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Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous city in the USA. Its metropolitan area, commonly named "Chicagoland," is the 27th most populous metropolitan area in the world, home to an estimated 9.7 million people spread across the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
In 2008, Chicago attracted 32.4 million domestic leisure travelers, 11.7 million domestic business travelers and 1.3 million overseas visitors. These visitors contributed more than US$11.8 billion to Chicago's economy. Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile and State Street, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries and exhibit halls. The ceiling of its Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38 ft (12 m) Tiffany glass dome. Grant Park holds Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain (1927), and the Art Institute of Chicago. The park also hosts the annual Taste of Chicago festival. In Millennium Park, there is the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture. Also, an outdoor restaurant transforms into an ice rink in the winter season. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, along with water spouting from their lips. Frank Gehry's detailed, stainless steel band shell, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including the Chicago Opera Theater and Music of the Baroque.
Navy Pier, located just east of Streeterville, is 3,000 ft (910 m) long and houses retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. Its 150-foot (46 m) tall Ferris wheel is one of the most visited landmarks in the Midwest, attracting about 8 million people annually.
In 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4.0 ha) lakefront park, surrounding three of the city's main museums, each of which is of national importance: the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park, which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The University of Chicago Oriental Institute has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include the Chicago History Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, the Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Museum of Science and Industry.
The top activity while visitors tour Chicago for leisure is entertainment, approximately 33% of all leisure travelers. Facilities such as McCormick Place and the Chicago Theatre contribute to this percentage.
Chicago in Illinois.
Talbott Hotel - Chicago The family-owned and operated Talbott Hotel is a European-style boutique hotel situated on a charming tree-lined street just steps from fashionable North Michigan Avenue.
Four Seasons Hotel - Chicago - Chicago Like a residential palace, the Four Seasons is ideally close to business and has indoor access to the exclusive 900 North Michigan Avenue Shops. Our guest rooms and suites feature superior views of the city or the lake. Savor award-winning dining at the Season's four distinctive restaurants. Enjoy the full complimentary health club, with Roman-columned skylighted pool, rooftop running track, high-tech training equipment, whirlpool, sauna and massage. Full-service Business Center, with in-room computer and fax are available. Recreational facilities include a sundeck, an outdoor running track and nearby golf and tennis.
Hotel Monaco Chicago - Chicago Located at the corner of Wacker and Wabash, overlooking the Chicago River and steps from the city's North Michigan Avenue shopping district and its bustling Loop financial district, the Hotel Monaco is an oasis of stylish elegance and comfort. Prepare for a room with pistachio green and butter crème yellow, rich mahogany furnishings and some delightfully whimsical touches.
Le Méridien Chicago - Chicago The 17-story, five-star Le Méridien is located on Michigan Avenue within the North Bridge District, in the heart of Chicago. The 311-room hotel boasts outstanding views, especially to the north and east elevations. It is centrally positioned for both the business and leisure traveler. Newly opened in 2001, the hotel occupies the site of the historic McGraw Hill Building, a Chicago landmark built in 1929.
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