your family will arrive at the location in a timely manner.
Should you plan on frequenting the less hectic portions of Chicago then a car will be better than relying on public transportation. Make a schedule of the places that you plan to visit throughout the day, taking in mind the most efficient route between the various locations to minimize the time spent driving and maximize the time spent site seeing. Call the places you plan on visiting beforehand to make sure that everything is in order. The worst situation you can put yourself in is to go somewhere to find out the tour is four hours later than you had originally expected.

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Avoiding Crime While In Chicago

An entire vacation can be ruined by being a victim of crime. By following some simple steps and down to earth procedures while in Chicago. Crime is a problem in every major city and it is easily avoided by not appearing to be an easy victim.
Remember to never carry anything of value while traveling throughout Chicago. Hold onto a small amount of pocket cash for emergency’s only. Carry a checkbook or traveler’s checks only, avoiding credit cards due to their ease of use. Dress modest but don’t wear any expensive jewellery. Always travel in a group if possible and avoid traveling through the city at night if possible.
The second thing you must prepare is your mental self. The best way to avoid crime is to avoid the places and people that cause it. Should someone appear suspicious or ask for money simply ignore them and walk away. Giving money to someone that is begging is not always a good idea, because they could to decide to rob you if they wanted. Drive whenever possible and avoid visiting run down areas. A good way to tell if an area is not a good place to be in is if there is people standing around on the streets, buildings and houses in disrepair and a large police presence.
Always have a method of protection when traveling through Chicago. This may mean being experienced in self defense or holding a knife or gun. Its very important to only use a weapon if absolutely necessary and there is no other probably way out of the situation. Using a weapon is a risk for yours and everyone else’s life that is with you.
By having a plan to avoid crime while traveling throughout Chicago you can assure yourself that you will have a very safe trip.

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Eating Healthy While In Chicago

Eating while on the go can sometimes be a challenge. While in Chicago many are tempted to overeat due to the impressive quality cuisine available. However overeating can lead to health conditions and may be undesirable for those attempting to lose weight. By choosing healthy meal options, visiting the right restaurants and purchasing some healthy snacks its possible to avoid the temptation.
Planning for places to eat while traveling in Chicago is vital if you want to avoid the last minute fast food decision. Try to find locations that are near the places you plan on visiting during the day so that you can maximize the time spent eating and not trying to find someplace to eat. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in traffic while going or coming back from getting some food. Do not be afraid to call ahead and ask what healthy alternative meal options the restaurant offers.
Some things you need to avoid while eating this type of food include salt, monosodium glutamate and fat. These are the ingredients common in fast food as well as the gourmet food offered at many restaurants. In fact this is why Chicago style pizza is so famous around the world, because of the fat in the huge amount of cheese that is piled on.
Eating healthy while traveling can be especially difficult when other people you are traveling with vow for the unhealthy and fast options. While this can be a potential source of travelers conflict, many fast food restaurants do offer healthy alternatives. Also remember to buy some snacks for the trip as well. These healthy snacks could include fruit, vegetables and grain products. If you are creative then you could make your own trail mix .
Just remember to prepare for your healthy eating in Chicago.

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