Chicago: A Photo Essay

Chicago: A Photo Essay

I have spent nearly the entirety of the past year in South America.  I had become accustomed to great architecture, insightful museums, and entertaining sporting and cultural events.  I traveled to Chicago expecting nothing similar to that, and was shocked and impressed with what the Windy City had to offer.  This is a photo essay documenting my week in Chicago.

The Chicago Metro lines are filled with sounds, from the violent rails crashing to beautiful jazz.

Chicago Subway

To my surprise Chicago is filled with great architecture


Being an 80s child and a huge nba basketball fan…the biggest draw to Chicago for me was anything Michael Jordan related

Me and Mike

I went on a search for some iconic pictures and ran into the very photogenic Union Station.

Union Station

The Columns of Union Station make photography easy


I don’t care what the official name is, it will always be Sears Tower.

Sears (Willis) Tower

Like Mike, I dunk on people…


I’m really not sure of the point of this big shinny bean, but it does make for some fun photography opportunities.

The bean

Field Museum of Natural History.  It is a must visit!

A night at the Museum

A look over the harbour at night.  As a Montreal Canadiens fan this picture hurts a little bit.  But it was still fun to be a part of the Stanley Cup atmosphere in the city.  It’s been a long time coming for them!

Stanley Cup Champs

Navy Pier features a huge Ferries Wheel.  This picture of the skyline of Chicago was taken from the top of the Ferris Wheel.

City from Navy Pier

No Trip to Chicago is fulfilled without a trip to a ball game.  It makes for the perfect family day,

Baseball with the family

In Chicago there is really no need to seek out concerts… there is free music everywhere, including the streets and the subways.

Chicago street music

Nothing like a day at a theme park.  Six Flags Great America is packed with things to do, a very easy way to spend a day.

Six Flags

Shedd Aquarium is well worth the entrance fee.  But be prepared to spend the entire day here, it is filled with exhibits, a 4D film, and live action shows.


Chicago may not be on your travel lists, it wasn’t on mine, but it should be.

Sun Set

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Most people from other countries when they come to the U.S. come and visit either of the coasts especially LA and New York. They also might come to see Las Vegas and/or Grand Canyon, so many skip out on Chicago. Maybe your photo journal will help change that. Nice pics.

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    • I hope so… I honestly don’t know if I would have ever have gone to Chicago had my gf not been there… but I’m very glad I went!

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  2. I’ve only been to Chicago once – for a day – and have wanted to go back ever since. I wasn’t expecting that too much and was pleasantly surprised by the city. Loved the post & photos.

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    • Thanks Ashley,
      Let me tell you if you do Chicago again, plan on spending about a week or so!

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  3. I’ve spent 6 months in the USA and didn’t make it to Chicago, but I’d love to go! I’ll definitely include it in the “coast to coast” trip I’ll do:)

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  4. Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the world. There is something about that city at night…I can’t even describe it. Just beautiful.

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  5. Nice! I spent 1 day in Chicago a few years ago, not nearly enough time. I need to go back someday.

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  6. “To my surprise Chicago is filled with great architecture”


    Chicago was the birthplace of the modern skyscraper and Oak Park (suburb) was home to Frank Lloyd Wright! not to mention Mies Van Der Rohe’s practice was here!

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