Make some memories at Chicago's Memorial Stadium
Chicago is a massive city, covering 237 square miles of land. There are 77 community areas and over 100 neighborhoods, all filled with interesting and dynamic cultural locales, including theaters, parks, restaurants and more. U.S. President Barack Obama and his family are from this great city. You'll see why the President and many Americans call this city home when you visit these fun and exciting area attractions:
Drive your Chicago rental car to nearby Champaign to cheer for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Memorial Stadium was built to honor the staff, alumni and students who lost their lives fighting for the U.S. in World War 1. You can see their names on the field's east and west side displayed on the 200 columns. The facility was built in 1923 with the help of $1.7 million in donations from students, alumni and friends of the university. The stadium currently holds up to 60,670 people. The first game ever played here was a homecoming match between the Illini and Chicago. The Illini won 7-0, ruining Chicago's 20-game winning streak. When you visit this field, picture the stands full of 78,297 people. That's the record attendance, which happened during a 1984 game against Missouri. Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Tom Petty and Billy Joel have all played concerts here, and the Chicago Bears used the stadium in 2002 when their home field was being renovated. Don your orange and blue and head to Memorial Stadium to cheer for the Fighting Illini.
Starved Rock State Park
Bring your family to this beautiful park on the banks of the Illinois River. Starved Rock State Park got its name when the Illinois Indian tribe found themselves dying of starvation here during a battle with the Potawatomi. The land was purchased by the state in 1911, and it became Illinois' first recreational park. Today, the area is a National Historic Landmark. You can find a 69-room, 21-cabin lodge complete with a great hall and dining room. Visitors come from near and far to experience the beauty and history of this natural area. Most people come to hike and look for bald eagles or identify local wildflowers. The trails are well marked for those interested in trekking solo. Guides are also available year-round to give a historical tour of the area and point out local flora and fauna. You will love the beautiful pines and massive natural rock features at Starved Rock State Park.
Drive your Chicago rental car to 1220 West Lemoyne Avenue to get a hard-to-come-by view of the city by kayak! Both residents and tourists love the incredible views of the city from the Chicago River. Kayak Chicago takes visitors out on guided architectural and historical tours starting at the northern tip of Goose Island and paddling down through the confluence, where the south and north branch meet and head out into Lake Michigan. The tour is a total of 6 miles long and takes you past the Morton Salt Plant and into the river canyon, an area flanked by beautiful and famous skyscrapers. When you paddle, you'll be among gorgeous riverfront buildings like the Montgomery Ward Complex, the first mail-order catalog company in the U.S. Keep an eye out for the endangered Black Crowned Night Heron that makes its home on the banks of the river. You'll have a blast paddling the river and enjoying a unique vantage point of the city. You can even take the tour on a summer's night to enjoy the bi-weekly fireworks from Navy Pier. It's a great family or date outing, so bring your loved ones!