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USATourist News Magazine

October 2006

In this issue:

  • Chicago
    • Every March the Chicago River turns green
    • Navy Pier
    • O'Leary's Chicago Fire Truck Tours
    • The Sears Tower
    • Some popular Chicago foods
    • GoChicago Card
  • The Great Lakes
    • Sunken Treasures
    • The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
    • Lighthouses
  • Airport Security

Welcome to the October 2006 issue of USATourist News Magazine. This month we are taking a look at some of the highlights of Chicago and the Great Lakes.

Chicago

Chicago is located in northeast Illinois on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Chicago has many nicknames: the Windy City, the Second City, City of Big Shoulders, and Chi-Town but local residents call Chicago and its surrounding counties Chicagoland.

Chicago has two major airports: O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW) and are only 16 miles (25 km) apart. www.flychicago.com

Winters are blustery in Chicago but you can get great deals on hotels and attractions are not busy. The summer months are fun with a lot of outdoor events but it's also very busy. Fall is nice time because the weather is beautiful and there are not as many people.

For more information, visit the USATourist Chicago page: www.usatourist.com/english/places/illinois/chicago.html

Every March the Chicago River turns green

St. Patrick's Day is one of Chicago's most beloved holidays. Every March 17th the St. Patrick's Day Parade makes its way up Columbus Drive and for the celebration the city uses 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of green dye to turn the river green for the day. The tradition started in 1962.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier started out in 1916 as freight pier to serve many of the communities sitting on the Great Lakes. It went through many transitions before becoming what it is today, Chicago's lakefront playground. Navy Pier has 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants and attractions. www.navypier.com

O'Leary's Chicago Fire Truck Tours

O'Leary's Chicago Fire Truck Tours is a fun way to see the city. Visitors get to ride on the Antique Fire Truck while hearing about Chicago's culture and history. If the air is cool visitors might just be offered a firefighter's jacket to wear for the ride. www.olearysfiretours.com

The Sears Tower

The Sears Tower is one of Chicago's biggest attractions both in number of visitors and in size. 1.5 million tourists view Chicago from the Sky Deck each year. The building itself stands 1,450 feet (443 meters) high and is the tallest building in Chicago. The Sky Deck is on the 103 floor and on a clear day visitors can see four states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. www.the-skydeck.com

Some popular Chicago foods

If Chicago is known for any food it is pizza, mainly the deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. Also popular are the thin crust "tavern pizzas." The deep-dish pizzas can be found on menus across the U.S. but authentic tavern pizzas are very difficult to find outside of Chicago.

Flunky's is where the original Chicago-Style hot dog was born. During the Great Depression customers could get a hot dog with mustard, relish, onion, pickles, pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and french fries for five cents, earning it the name "The Depression Sandwich". www.flukys.com

GoChicago Card

Get unlimited admissions including a Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, The Art Institute of Chicago, Hancock Observatory, Sears Tower, a selection of Grayline Tours, Navy Pier attractions and much more!

  • Save up to 20% on shopping
  • Save up to 20% dining
  • Free Gifts at select merchants
  • Get a 100 page full-color pocket guidebook to help you plan your fun

USATourist readers will receive free shipping (within the USA) on GoChicago card purchases made before November 1, 2006 Enter the following coupon code at checkout: freeshipusatourist

The Great Lakes

The five Great Lakes are located in the north central part of the United States and are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. They are linked to each other by smaller lakes and rivers. Listed from largest to smallest in volume the five Great Lakes are: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Lake Michigan is the only one fully located in the United States.

Sunken Treasures

Sitting at the bottom of the Great Lake Basin are thousands of shipwrecks that date back as far as the 1800's. Storms have cause most of the accidents. The most deadly of the storms was the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, killing more than 250 people. The demolished ships from the various shipwrecks are preserved by the cold fresh water and make for a wonderful scuba diving adventure. Here are two sites that offer look at some shipwrecks: www.midwestconnection.com/diving/divinghome.htm and www.wisconsinshipwrecks.org

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Located in Whitefish Point, Michigan the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum offers an amazing displays and artifacts pulled from the very shipwrecks of Lake Superior. One item on display is the 200 lb. bronze bell from Edmund Fitzgerald's shipwreck of 1975. www.shipwreckmuseum.com

Lighthouses

The local Great Lakes residents cherish the hundreds of lighthouses that sit on the Great Lakes shores. The lighthouses first began popping up in the early 1800's to guide the vessels crossing the lakes.

Many of these beautiful landmarks have been restored and many are open for tours. If you would like to learn more about the lighthouses I found this site that has photos and histories of the lighthouses as well as details about the different types. The stories are fascinating and I think you will enjoy learning more about these historic landmarks. www.midwestconnection.com/Lighthouses/MidwestLH.htm

Airport Security

It has been about six weeks since the terrorist plot to blow up several passenger airplanes has been unraveled. Because the plot included liquid explosives the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has increased security and restricted nearly all liquid and gel carry-on items. While restrictions, rules, and regulations change daily check the TSA Website for updates before traveling. www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

We hope you enjoyed this month's issue. See you next month!

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair


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