This former department store, now known as the Sullivan Center, is as good a place to start to tour the architectural wonders of Chicago. Designed by Louis Sullivan in 1899, it is an example of the Chicago School, which includes buildings by James Ingo Freed, Daniel Burnham and Frank Lloyd Wright, who was brought up and got his start here.
Truly one of the world's greatest museums, this is the one you absolutely must visit. The entire collection is world class, but it's the Impressionists, that will knock you out, especially the 30 Monet paintings, including a number of his late-in-life "Water Lillies" series.
It's now the Willis Tower since the department store chain slaced down and moved its headquarters out to the suburbs. Although now only the second-tallest building in the United States, it's still tall enough to give you healthy sense of vertigo as you sway along with the building and gaze out over the plains all the way to Michigan and Wisconsin.
A short hop from Boystown, the home of the Chicago Cubs since 1916 is the last remaining ball club from the heyday of the early days of pro baseball. Known for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall, hand-turned scoreboard and other markers of its ancient progeny, it will entrance you even if you don't know a curve ball from a bunt.
Along with Stamford, this is the most competitive and highly regarded school in the country outside of the Ivies. Located in Hyde Park, a beautiful lakefront neighborhood on the South Side, it has been home to 89 Nobel laureates, was the birthplace of the research that led to the atomic bomb and atomic energy, and is home to the Chicago School of economics.