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25 Best U.S. Vacation Cities On the Cheap

Kayla Baxter, Alice Handley and Jill Hare

June 02, 2009

#22: Chicago, Illinois



Chicago is a great city year-round, but it’s even better in the summer. When there’s no snow to shovel, the Chicago streets are fabulous for walking. Head to Millennium Park, a beautiful landscape sandwiched between skyscrapers and Lake Michigan. Take a blanket and sit on the huge lawn and enjoy many of the free concerts offered in the summer. Walk around and enjoy the outdoor art sculptures, including Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, a 110-ton elliptical sculpture with a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates that reflect Chicago’s skyline.

If you get hot, head over to the Crown Fountain, pictured above. Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain showcases images of Chicago’s residents while water flows out from their open mouths. If you want some adventure by the lake, walk down to Navy Pier and ride the Ferris Wheel or just sit on the dock and enjoy the spectacular view.

Don’t Miss: Garfield Park Conservatory. There’s free parking and free admission, and you can waste hours with kids, a sweetheart, or with yourself in a blissfully beautiful nature experience. A great hidden gem!

Next Page: City #21

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