Chicago

A few months ago, when I told my friends and family that I was packing up and moving from my comfortable home in sunny Atlanta for a fantastic journey to the Windy City, everyone offered me the same regard: “I hear the summers in Chicago are amazing!”

At the time, I thought they said this because they had never been to Chicago or because that’s all everyone talks about here. It never occurred to this Southern-raised gentleman that it’s because summer — such a tangible never-ending season in Georgia — is more of an elusive treat here in the Midwest.

So as soon as non-freezing temps begrudgingly poke their heads out of the massive piles of dirty snow, millions of hardened Chicagoans shed their warm-winter layers to venture back out into their beloved city. With children, dogs and bikes in tow, the streets are once-again flooded with passers-by enjoying the iconic attractions that make Chicago summers just so remarkable.

Here are my Top 3 Chicago Landmarks — worthy of waiting through 8 months of winter to see.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park  sits on 24½ acres in downtown Chicago. It features structures produced by world-renowned artists, including Jaume Plensa’s 50-foot tall video projecting water fountains, Pritzler Pavilion’s outdoor music venue with its twisted metal towering 120 feet, and arguably Chicago’s most photogenic resident, CloudGate.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers tours that celebrate and explore the city’s revered structures, including everything from skyscrapers to private homes. Tours take place on foot, buses or boats and range between 90 minutes and seven hours in duration, depending on the topic.

View from the top

Willis Tower

The Willis Tower dominates Chicago’s skyline, stretching more than 1,300 feet into the air. Located on the 103rd floor is the Skydeck, which provides a 360 degree view of the city from atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Here you will find glass boxes extending out over the building’s edge giving visitors the appearance of floating on air.

And if you want to summer like a true local, we have just what you need: Loews Chicago’s “Summer Like a Local” package includes two tickets to the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour and breakfast for two at Rural Society.

Loews Hotels & Co.