• Photo: (c) Cafebeanzphoto | Dreamstime.com

The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop

Defined by the El (the elevated train that makes a circuit around the area), the Loop is Chicago at its big-city best. Noisy and mesmerizing, it’s a living architectural museum alongside shimmering Lake Michigan. Gleaming modern towers vie for space with late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings, and striking sculptures by Picasso, Miró, and Chagall watch over plazas that come alive with music and farmers' markets in summer.

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