Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and the third largest in the United States. The city is the major part of a large metropolitan area that stretches into Wisconsin and Indiana. Chicago has a large international airport, O’Hare International Airport, and the metropolitan area is home to nearly 10 million people.
The city is one of the most influential cities in the world with large entertainment, media, business, finance, and manufacturing centers. It is known as “The Windy City” and “Chi-town.” Major cities in the Chicagoland area include Rockford, Peoria, Joliet, Aurora, Schaumburg and others.
The city features a humid continental climate with cold and snowy winters. The summers are warm to hot and can be very muggy. Winters are also known to be very windy and on many days the weather is below freezing especially with the wind chill. The spring and fall are both mild and they are more dry than the summer and winter. Chicago is known for having extreme variations in weather on occasion.
Chicago features numerous entertainment districts. The lakefront is one of the most popular locations for entertainment. The theatre groups of Chicago have been major inspirations in several genres of theatre, especially improvisational theatre. The Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre and several other major theaters offer Broadway style performances throughout the year. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Victory Gardens Theater are two theater companies that have been rated highly.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the top orchestras in the world and performs at Symphony Center. Chicago blues, gospel, and jazz area core part of the city’s history and several venues have live blues and jazz music throughout the year. The city has also had a major influence on other genres such as indie and house music. Annual music festivals include the Pitchfork Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and more.
Approximately 30 million visitors come to the city each year for leisure and contribute $12 billion to the local economy. Visitors come to see Chicago’s many architectural marvels or experience the great food that the city has to offer. The Magnificent Mile offers several high quality shopping stores and upper class restaurants.
There are also conventions held at McCormick Place which is a giant facility and one of the largest convention complexes in the United States. Grant Park is another major attraction that features Millennium Park. Grant Park is where Barack Obama gave his Election Day victory speech and is also where Lollapalooza is held.