As if your friends and family needed another reason to visit the Windy City, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2009 just named Chicago one of the top ten cities to visit in 2009. As the only American destination to make the competitive cut, the globe-trotting experts at Lonely Planet sited Chicago’s business, art, architecture, food, music, theater and overall culture as the winning criteria. According to destination-expert author Karla Zimmerman, “If you want your finger on America’s pulse, don’t head to New York or LA. The heart beats in Chicago.”
McDonald’s and Oprah –the most American icons since apple pie and baseball—originate here, along with other ubiquitous, historical and random landmarks alike, including jazz and blues festivals, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Green Mill, the Chicago Theater, and Picasso outdoor art. But the Lonely Planet also nods their hats to what has yet to come. With Trump Tower International’s 2009 completion and the world-renowned architect Calatrava’s Spire building (not to mention the Sears Tower), our skyline will soon be home to the three tallest buildings in North America, perhaps facilitating our bid for the 2016 Olympics; as if our array of world-renowned sports teams (Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks, etc.) weren’t enough.
While Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2009 released last month, Zimmerman scooped the city before Obama could scoop the President-elect title. This is just one more piece of evidence that points to Chicago’s bright future. Despite our inferiority complex to cities like New York, it’s nice that the “Second City” is finally getting some recognition among the first cities of the world. Other global cities on the list you’ll need to visit this year include Antwerp, Beirut, Glasgow, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Warsaw and Zurich.
Just pencil those in on your calendar – I’m sure you’ll be able to make it. best-in-travel-usa1