A taste of the sports, zoos and museums of Chicagoland
Many call it the City of Broad Shoulders, and others call it the Windy City. But don't let Chicagoans hear you call their hometown the Second City, as this metropolis is second to none in terms of its unique and vibrant culture. For its relatively small size (228 square miles), it contains the third-largest population in the country with 2.7 million proud residents. From its magnificent skyline to the beautiful beaches lining Lake Michigan to the thriving music scene, there's plenty to admire here. Jump in your Chicago rental car and leave the Loop to explore these Chicagoland attractions during your visit:
A short 20-mile drive in your Chicago car rental from the center of the city will get you to Evanston, where you'll find Ryan field. Erected in 1926, this stadium is the oldest undomed stadium of its kind in Chicagoland. It underwent major renovations in 1996, expanding its amenities and its capacity to 47,130, allowing even more Northwestern Wildcats fans to take to the stands each game. Northwestern has huge history in sports, as it helped found the Big Ten Conference in 1896. The team has made great strides since, with multiple trips to the Rose Bowl and a conference title.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Opened in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the nation, and it's made a reputation for itself not only due to its diverse habitats but also its superior treatment of animals. That's one reason more than 3 million people walk through the zoo's iconic gates every year - a few other reasons include free admission and its central location in historic Lincoln Park accessible by Chicago rental car. Stroll through to find more than 1,200 animals in the dozens of environments, including the McCormick Bear Habitat, Antelope and Zebra Area, Macaque Forest, Kovler Sea Lion Pool, Helen Brach Primate House and Pritzker Family Children's Zoo. Plan your trip during one of the zoo's special events, such as the winter's ZooLights, when it's aglow with holiday decorations, and Jammin' at the Zoo, which features musical performances throughout the year.
National Museum of Mexican Arts
Take a trip down to Pilsen in your Chicago car rental to visit the National Museum of Mexican Arts, located at 1852 W. 19th Street. This museum displays contemporary and traditional Mexican artwork, including prints, sculpture, paintings, ceramics and photographs, by artists from right here in Chicago to those abroad. There's a strong community feel to this institution, and children from the neighborhood often gather for storytelling sessions and arts activities. Those who visit on Halloween can partake in the annual "Day of the Dead" exhibit, the most popular of its kind in the city, attracting people from all over Chicagoland. No matter what time of year you come, this museum provides an excellent opportunity to learn not only about Mexican culture but also the unique culture of one of Chicago's most intimate neighborhoods.