The city of Chicago, in northeastern Illinois, stretches for 40km (25mi) along the southern tip of Lake Michigan's shore. Illinois is located in the northern central part of the United States, bordered by Wisconsin and Lake Michigan to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Indiana to the east and Kentucky to the south. The Loop is the historic center of the city, drawing its name from the elevated train tracks that circle it. Its buildings constitute a virtual textbook of American architecture. The intersection of Madison and State Streets is the hub of a numbering system that lets you navigate without knowing any street names. From this point, all street numbers are predicated on north, south, east or west, depending on which way they radiate. Many of Chicago's neighborhoods are named for their location in relation to the Loop (South Loop, Near North, West Side, etc).
Local talent & culture
Chicago has a major theater scene, and is the birthplace of modern improvisational comedy – otherwise known as "improv". The city is home to two renowned comedy troupes: The Second City and I.O. Many world-famous actors and comedians are Chicagoans or came to study in the area, particularly at Northwestern University in Evanston or at the University of Chicago.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago, founded in 1954, performs in the Civic Opera House. The Civic Opera House was built in 1929 on the east bank of the Chicago River and is the second-largest opera auditorium in North America with 3,563 seats. The Joffrey Ballet makes its home in Chicago. Other ballet, modern and jazz dance troupes that are located in the city include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Chicago Festival Ballet and The Joel Hall Dancers. The city's Uptown neighborhood is reported to be the birthplace of Slam Poetry, a style of spoken word poetry that incorporates elements of hip hop culture, drama, jazz and lyricism.
Known by many as the "windy city", Chicago enjoys cool, lake breezes at the height of summer, but when spring comes around these winds turn into strong gusts and in the winter these gusts turn icy. Late spring and early autumn are pleasant, being generally warm, clear and dry. July and August can get quite hot, with temperatures from 27-32°C (80-90°F) and high humidity. Winters can be damp and cold – between -11°C and -2°C (12°F and 29°F) sometimes there is snow for days on end!
On the famous North Michigan Avenue – known as the Magnificent Mile, you'll enjoy excellent shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Known as the Home of Blues and Jazz, as well as for its passion for sports, with five professional sport teams: Bulls, White Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears, Chicago combines a friendly atmosphere with a daring urban approach to culture.
- Chicago Blues Festival - June
- Taste of Chicago - July
- Lollapalooza Music Festival - August
- Chicago Jazz festival - September
- Chicago Marathon - October
- Magnificent Mile Lights festival - November
- Christkindlmarket - December
- St. Patrick's Day Parade - March
- Cinco de Mayo Parade - May