The Midwest has a certain reputation. We think of the Midwest and think of casseroles (or “hot dishes,” as they’re known in certain quarters). We think of cold weather and dairy products, and nice people who talk kind of like they’re characters in the movie Fargo. There’s some truth to a few of those stereotypes, but they also ignore an essential fact: The Midwest has some of the best and most sophisticated cities in all of America. There’s way more to this country than the East Coast and West Coast, and if you ignore the so-called flyover country, you risk ignoring great cities like Chicago.
The Windy City
Chicago’s most prominent nickname is the Windy City. That’s either because of the winds off Lake Michigan or because of the city’s history of loud politicians, depending on who you ask. The 2.7 million residents of Chicago embrace the city for its proud history and promising future. It’s a major source of both business development and culture. It has one of the largest central business districts in the United States. Companies like Boeing and United Airlines are headquartered in Chicago, and McDonald’s has announced plans to relocate its operations base from the suburbs to the city.
Once you’re done working for the day, take in a show at Chicago’s famous Second City improvisational comedy troupe. The group is where some of the biggest names in comedy got their start, including the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Amy Poehler. Chicago is also an essential stop for many of the biggest touring acts in the country and world. If you’re looking for tickets to go see a concert in Chicago, you’ll find so many options that you might become overwhelmed. There are big-name artists like Justin Timberlake, Elton John, and Pink playing in the massive United Center, but if that’s too expensive for you, there are plenty of up-and-coming artists playing in venues that are cozier but still high-quality. And while Chicago isn’t Broadway, it has a ton of Broadway shows. The hottest ticket right now is the Pulitzer-Prize winner Hamilton, which opened in 2016 and, as of this writing, is still playing at the CIBC Center.
The sporting life
If you love sports, then you’ll love Chicago, too. It has a history of excellence in professional sports. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs broke a longstanding curse to win their first World Series. On the hockey. On the ice rink, the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL have won the Stanley Cup three times in the last decade. The Bulls have seen better days, but that means tickets should be pretty cheap if you decide to take in a basketball game. Football season doesn’t start up again until the fall, but there’s excitement over the Bears’ newly hired coach, Matt Nagy. In short, there’s something in Chicago for just about every sporting interest imaginable.