We are delighted that GBTA 2019 is hosted in our home city, Chicago IL. For the 7,000+ attendees expected, we thought we’d compile a quick reference guide to our fabulous city in case you have time to check it out during your visit!
As one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world, Chicago is an ideal place to mix business with pleasure. The Windy City boasts an abundance of art and cultural offerings, amazing dining options, world-class shopping opportunities, quaint neighborhoods, and stunning architecture. Whatever your travel fancy, you will be able to satisfy your thirst for wanderlust in this energetic yet friendly city. Chicago is particularly pleasant during the summer months when the locals and tourists come out to soak up the atmosphere of this urban oasis. Before you set off on your Chicago business trip, be sure to keep these tips in mind
The “Mag Mile”
Shopping enthusiasts will delight in all of the retail offerings found in this famed district. Located along Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, this stretch of stores features a variety of famous landmarks, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and the Drake Hotel.
The heart and soul of Chicago is in this popular urban park. Conveniently located in downtown Chicago, Grant Park is home to the Buckingham Fountain, Millenium Park, the famous Bean sculpture, and much more. During the summer months, Grant Park is host to a myriad of events, free concerts, and festivals. This year’s Lollapalooza will be at Grant Park on August 1 – 4, so the park grounds might be closed for clean-up afterwards, but you can still snap a selfie at the bean.
Take in a Game
As one of America’s best sports town, catching a game is a must when visiting this city. If you are lucky enough to visit during the summer, a great way to immerse yourself in the local vibe is to attend either a Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox baseball game.
Chicago lays claim to some of the world’s best museums. Whatever your interests, Chicago has a museum for you. The Field Museum is the nation’s premier national history museum while the Adler Planetarium will thrill astronomy lovers. Marine life enthusiasts will appreciate the over 32,000 animals on display at the Shedd Aquarium. The Art Institute of Chicago rivals any of the globe’s best museums with its vast collection of works that spans centuries.
Eat Your Way Through the City
Chicago is a foodie’s dream. From high-end establishments to iconic street food to some of the country’s best ethnic offerings, Chicago has something to satiate any appetite. No trip to Chicago is complete without sampling its deep dish pizza. While everyone has a favorite, Lou Malnati’s or Gino’s East are always good bets.
Because Chicago is such a multi-cultural city, you can nosh on food from nearly any country. Hop on the public transportation system and travel to any of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods to see what awaits your taste buds.
Transportation Ins and Outs
The city of Chicago boasts an amazing public transportation system ran by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Affectionately known to the locals as the El, the extensive subway system services the city and its environs, stretching deep into the suburbs. The CTA also operates a vast bus system. Maps for either system can be picked up at any train station or you can download the app for fast access right at your fingertips.
It is also easy and convenient to use rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. With so many public transportation options, it is simple to move about the entire metro area without having to rent a vehicle. You can also rent bikes parked at various ports throughout the city if you are willing to risk riding alongside Chicago drivers!
Chicago is serviced by two major airports. Chicago O’Hare International is generally the preferred airport for international flights. Midway is a smaller airport with a focus on domestic flights. Because it is located closer to downtown Chicago, it is often the preferred airport for business travelers wanting quick and easy access in and out of the city.
Do not let the chance to explore this vibrant city pass you by while in the area on business. You will be glad that you took the time to experience all of the sights, culture, and tastes of the Windy City. We hope you will stop by and visit us while you explore the McCormick Place Exhibit hall at GBTA 2019!