5 Chicago Gems on the South & West Sides

You may have heard about the French Foreign Ministry’s warning to French nationals to avoid the Chicago’s South and West sides. Well, the French government has removed its travel warnings, so there is no reason now to avoid some of Chicago’s most historical and beautiful tourist attractions. Here is just my Top 5 List:

1) Garfield Park Conservatory

This botanical garden is a beautiful park with green houses for more tropical flora. It has even been ranked one of the best urban green spaces in the country. Garfield is definitely worth a visit to the West Side.

Along the Boulevards. Source: Wikicommons, Andrew Jameson

2) Chicago’s Parks & Boulevards

Garfield Park Conservatory is off of one of the city’s broad boulevard that form a wide semi-circle around the city center. These roads have less traffic than the grand avenues of Paris so make sure to rent a bike to gain the full experience. I once spent a day biking the entire series of avenues: the beautiful homes, diverse cultural communities, and delicious cuisine show a facet of Chicago that is hard to find downtown.

3) Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Like so many Chicagoans, Lithuanians immigrated for economic opportunities that were abundant in industry on the South side of the city. The museum discusses the history, culture, and arts that define this ethnic Chicago community and is emblematic of our welcoming nature.

Wikicommons, Fox69

4) Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home & Studio

While the home and studio of famous Prairie-style architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, is in Oak Park and not Chicago, this is but a formality. The location is only a mile from Chicago’s West Side and well worth a visit.

5) Midway Airport

That’s right. Chicago’s second largest airport runs between 55th & 63rd St. and Cicero Ave and Central Ave placing it in both the South & West sides of the city. It often has lower fares and is the only area airport for Southwest Airlines. Plus, this has quite a bit of history to it. It was the world’s busiest airport from 1929 to 1960 – a record length of time which never be broken.

So does this mean that I am advocating that the French should be waving around their smart phone at two o’clock in the morning on the South side? Of course not; however, no one should be doing this anyway whether it be in Bronzeville or Bordeaux, minuit or midi. Wherever you travel, be vigilant to protect yourself and get the best tourist experience!


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