ADVERTISEMENT

5 Unique Things to Do in Chicago

By BT Editor
August 24, 2022
20Places_Chicago_Downtown
Rudi1976 / Dreamstime.com

Chicago known as “The Windy City” is a city that known for its jaw-dropping architecture, vibrant music scene, amazing food, — including deep-dish pizza — and iconic neighborhoods! Travel beyond the typical tourist sites to these 5 unique Chicago experiences.

Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you!

1. Louvre Fantastique: The Exhibition

Louvre Fantastique - Fever
Courtesy of Fever

Now thru Sept. 18 Thursday - Sunday at 2120 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook - lower level of the old Sears building
Duration: 90 minutes
Cost: $20 - $38 All ages are welcome

In this exhibition, you will have a chance to see over 70 masterpieces from the Louvre's™ priceless collection! Watch as these masterpieces come to life with three-dimensional recreations, projection mapping, augmented reality, and hands-on interactive features. Exhibit goers can experience the magic of the Louvre™ and its timeless art in an entirely new and dynamic way. Walk through the annals of art history, reimagined!

Get Tickets for this Louvre Fantastique Experience

2. Chicago Loop Secret Food Tour

Food Tour Chicago
Courtesy of Fever

Various dates starting at 521 S Dearborn St, Millennium Park
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $87 - 18 and older

Join this 3-hour tour of Chicago's food scene, and see what sets this friendly mid-western metropolis apart. On this tour of the 'Chicago Loop', a local guide will share with you some hidden gems and great stories about the city. Taste where the world-famous dipped Italian beef sandwich was invented, try some of the best deep dish Chicago pizza. Really appreciate how important the immigrants that built this town are to the food scene.

Get Tickets for this Chicago Food Experience

3. Sinatra Under the Stars

Sinatra_Chicago_Fever
Courtesy of Fever

Sundays, September 11 & 25th 6:30pm & 8:30pm at Aire Rooftop at the Hyatt Centric The Loop Hotel or Guild Row
Duration: 65 minutes
Cost: $55 - 21+ with valid ID

Sinatra Under the Stars will transport you back to a time when Sinatra reigned the scene. Enjoy a classic cocktail under the stars and melt away “those little town blues.” Don’t miss this evening of classic jazz with a touch of some hot takes on contemporary songs performed by some of Chicago’s brightest talents. Sit back and relax to the sounds of Sinatra at two of the best venues that Chicago has to offer!

Get Tickets for this Sinatra Experience

4. Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele

Candlelight Fever
Courtesy of Fever

September 28 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. at Stan Mansion
Duration: 65 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Cost: $28-$55

Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Chicago. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Adele by the Metropolis String Quartet at Stan Mansion under the gentle glow of candlelight.

Get Tickets for this Adele Candlelight Experience

5. Harry Potter™: Magic at Play

Harry Potter™: Magic at Play
Harry Potter™: Magic at Play - Courtesy of Fever

Starting November 11, 2022 – May 14, 2023 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave
Duration: 60 minutes
Cost: $34 - $68 All ages are welcome, children ages 2 and under enter free

Harry Potter™: Magic at Play is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings the Wizarding World to life through hands-on magical moments and active play for witches and wizards of all ages. Explore three floors of fun inspired by Harry’s adventures in discovering the Wizarding World. Journey from Privet Drive to Platform 9 ¾™, discover and represent your Hogwarts™ house, make your own magic in Hogwarts™ classes, find your position on the Quidditch™ team, and so much more!

Get Tickets for this Harry Potter Experience

Keep reading
Inspiration

Five free things to do this summer/fall in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Known as “The Magic City of the Plains,” Cheyenne boasts tremendous history and modern appeal with western swagger, extensive outdoor recreation, family friendly attractions, an array of restaurants, craft breweries and distilleries, special events and more. Great for road-trippers, Cheyenne is within a day’s drive of some of the nation’s favorite natural monuments and parks, including Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Devils Tower, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Visiting Cheyenne, Wyoming’s Capital City, provides budget-friendly fun in the iconic American west. Just 90 minutes north of Denver, you can enjoy these five free activities in this historic town with modern appeal.1. Self-guided Walking TourTivoli Building on the WalkingTour - Courtesy of Visit Cheyenne Enjoy a self-guided walking tour through the historic downtown core, taking in the unique city that captures the imagination of the American West. Choose from three tours, all varying in length, to learn about historical sites and buildings such as the Tivoli Building, the Governor’s Mansion, and the National Historic Landmarks, the old Union Pacific Depot and the Wyoming State Capitol. 2. Cowgirls of the West Museum & Emporium Cowgirls of the West Museum and Emporium - Courtesy of cowgirlsofthewestmuseum.com Learn about the iconic women and their contributions that helped shape the American West at the Cowgirls of the West Museum & Emporium . Explore exhibits highlighting legendary cowgirls throughout history like Annie Oakley, Mary Carter, Ruth Roach and Dell Burke, and then stop by the emporium to shop souvenirs and gifts to take home.3. Vedauwoo Recreation Area Vedauwoo - Courtesy of Visit Cheyenne Vedauwoo Recreation Area is located within the Medicine Bow National Forest, the scenic beauty of this expansive outdoor playground featuring ancient rock formations offers activities such as rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and camping.4. Cheyenne Depot Museum The Depot Museum - Courtesy of Visit Cheyenne Depot Museum a National Historic Landmark, take a tour of the museum and learn about the history of Cheyenne, the Transcontinental Railroad, the original “Hell on Wheels” frontier town and more.5. Terry Bison Ranch Terry Bison Ranch - Courtesy of Visit Cheyenne Terry Bison Ranch is a favorite family-friendly attraction in Cheyenne. Take a self-guided walking tour of the property to see alpacas, horses, ostriches and other farm animals. For more trip inspiration including information on free attractions and activities, as well as savings passes, click visitcheyenne.org.

Inspiration

5 Unique Things to Do in Nashville

Of course you know Nashville as the "Music City" and that most people come here for the music and all the bars/restaurants on Broadway. But if you are looking for some truly unique experiences check out these events below. From candlelight concerts, Halloween themed cocktail experiences to ghost walking tours - Nashville has it all coming in the next few months. Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you! 1. Candlelight Concert: A Tribute to Beyoncé Candlelight Concert September 28 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at ClementineDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 60 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $45 -$50 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to the Clementine. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Beyoncé played by the Listeso String Quartet under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Concert 2. The Boozy Cauldron Tavern: A Magical Cocktail Experience Boozy Cauldron - Courtesy Fever August 26–27, 2022 at Studio 615Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes - 21+ with valid IDCost: $55 - includes entry to the experience & 4 signature cocktails The Boozy Cauldron Tavern is popping up in Nashville for a 4-part cocktail experience led by Professor Dolohov Draven and his top students. You will be taken on a magical journey where you can imbibe on the four delicious signature cocktails (including the Tavern’s Famous Butternilla Brew) and hear and feel the stories surrounding the famous tavern and the ghosts that still haunt the establishment. Be quick to head over, for the Boozy Cauldron travels the nation and only appears for a limited time in select cities; after its last day, the portal closes and the Tavern disappears! Get Tickets for The Booze Cualdron Tavern 3. House of Spirits: Casa Vega - A Haunted Cocktail Soirée House of Spirits - Courtesy of Fever October 7–31 Thur - Sun & Monday 31st at a secret mansion in NashvilleDuration: 2 hours. - 21+ with valid IDCost: $79 - $99 based on ticket level Freely roam an open-world cocktail party at Casa Vega, the haunted home of Francisco and Molly Vega. After the mysterious death of their child Little Magpie, Francisco and Molly find themselves tormented by a strange entity that haunts the shadows of their home. You will have 2 hours at Casa Vega to savor a flight of miniature craft cocktails, sample darkly decadent chocolate truffles, and get immersed in the chilling lore. House of Spirits: Casa Vega is loosely based on real-life inspirations, including Spanish painter Francisco Goya, his famous Black Paintings, and several other Spanish folktales throughout the centuries. You encouraged to dress up for the evening, be it in costume, cocktail attire, or your favorite time-period clothing! Be sure to check out the magic, tarot readings, strange roaming specters, live music, secret games and ask the Giant Ouija Board questions! You can also go to the pre-show lounge for additional cocktails, wine, water, soda and food available for purchase, open all night. Get Tickets for House of Spirits 4. Candlelight Concert: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics Candlelight Concert October 28 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at The ParthenonDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 60 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $45 -$50 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Nashville. Get your tickets now to discover Halloween inspired music at The Parthenon under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Concert 5. The Ghosts of Nashville Walking Tour Ghost Walking Tour - Courtesy of Fever Various dates available - Depart at Alvin York StatueDuration: 1 hour - all ages welcomeCost: $55 - includes entry to the experience & 4 signature cocktails The Ghosts of Nashville Tour is perfect for the entire family. This tour is very historical, focusing on the hauntings of the Civil War and how Nashville later became the “Music City''. This tour begins at the Tennessee State Capitol and will visit 7-8 haunted historical locations. You'll hear about ghosts, demons, and a few murders - some dating back over 200 years! Get Tickets for this tour

InspirationNational ParksFamily

Top Attractions in All 50 States

From north to south and from coast to coast, America is packed with diverse landscapes that are worth exploring for every type of traveler. Each state has its own culture and landmarks that make them unique. Courtesy of musement Outdoor enthusiasts have a plethora of places to choose from. National parks and outdoor attractions make up almost one third of the most popular attractions in the United States. From the greats like The Grand Canyon (Arizona) and the urban oasis Central Park (New York) to lesser-known gems like Blackwater Falls State Park (West Virginia) or the Gulf Islands National Seashore (Mississippi) and its beaches, you can get a taste of cultural activities while enjoying Mother Nature. Hersheypark: Hershey, Pennsylvania - Istock/ gsheldon Thrill seekers and families with young ones will be glad to see that ten states across the country have amusement/theme parks as their number one attraction. Snap pictures with Mickey and your favorite Disney characters at Walt Disney World (Florida) or Disneyland Park (California). Otherwise, you can escape to the east to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia). Got a craving for chocolate? Head to Hersheypark (Pennsylvania) and see what the hype is all about. The Alamo - San Antonio, Texas History buffs will be able to turn the clocks back at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Michigan) where they can witness some of America’s most historical items, discover what life was like in the 1830s at The Alamo (Texas), or jump on board the World War II battleship turned museum at the USS Alabama (Alabama). Jellyfish at the Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta,Georgia - Istock/Gau Souza Animal lovers across the states have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best zoos and aquariums. From Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (Nebraska) and its one-of-a-kind exhibits to the world-renowned Georgia Aquarium (Georgia), one of the largest in the world, to the west coast’s Oregon Zoo, the United States offers plenty to admire. Research done by Musement, the digital discovery and booking platform for travel activities and experiences around the world. To see the full list of all 50 attractions click here.

InspirationNational Parks

Take a Hike in the Olympic National Park

Hiking the pristine trails of the Olympic National Park is just what the doctor ordered to relieve the stress of the urban crowds. Rain forest, old growth forest, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and a stunningly beautiful coastline offers plenty of options from easy to vigorous hikes. Three full days will yield a lot of spectacularly stunning nature, but five or more days will provide you with a fully immersive and very memorable experience. Getting there Sea-Tac, Seattle’s main airport, is the closest commercial airport to Olympic National Park. There are daily non-stop flights from most major airport hubs throughout the US. My wife and I flew Alaska Airlines outbound and Delta Air Lines for the return out of San Diego. Because the Seattle area is so popular fares for economy and business seats are more reasonable than you might think and for miles travelers the amount of miles needed seemed to be pretty low. Rental cars are easy enough to reserve in advance, and it’s always good to shop around for the best deal. A mid-size Avis fit our budget just fine. And no need for old time paper maps; Google will show you how to get to exactly where you want to go. Lodging One thing that makes Olympic National Park so great is that there isn’t much in the way of places to stay, which keeps the crowd sizes down. Camping is available in several places, but that’s limited also. There’s both RV and tent camping available throughout the park as well as wilderness camping. The Willaby Campground right on the shore of Lake Quinault in the south part of the park looked really nice as did the Sol Duc Campground right on the Sol Duc River more in the north of the park. All of the campgrounds appeared to be very well kept with fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers. Lake Quinault Lodge - Courtesy of Jerry Olivas Camping looked great but we chose to stay in two different park Lodges, the Lake Quinault Lodge in the south and the Lake Crescent Lodge in the north. These are not upscale accommodation so don’t get fooled by the term Lodge. Both places offer a variety of types of accommodations including staying in the main lodge itself with wide-ranging prices. Note that these lodges, cabins, and motel style rooms are a bit old so bring your ear plugs. WiFi is good around the Lodges and voice and cellular data works well in most places throughout the park. Positively don’t miss out on that heated pool at the The Lake Quinault Lodge. Dining Oyster Saloon - Courtesy of hamahamaoysters.com For food, like lodging there are not too many choices but the Lodges themselves offer a variety of food options including formal sit-down, bar service, and take away. Nothing seemed too pricy except alcohol. However, it’s easy enough to stock up with supplies before entering the park. The town of Forks on Hwy 101 about halfway between the Quinault and Crescent Lodges has a large supermarket called Thriftyway. One tasty restaurant just a couple of miles from The Quinault Lodge is the The Salmon House Restaurant. It’s all about salmon here and a takeaway picnic is a good way to go because lake Quinault is just a few steps away. Don’t miss that yummy marionberry, or any berry, pie or cobbler, which are popular in the spring, summer, and fall. Another couple of dining experiences worth mentioning, but not actually in the park, are Hama Hama Oyster Saloon on Hwy 101 on the east side of the park. It’s all about oysters here; I mean the freshest and tastiest you have ever had. Another restaurant with both fabulous food and a view is Ocean Crest Restaurant on Hwy 109 on the coast about 30 minutes from The Lake Quinault Lodge. This is one of those places where you wonder who the heck is in that kitchen, because they definitely know what they are doing. Hiking Sol Duc River Valley, Olympic National Park - Istock/Bkamprath Hanging around the lodges, particularly sitting in the lobby near one of those nice big open fireplaces, can be intoxicating, but it’s the trails that offer the biggest rewards. All of the trails in the park have good signage and are well maintained and many have parking lots and restrooms. And no need for a map or GPS system because the trails are easy to navigate. However, there are plenty of trail maps to view and purchase online, but it’s easy enough to just pick up a free map at any of the lodges or park ranger stations. The trails run the gambit of difficulty with many flat broad paths and others that are more narrow and steep. As with any hike it’s best to have a partner, water, and comfortable walking shoes. Good to have waterproof shoes with good gripping soles because it can be a bit wet. And don’t forget that umbrella. There are signs warnings about wildlife including Roosevelt elk, black bears, and mountain lions but we didn’t see any. However, we did see several black-tail deer. But luckily no Sasquatch sighting. Our four favorite hikes were the Rain Forest Nature Trail and Gatton Creek Trail both near The Quinault Lodge, the North Fork Sol Duc Trail on the road to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and Barnes Creek Trail near The Crescent Lodge. These trails offer lush rain forest, old growth forest, streams, and falls. It’s certainly fine to back track and redo a section of a trail and it’s okay to just stop, close your eyes, listen, smell, and let your body feel the air. Don’t miss The Giant Sitka Spruce Tree near The Quinault Lodge is a 1,000-year-old, 190 feet tall, and 17 feet in diameter tree that is quite simply amazing. The Salmon Cascades is about halfway up the road to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. In the late summer and fall this is where you will see coho salmon leaping up the treacherous falls attempting to return to their spawning pools. The small town of La Push on the Pacific coast is a good place to take in some of the Olympic National Park coastal beauty. There’s plenty of trail hikes and on-the-beach sand walks to do. Lake Crescent - Istock/YinYang Lake Quinault or Lake Crescent sunrises and sunsets will positively set the tone for a great day on the trails or a relaxing evening planning your next day’s adventures. There are a variety of fees and passes for visiting The Olympic National Park. We used our lifetime National Park and Recreational Area Senior Passes. No matter what the costs the pay back you get from experiencing nature up close and personal on the trails of The Olympic National Park is well worth it. This is one of those trips you will remember for a long time to come. Jerry Olivas - is a travel writer and photographer specializing in "do-it-yourself" adventures worldwide. Some of his work can be found at European Travel Magazine. He has lived and worked in England, Italy, and Israel and is based in Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California, USA

ADVERTISEMENT