With its many fashion boutiques and coffee shops, not to mention the charming old Polish Cathedrals, Lincoln Park is an upscale, cosmopolitan part of Chicago that's a delight to wander. The Chicago History Museum showcases vintage Americana, and then of course there's the park itself. Facing Lake Michigan, it offers beaches, wildlife trails and Lincoln Park Zoo, where you can see gorillas and polar bears free of charge.
A quaint suburb embodying the traditional charm of old-time America, Lombard is a far cry from the urban sprawl of the inner-city Chicago. It's known for its annual Lilac Festival and parade, and for the "Little Orphan Annie" house, where the red-headed character was dreamt up by Harold Gray. The nearby village of Oak Brook is even more idyllic, and known for its golf courses and polo club.
Forming part of the always bustling Michigan Avenue, Magnificent Mile is THE place to shop in Chicago. Swanky boutiques, upmarket department stores, and smart restaurants make it a must-visit, and landmarks to look out for include the epic Wrigley Building and the Chicago Water Tower, one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The nearby River North district is famed for its many art galleries.
Home to the Civic Opera House, the Goodman Theater, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where American masterpieces can be found alongside Old Masters, the Loop is worth visiting just for the streets alone. Look up at some of the USA's most celebrated skyscrapers and the elevated trains hurtling along the "L", and then there's Grant Park – a gorgeously landscaped expanse with the huge Buckingham Fountain at its center.