Chicago is an overlooked tourist destination, routinely passed over for other great cities such as Los Angeles or New York. This is a shame because the city is one of America’s most vibrant cultural centres, brimming with great museums, world-class concerts and a myriad of diverse neighbourhoods loaded with fantastic eateries and boutiques.
Of course, visitors should explore the lakeside and downtown areas, but it's also important to venture off to the outskirts and quieter spots, like the Italian enclave of Harlem Avenue, or the Balkan suburb of Irving Park, where you can find the best BBQ ribs in town.
For markets, good cafés and Mexican food try Bucktown or retreat to Chicago’s green sanctuaries, such as Lincoln or Jackson Park. Andersonville is packed with Middle Eastern bakeries while Pilsen is the heart of Chicago’s Mexican American community, where you'll also find the riveting National Museum of Mexican Art.
Bookworms will want to make a pilgrimage to Hyde Park for its bookshops, coffee houses and art galleries and in Beverly you’ll find a strong Irish community and fascinating architecture, like stately private homes by architects including the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright.