Did you know Chicago’s full official name is “City of Chicago?” Of course, since there’s no Chicago state, there really isn’t a need to say “City of Chicago” when referring to the third most populated city in the United States. With more than 2.7 million people calling the city home (and almost 10 million in the metro area, known as Chicagoland), only New York City and Los Angeles are larger cities within the United States. Even if you’ve never been inside the city before, if you are an avid flyer chances are you’ve had a flight delayed in O’Hare International Airport before. However, this city is truly worth exploring. With its location on Lake Michigan, there really is everything you might possibly want in a city.
The first historical reference to the region around Lake Michigan is in regards to a location known as “Checagou” in the 1670s. Now, this is how Robert de LaSalle referenced the area when writing about it. However, the Native American Potawatomi tribe in the region called it “Shikaakwa.” The “Checagou” pronunciation seemed to stick though and eventually the region became known as Chicago to European traders and settlers. The area remained part of the Potawatomi trip until the Northwest Indian War, in which this area around Lake Michigan was turned over to the United States in the late 1700s. Continual battles were fought throughout this area, although it finally came to an end with the sighing of the Treaty of Chicago in 1833.
A City is Born
Beginning in 1833, a few hundred settlers created the town. Its location right on Lake Michigan offered it excellent fishing, in addition to other natural resources. This helped the city grow to several thousand residents in only a few years. The Town of Chicago officially became the City of Chicago in 1837. Chicago established itself as a transportation destination to help connect the eastern and western portions of the United States. A canal was built here to connect the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River to further along transportation. The transportation hub helped bring about not only goods, but also new residents and immigrants.
Tough Times and the Destruction of Chicago
In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire touched much of the city, although the railroads and stockyards survived due to being built out of steel (most of the city was constructed from wood at the time). This fire actually helped the city of Chicago modernize itself with the construction of new skyscrapers. The very first skyscraper rose from the ashes in 1885. With the establishment of the skyscraper, Chicago competed directly with New York with regards to construction potential.
The city has continued to grow and develop, not only along the Lake Michigan waterfront but also around the Chicago River.
Whether you pick up some authentic Chicago style pizza or chow down on some of the best hot dogs in the country. You’ll find it in the Windy City. Chicago is also famous for their Italian beef sandwiches and of course the Steak Houses that are all over the city. There are debates to where the best deep dish pizza is and where the best steak is. Take it from me though they all hold there own and you will not be disappointed with any of the classics.
Enjoying the Weather
Chicago’s weather can fluctuate heavily throughout the year. Plus, with its location right off of the lake it does receive a good amount of lake effect snow (not to mention the wind). The hottest month of the year is July, with an average high of 84 degrees. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average high of 31 degrees and an average low of 16.5. In terms of rainfall, August sees the most rain with 4.9 inches. In fact, only January February and March are under three inches of rain annually, but this is made up with nearly 11 inches of snow in January, 9 inches of snow in February, 8.2 in December and 5.6 in March. At least a trace of snow falls in Chicago all but four months of the year.
Get Out and Have Fun
Chicago is the perfect destination to just get out and have fun. As a major influence in the jazz community, there are some of the most popular jazz clubs in Chicago. This includes small dives found in Rogers Park, Greektown and Little Italy. The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Broadway in Chicago and the Symphony Center are just some of the live performance destinations. (there are dozens of options in this regard). As well, the Field Museum is located in Chicago, which is a must visit if you’re ever in town. It has so many unique and amazing exhibits.
Chicago Sports and Recreation
If you love sports, Chicago is a professional sports town. The city has two MLB teams, including the Chicago Cubs and White Sox. The Cubs of course play at the legendary Wrigley Field. The Chicago Bears play at Soldier Field right off of Lake Michigan. If you are a fan of soccer, Toyota Field is one of the newest entries into the sporting world here. Let’s not forget the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the champions of the city over the past decade. They have won several Stanley Cup championships. Stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Teows and Duncan Keith lead the Hawks on a nightly basis. Youth minor hockey is huge in the area as well attracting many of the area’s youth to play at centers all over the city.
There are many paths along the waterfront and the people of Chicago are active and enjoy them. On weekends you will see people walking, cycling, and jogging on the Chicago waterfront. You will also witness parks full of adults and youth playing in baseball and flag football leagues all over the city. The Windy City has some get up and go and is very active.
Chicago Hot Tub Covers
The small backyards of the city lends itself to hot tubs. Many of Chicagos residents enjoy a good soak in their hot tub after a busy day of work or sport. Soaking in the tub releasing stress of the work day, and sore muscles from hard work on the court is wonderful. With the temperatures of four seasons the Deluxe cover from The Cover guy makes the perfect Chicago hot tub covers.