Hello Old Town
You know when you're in Old Town because you can hear the bells of St. Michael's Church, one of the few structures not to be completely destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Another giveaway is its streets; here they are narrower and less evenly-spaced than elsewhere in Chicago, particularly in the Old Town Triangle which was laid out before the grid pattern became commonplace. The Victorian, brick-built buildings are for the most part low-rise, and the only skyscrapers you'll see are those that are poking their heads up further downtown. The effect of all this is that Old Town serves up a much less hectic, more locally-driven Chicago experience – think neighborhood bookstores, aromatic spice shops and the type of down-to-earth-type retailers that you're simply not going to find on the Magnificent Mile. You can take in the views of Lake Michigan with a stroll around Lincoln Park or along North Avenue Beach, grab a drink or dinner in a neighborhood hangout, and buy yourself tickets to a night at 'The Second City' – Chicago's legendary comedy club.