Ten reasons we love Chicago

Apr 13, 2018

Travel Notes

We have big love for Chicago. Way more than we can fit into a measly ten reasons! Not only is Chicago our hometown, it’s also one of our favorite places to explore and share with students. It’s accessible from so many regions, offers a world-class arts scene and is the perfect place for students to make memories together. Ready for our (condensed) list of reasons we love Chicago? Here we go!

  • Deep dish pizza. You can’t come here without trying it. And we can’t talk about it without drooling.
  • Theater. The theater choices here in the Windy City could rival Broadway – in fact, many Broadway-bound shows hold their initial performances here! Over the years, our student travelers have enjoyed shows like Wicked, The Blue Man Group and Hamilton. We love including a musical, play or show on our itineraries, as these world-class performances are often students’ first exposure to live theater.
  • Art. The Art Institute of Chicago is a favorite of many of the groups we accompany to Chicago, but is just one of the incredible art museums in the city. The Institute is one of the premier art institutions in the world and is the Midwest’s largest art museum. The permanent exhibits feature Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, while the touring shows feature pieces from across various periods.
  • Science and Nature. You can’t visit Chicago without saying hello to Sue, the world’s largest and most complete T. Rex. at her home within the Field Museum of Natural History. The exhibits within the Field are world-renowned and the acoustics are fabulous – just ask any of our groups who have performed in the Grand Hall.
  • Millennium Park. Our city’s premier green space, Millennium Park is 25 acres of nature, art and architecture. Students love to explore Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion – the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in country. And they can’t resist the chance to snap a selfie in front of Cloud Gate sculpture, known to both locals and tourists as “The Bean.”
  • Willis Tower. Formerly known as Sears Tower, Willis Tower is 110 stories of glass and steel, towering over the Chicago skyline at 1,450 feet. From this vantage point, visitors can see for 50 miles and peek into four different states. The bravest students may want to experience The Ledge, a glass box that extends from the 103rd floor and offers a spine-tingling view of the city.
  • Shopping. Magnificent Mile (or Michigan Avenue) is the heart of Chicago’s shopping district and is home to luxury name brand stores, iconic hotels and Water Tower Place – a seven floor shopping and dining destination. Students love the independence of exploring Water Tower Place, so we often include a stop here for high school students.
  • Music. Whether students are performing music or simply enjoying it, Chicago offers so many musical opportunities. We have a long-standing relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and love exposing students to both orchestra and chorale performances there. Andy’s Jazz Club and The Lyric Opera are also student-friendly favorites. For traveling performers, the venue options include the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry and a number of historic churches in the area.
  • Clinics. Travel is an education unto itself, but for groups that want to learn even more about their musical craft, we organize incredible clinics with master musicians at VanderCook College of Music and Northwestern University.
  • Chicago River Cruises. Time slows down a bit on the boats that cruise the Chicago River. From their vantage point in the canyon of skyscrapers, students have the opportunity to learn about the history of Chicago and varied styles of architecture in the city. Whether they’re sailing during the day, at sunset or for evening fireworks, river cruises are a hit with students and directors alike.

 For those of you who’ve traveled with us to Chicago before, did we leave your favorite attraction off the list? It’s entirely possible, because only sharing ten things about our hometown was really hard! To learn more about our performance tours in Chicago and cities around the world, reach out – we’d love to give you more details.

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