There's Nothing Like the Big City: Chicago
Alliance Bakery and Café has charm to burn, what with a tin ceiling painted gold and 1930s wooden moldings from Poland. Order a key lime bar and sit out front.
Bean There, Done That
Chicago's newest landmark is a shiny, legume-shaped sculpture in Millennium Park that reflects and distorts the city's skyline on its stainless-steel surface. Locals refer to it as The Bean, though British creator Anish Kapoor understandably prefers its real name, Cloud Gate.
Must-See Museum Show
The Art Institute of Chicago's Japonisme exhibit juxtaposes 19th-century European paintings by Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, and Manet with works by the Japanese artists who influenced them.
Try Something New in Chicago
Learn to sail on Lake Michigan and get stunning skyline views. Chicago Sailing charters from $75 an hour, quad (two-hour minimum). 773/871-7245, chicagosailing.com.
- Hotel Monaco 225 N. Wabash Ave., 866/610-0081, monaco-chicago.com, from $229
- The James 55 E. Ontario St., 877/526-3755, jameshotels.com, from $250
- Majestic Hotel 528 W. Brompton Ave., 800/727-5108, cityinns.com/majestic, from $179
- Frontera Grill 445 N. Clark St., 312/661-1434, pork loin $21
- Green Zebra 1460 W. Chicago Ave., 312/243-7100, dumplings $11
- Japonais 600 W. Chicago Ave., 312/822-9600, duck $38
- Pequod's 2207 N. Clybourn Ave., 773/327-1512, pizza from $10
- Ina's 1235 W. Randolph St., 312/226-8227