WORK TODAY, FLY TOMORROW • December 2016
The Windy City is often overshadowed by its coastal counterparts, but with steely skyscrapers, culturally diverse neighbourhoods and the great outdoors nearby, it’s time to take another look at America’s second city. British Airways’ Chicago Airport Manager, Maureen Mclafferty shares her local lowdown
About 30 minutes west of downtown Chicago you’ll find Il Poveretto Café. The Melrose Park neighbourhood is known for Italian restaurants and this is my favourite. The owner, Frankie, treats everyone like family. The Italian village salad is the perfect starter, but save space for spumoni cheesecake.
Strolling down Devon Avenue, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in India. Most come to dine, as there are plenty of superb Indian restaurants, including Annapurna, but don’t miss popping into the many sari shops – the colours are breathtaking.
Make your way out of the city and head for the hills of LaSalle County, a rural wonderland around 70 miles southeast of Chicago. There are plenty of hiking trails, many with campsites and cabins if you feel like staying. Go fishing in Starved Rock State Park and admire the canyons, and the waterfalls that flow towards the Illinois River.
Take a tour of the historic Chicago Theatre. Opened in 1921, it’s one of the city’s most iconic buildings, and the backstage wall is filled with autographs from show business stars, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Dolly Parton.
Head downtown on the Metra Train to Geneva, Illinois. It’s about an hour from Chicago’s Union Station, and drops you off in the heart of the shopping haven. A personal favourite is The Little Traveler, a boutique that sells curious items from all over the world.
No trip to Chicago is complete without hopping on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. It’s amazing – you’ll learn why the city’s buildings are built the way they are and why the river flows backwards, plus you’ll get the lowdown on the newest skyscrapers.
See how many Avios you need to get to Chicago.