What is Chicago Known For?

Downtown Chicago with the flag of the city in view.
Downtown Chicago with the flag of the city in view.

Chicago is found on the shores of Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois. It is the county seat of the Cook County. Chicago was officially made a city in 1837. Its location on the shores of Lake Michigan has made the city a center of international trade, commerce, transport, and telecommunications. The city has grown over the years to gain international recognition. For instance, in 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city in the Globalization and World Cities Research Networks. There are a number of other things that Chicago is known for. Some of them are as discussed below.

Third Largest City in the US

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States in terms of population. Only New York City and Los Angeles in California are more populated than Chicago. As of the 2017 census estimate, the city has a population of 2,716,450. The population of the city has been gradually increasing since 2012. The population estimate makes Chicago the most populous city in Illinois as well as in the Midwestern United States. The city covers an area of approximately 606.1 square kilometers and is the seats of the Cook County, which is the second most populous county in the United States. The Chicago Metropolitan area is a home to around 10 million people. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the world in terms of land area.

Deep Dish Pizza

The pizza recipes in Chicago differ from pizzas from other places. It is clear that Deep Dish Pizza originated from Chicago, but it is not clear who invented the pizza. However, it is rumored that Pizzeria Uno was the first to make the deep dish pizza in 1943. The deep crust of Chicago-style pizza means that the pizza is thick and resembles a pie. To enhance easy removal from the pan, the pan is oiled. The oil used to line the pan is also responsible for the frying effect that the deep dish pizza has. The pizza may contain semolina, cornmeal, and food coloring. The food color gives the pizza its characteristic yellow color. There are a lot of restaurants offering deep crust pizza on their menus while a number of other restaurants ship the pizza countrywide.


Chicago is a home to a large number of skyscrapers. The city has over 1,315 completed high rises. Out of these high rises, over 44 are taller than 600 feet. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which is the tallest city in Chicago, is 1,451 feet. The 110 story building was completed in 1974. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building, not only in the United States but the entire world. It was surpassed by the One World Trade Center in New York, which was completed in May 2013. The Trump International Hotel Tower is the second tallest building in Chicago. It is closely followed by Aon Center. Chicago is the home of four of the ten tallest buildings in the United States. In fact, Chicago is considered to be the birthplace of skyscrapers. Some of the oldest skyscrapers in the country are in Chicago.

Lake Michigan Beaches

The shoreline of Lake Michigan boasts a number of fabulous beaches. North Avenue Beach is the busiest beach in Chicago and offers a good view of Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago. Occasionally, the beach hosts International Volleyball Championships. Other beaches along the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan include Oak Street Beach, Rainbow Beach and Park, 57th Street Beach, Foster Avenue Beach, Oakwood Beach, South Shore Beach, and Montrose Beach. There are numerous activities that take place on the beaches of Chicago. These activities include volleyball, outdoor yoga, sun basking, strolling along the beaches, and cycling.

Architecture (Frank Llyod Wright)

Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous American architect, was behind the designs of many houses in Chicago. He also designed many buildings around the world and in the United States. However, Chicago takes most pride in Lloyd’s work, because it was in Chicago where Lloyd first started practicing his architectural work. He is popularly known for his Prairie Styles of Home. He explored this design between the 1900s and 1920s. This design was a major break from the Victorian design, which was popular during that era. His designs, which dominate Chicago homes, were appealing to the upper and the middle class. Even after his death, his Prairie designs of houses still stand out in Chicago.

Cold Winters

The climate of Chicago is influenced by the city’s close proximity to Lake Michigan. The winters in Chicago are usually very cold. The average snowfall during winters is about 91 cm. Due to the lake-snow effect, cities on the other sides of Lake Michigan receive more snow than Chicago. Sometimes, the northeasterly winds may bring the lake-snow effects to Chicago. Occasionally, say once in every three years, heavy snowstorm occurs in the city. The heavy snowstorm results to approximately 25 cm snow for a period of around 3 days. The temperatures of winter vary from day today. The daily mean temperature is around −4.7 °C. During a few nights, the temperatures may drop up to −18 °C. The coldest winter recorded in Chicago was - 33 °C

The Loop

The Loop is the Central Business District of Chicago. The Loop is the second largest commercial business district in the United States, only surpassed by the Midtown Manhattan. The CBD has a number of popular Chicago attractions such as Skyscrapers including the Willis Tower. The Chicago Board of Trade Building which was designated as the National Historic Landmark is also located in the Loop, as is Chicago's City Hall.


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