Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and the third most populated in the entire nation. As you might expect from a city with hundreds of years of history and nearly three million current residents, there is a wealth of activities and attractions available to those staying in Chicago vacation rentals. In an average year, Chicago attracts more than 30 million visitors from inside the United States alone; together, such tourists spend almost $12 billion per year in the city.
One of Chicago's great claims to fame is its shopping district. The "Magnificent Mile," well named for its hundreds of stores, provides upscale shopping for the discriminating traveler. The Chicago Cultural Center, which dates from the late 1800s was once the city's public library but now serves as the central Visitor Information center. Here, tourists can see a 38-foot wide dome made of Tiffany glass in the heyday of Chicago's glory days.
Each year, the Taste of Chicago festival attracts restaurateurs and gourmets to the city, long famed for its thousands of fine restaurants. A popular attraction all year long is the Art Institute of Chicago, along with Grant Park, which features the Buckingham Fountain, first installed in 1927. Winter visitors will be delighted to enjoy the outdoor ice rink in Millennium Park, which also hosts the Cloud Gate sculpture, famed for its reflections. Also in the park are two tall sculptures of glass. Known as the Crown Fountain, the towers display not just water effects but also LED imagery literally representing the "face" of Chicago.