Chicago is famous for a number of things—its baseball teams, the Magnificent Mile, the windy weather—but for some, the only fame that matters is that of its hot dogs. Chicago has its own unique hot dog style, serving up all-beef hot dogs on poppy seed buns, topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, dill pickle, tomato, peppers, and celery salt. Chicago dogs never include ketchup (many vendors in the windy city don’t even stock ketchup). Some say Chicago hot dogs have been “dragged through the garden” because of the variety of condiments. .
You’ll find terrific dogs all over the city, but you can start your feasting tour at Hot Doug’s, Portillo’s, Superdawg Drive In, Harry’s, Byron’s, or Johnny Rockets. Head to a Cubs or White Sox game and enjoy a hot dog the old-fashioned way, served by a vendor right at your seat. Afterward, you can take in the Chicago Baseball Museum or visit the Navy Pier with its 150-foot Ferris wheel, boardwalk, and restaurants. The kids can enjoy a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo or to Millennium Park with its ice-skating rink, giant sculptures, and the splashing, playful Crown Fountain.
For a spectacular, bird’s eye view of the city, ride up to the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower and stroll along the skydeck. You’ll have great views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago lakeshore. Then head back down to ground level and take a stroll along the lakeshore, walking or biking along the 29 miles of paved trail. Chicago is an avid sports town, so this is also a great place to see championship teams like the NFL Bears or the NBA Chicago Bulls.