King of swingers Frank Sinatra called it his kind of town, notorious gangster Al Capone once ruled its criminal underworld, author Ernest Hemingway was born here and there is even a musical about it. But Chicago has more to offer than a colourful history and all that jazz. Famed for its colossal skyscrapers, historic architecture and impressive landscapes, the Windy City is the perfect place to explore on foot.
If you’re tired of the same old country rambles and want a walking holiday with a bit more pizzazz, then walking and sightseeing trip to Chicago could be just what you’re looking for. Stroll next to the banks of Lake Michigan or catch the breathtaking view down the great skyscraper canyon of the Chicago River.
You could soon be walking in Al Capone’s infamous footsteps as Ramblers Worldwide Holidays is offering a walking holiday to Chicago. This includes a series of special walks including a tour of historic skyscrapers with a local guide and an off-beat tour of Gangster Chicago, which harks back to the days of the mob, the St Valentine’s Day Massacre and speakeasies.
For avid walkers with an eye for art, the holiday includes visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, famed for its outstanding collection of impressionist work and a further choice of 30 other museums in the city.
If architecture is more your thing then you might enjoy the walking tour of historic skyscrapers with a local guide. But Chicago is more than a concrete jungle and boasts some extensive parkland, including Lincoln Park, which is just a short walk from your hotel, the Days Inn Lincoln Park Hotel. The trip also includes a day trip to the waterfalls and canyons of Starved Rock State Park for more fresh air.
After all that walking you’re bound to get pretty peckish, but don’t be fooled into thinking American cuisine consists largely of burgers and fries either. The city’s rich ethnic mix is reflected in its food. Despite the fact that Chicago is the home of the deep pan pizza, you may be surprised to learn that it offers an eclectic array of Mexican, Greek, Polish, American and Italian food that is more likely to whet your appetite.
After food, Chicago natives love their music, but it’s not just jazz that’s made it big here: the city is also famous for the blues. Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters made it big in Chicago and now the blues is the soundtrack to the city, pumping from not only bars, but street markets too.
From the hotel you are within easy walking distance of shops, museums and restaurants and downtown Chicago is quickly reached using the city’s highly efficient public transport system. Other highlights include, “the shop till you drop” magnificent mile of Michigan Avenue and the great skyscraper canyon of the Chicago River.
Prices start from £1,262 per person and this includes flights, transfers, breakfasts and five dinners as well as the services of a tour leader. For more information go to www.ramblersworldwideholidays.co.uk