On this episode of MakingChips, Jim talks with Jason Lesniewicz, Director of Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago, about the best way to experience Chicago. Jason leads Choose Chicago’s cultural tourism strategy positioning as a global, cultural destination to increase visitation and achieve the annual goal of 55 million visitors as set forth by mayor Rahm Emanuel, which they achieved in 2017. Listen to this conversation for ideas and tips on how to enjoy Chicago when you come to IMTS in September.
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Chicagoans love their city. Jason Lesniewicz grew up in Chicago and has lived there his entire life. He shares the best way to experience Chicago by describing the unique neighborhoods that set the city apart. From McCormick Place convention center you can either walk or take a short taxi or Uber ride to get to several of these neighborhoods. From Wrigleyville to the West Loop to the Gold Coast, each one provides great dining, entertainment, and cultural opportunities.
Chicago is known for its fantastic food. No matter what you’re craving, you can find it somewhere in Chicago. Jason Lesniewicz shares his top three favorite restaurants. He says the West Loop is the best neighborhood for the Chicago dining scene. He suggests Randolph and Fulton Streets as a great place to start. The area was part of the old warehouse district that has seen a fantastic renovation with great restaurants. The best part about grabbing a bite to eat in the West Loop is that it is only about a mile away from McCormick Place.
IMTS will be in Chicago in mid-September, which is a beautiful time of year. The humidity begins to drop and the average temperature is in the mid-70s. It will be a great time to experience Chicago and the different cultural opportunities the city has to offer. Chicago is known for its signature layout around the river as well as for its incredible architecture. There are many theaters that often feature off-broadway and pre-broadway shows. During September, there are three sports teams that will be in season, including the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears. During your stay in Chicago, you will want to be sure to explore the many cultural opportunities. Listen as Jason and Jim share more about the city you don’t want to miss during this episode.
With all that Chicago has to offer on top of the vast IMTS exhibit space, it might be difficult to decide what experiences you’re going to take in while in Chicago. Just as you should with IMTS, planning ahead is key for making the most of your time experiencing Chicago. Jason and Jim narrow down their top 3 favorite experiences. From sightseeing tours, river cruises and a ride on the Centennial Ferris Wheel, to catching a game at historic Wrigley Field, hear their 3 recommended experiences and make your plans accordingly.