Chicago Sights


Chicago's a big city, but remarkably easy to get around. All the hotels, cultural institutions, shopping, dining and entertainment are concentrated in a relatively small area.  Everything can be easily reached by walking, public transportation, or short cab rides.

The city's rapid transit system provides quick, safe rail service to downtown from both O'Hare International and Midway airports.

A dedicated busway allows for fast, non-stop transportation between downtown and McCormick Place.

A free trolley offers shuttle service between Navy Pier and downtown destinations.

The city is served by more than 6,700 taxis to provide quick access to your destination.


Chicago Jewish Roots Tours

The Conference is offering three narrated motor coach tours of historic Jewish Chicago. The tours will be led by Dr. Irving Cutler, author of The Jews of Chicago: From Shtetl to Suburb. Dr. Cutler is a founding member of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society. All three tours will include a number of stops at places of historic Jewish significance, providing an opportunity for walking, viewing, and visiting. Each tour will emphasize a different set of neighborhoods.

Sunday, August 17, 2008: Chicago Jewish Roots Tour: Overview 
Monday, August 18, 2008: Chicago Jewish Roots Tour: North and Northwest Sides.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008: Chicago Jewish Roots Tour: South Side.
Each tour will leave the Marriott at 12 noon and will return at about 5:00 p.m. The charge for each of these tours is $35.00 per person. Guests are welcome, even if not registered for the Conference. Advance reservations are required.

Spertus Museum Tour

The world-famous Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies has just moved into an architecturally significant new home, located at 610 South Michigan Avenue, directly across from Chicago's Grant Park.

The Conference is sponsoring a one and one-half hour tour of this outstanding Jewish Museum and Educational Center led by a docent   Spertus is the home of the Chicago Jewish Archives. In addition to its museum, archives, educational facilities, and cafe, Spertus has an outstanding Jewish book and gift shop. The Spertus tour will take place on Tuesday, August 19, 2008, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The charge for the tour is $15.00 per person. Guests are welcome, even if not registered for the Conference. Participants will meet at the Spertus Institute. Advance reservations are required.


To sign up for one of the above tours, please go to 


As one of the world's great cities, Chicago provides wonderful cultural and leisure attractions: spectacular shopping, incredible dining, internationally renowned museums, exciting nightlife and much more.
--North Michigan Avenue -- The Magnificent Mile -- is one of the grand shopping boulevards of the world with nearly 500 shops along an eight-block stretch. Just a short walk away is State Street, home to some of the city’s most renowned department stores.

--Incredible dining, ranging from elegant four-star restaurants to every authentic ethnic cuisine imaginable can be found. Chicago has been called America’s best dining destination. The city’s 5,500 restaurants serve up everything from the finest French cuisine to legendary steaks to ethnic fare from around the world. Plus, you’ll want to try Chicago’s legendary pizzas and hot dogs.

--Internationally renowned museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry and the Museum Campus institutions: The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium.

--Exciting nightlife with critically acclaimed theater district, live Blues and Jazz clubs and more. Chicago’s nearly 200 live theaters include everything from the groundbreaking Second City improvisational group to the Tony-Award winning Steppenwolf company. From the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the hottest Blues clubs, Chicago is alive with music every night of the year.

--With more than 7,140 boat slips on Lake Michigan, Chicago boasts the largest municipal harbor system in the world.  Visitors to Chicago can choose from a number of pleasure, dinner and architectural cruises on both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

--Virtually every day of the year is a beautiful day for a ballgame in Chicago. The city fields teams in every major professional sport  -- the Bulls in the NBA, the Blackhawks in the NHL, the Bears in the NFL, the Fire in the MLS and the White Sox and Cubs in the MLB.

Attractions worthy of a visit.


Navy Pier

Built in 1916 and extensively transformed in 1995 into a leisure and exposition center, Navy Pier is Illinois’ number-one attraction. Featuring a variety of restaurants, shops, theaters, museums and cruise ships, Navy Pier offers something for all tastes plus spectacular views of the city’s skyline. One of the most eye-catching features of the Navy Pier is the 148 ft. Ferris Wheel.  There are two museums: the Children’s museum and the Smith museum of Stained Glass Windows.






Millennium Park

Opened in 2004 in the heart of downtown Chicago, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park features world-class art, music, and architecture and landscape design.

Among the park’s prominent attractions are the 4,000-seat Jay Pritzker Pavilion by Frank Gehry and the 60-ton stainless steel “Cloud Gate” sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

Other features include: the Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the 16,000 square-foot McCormick/Tribune Ice Skating Rink; Millennium Monument, a replica of the original peristyle that stood in the same location between 1917 and 1953; a 300- seat café; the Lurie Garden; and the state-of-the-art Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance.


 Museum Campus

Chicago moved Lake Shore Drive west to create the Museum Campus, a park setting connecting the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium.  The Field Museum of Natural History is considered one of the best natural history museums worldwide; the Adler Planetarium was the first planetarium in the western hemisphere; and Shedd Aquarium features a significant Caribbean Reef and the Oceanarium, that is the world's largest indoor marine mammal exhibit. 

Art Institute of Chicago

The Chicago Art Institute is housed in a noteworthy building and contains many wonderful masterpieces including pieces by Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso and Henry Matisse.  Other highlights of the museum: the Arms and Armor exhibit, European decorative arts, photography collection, and the Asian exhibits. The Art Institute has the world's largest collection of impressionist paintings outside Paris.

Museum of Science and Industry
The building housing this museum was built for the 1893 Wold Columbian Exposition.  Among the many exhibits are an Apollo 8 Commando Module, a WWII British Spitfire, a 1914 Ford Model T, and a WWII German U-505 submarine. There is also a 20 ft tall walk-through model of a heart and an exhibit on AIDS.
Chicago’s Noteworthy Architecture

The skyscraper was born in Chicago and the city boasts some of the most impressive examples in the world. At 1,450 feet, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America. Chicago also boasts the third tallest building, the Aon Center at 1,136 feet, and the fourth, the John Hancock Center at 1,127 feet. Currently under construction is Trump International Hotel and Tower, which at 1,360 feet, will be Chicago’s second tallest building when completed. The nine-story Home Insurance Building, completed in 1885 at the northeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets is universally acknowledged as the world’s first skyscraper. Today, Chicago is considered a living museum of modern urban architecture, with classic examples of architectural schools from the 19th Century to contemporary times. 

A Chicago River cruise is a wonderful way to see many Chicago buildings noted for their architecture.  You can get these river cruises at the Michigan Avenue Bridge or the Navy Pier.



Wrigley Building

This is one of Chicago’s most famous buildings; it is the headquarters of the Wrigley chewing gum company.  During the day it stands out because of its white color while at night it is a spectacle showcased in floodlights.


Sears Tower
When built in 1974, this was the world’s tallest building.  Because of the way it was designed, it looks different from all angles. Incorporated into our conference logo, it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Chicago.


John Hancock Center
This building is referred to by locals as "Big John.”  There is an observation deck at the top where one gets fantastic views of Chicago.


And, by the way, did you know that all of the below were first introduced to the world in Chicago:

Roller skates, 1884
Steel-framed skyscraper, 1885
Comprehensive municipal plan, 1909
Cracker Jacks, 1893
American Nobel Prize-winner, 1907
Zipper, 1896
Controlled atomic reaction, 1942
Window envelope, 1902
Planetarium in W. Hemisphere, 1930
Hostess Twinkie, 1930
Municipal Cultural Center, 1897
Pinball game, 1930
Blood bank, 1937
Car race, 1895
Rotary Club, 1905
All-Star baseball game, 1933
Cafeteria, 1895
U.S. meat slicer, 1909
Daytime TV soap opera, 1949