The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau is a great place to start planning your visit to the Windy City. The organization's website is a veritable gold mine of information, from hotel packages to sample itineraries, event calendars, and maps. You can also call the toll-free number to speak with a travel consultant. The Illinois Bureau of Tourism (enjoyillinois.com) offers detailed information about what to do and see in Chicago and is especially helpful if your travel plans will take you outside of the downtown area. Once you're here, you can count on the visitor centers at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Water Works, and Navy Pier. They are stocked with free maps, local publications, and knowledgeable staff to help you out.
Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL, 60616. 312/567–8500 or 877/244–2246. www.choosechicago.com.)
Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL, 60602. 312/744–6630. www.chicagoculturalcenter.org.)
Chicago Water Works (163 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL, 60610. 312/742–8811. www.choosechicago.com.)
Illinois Bureau of Tourism (Chicago, IL. or 800/226–6632. www.enjoyillinois.com.)
Navy Pier Welcome Center (600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL. 800/595–7437 or 312/595–7437. www.navypier.com.)
For a preview of the Art Institute of Chicago, check out www.artic.edu.
The websites of the city's daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, are great sources for reviews and events listings. The Chicago Reader's site is rich in arts, entertainment, and dining reviews. Chicago magazine's site carries a few web-exclusive features along with articles from the monthly. Metromix Chicago and Time Out Chicago thoroughly cover Chicago's dining and entertainment scenes.
Chicago magazine (312/222–8999. www.chicagomag.com.)
Chicago Reader (312/828–0350. www.chireader.com.)
Chicago Sun-Times (312/321–3000. www.suntimes.com.)
Chicago Tribune (800/874–2863. www.chicagotribune.com.)
Metromix Chicago (chicago.metromix.com.)
Time Out Chicago (312/924–9555. www.timeoutchicago.com.)