The 60,000-hectare City of Chicago is located on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan at an elevation of 176 metres (578 feet) above sea level. It is the fifth largest body of fresh water in the world with a width of 190 km and a length of 495 km. The Chicago and Calumet rivers both pass through the city. An estimated 86 million people visit Chicago's vast parklands each year, which include 3,000 hectares of city parks.
Chicago today epitomises the principles of America's heartland—integrity, hard labour, and community—and reflects these ideas in the social fabric of its 77 diverse neighbourhoods. Chicago is a multicultural metropolis that feeds on the harmony and diversity of its communities.
Chicago is known as a particularly fervent sports town throughout the United States.
Chicago is a leader in improving public education, advancing security and safety measures, offering affordable housing in desirable and prosperous neighbourhoods, assuring accessible for all, and promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Chicago is home to:
- 28 miles of lakefront with 24 beaches.
- More than 8,800 acres of green space and 600 parks; the Chicago Park District is the largest municipal park manager in the nation.
- Over 300 miles of bike lanes, 18.5 miles of lakefront bicycle paths, and more than 13,000 bike racks and parking areas.
- More than 800 Divvy bike share stations and thousands of Divvy bikes (including 7,000 electric bikes) across the Chicagoland area. In 2021, Chicago recorded a record-breaking 4 million Divvy rides.
- Eight major league sports teams.
- More than 200 theatres, 250 live music venues, and 200 professional dance companies.
- More than 7,300 restaurants and over 160 breweries in the Chicagoland area
- 59 historic districts and hundreds of historic landmarks
- More than 70 music festivals, 36 parades, and over 40 film festivals annually.
- The starting point of “Historic Route 66” at Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, and one of the few remaining free zoos in the U.S.
- Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,730 feet tall. Willis Tower held first place until the construction of New York’s One World Trade Center in 2014. Also, the Willis Tower elevators are among the fastest in the world, operating at speeds as fast as 1,600 feet per minute.
- Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.
- McCormick Place, the largest convention center in the Western Hemisphere.