Settlers took more than one route through the American continent, towards the west – and not all of them led to the South West. On the contrary, one of the trails led from Independence, MI, to Oregon. On this path of former settlers, we’re not starting in Independence, but in Chicago, and going towards the north, passing Yellowstone into Portland.
Chicago is a US city with many must-sees. Here are some that should be on your bucket list:
1. Go on an Inside Chicago walking tour
Get to know Chicago through its real-life stories. Walk through modern architectural history and see gorgeous, hidden, and fascinating details of buildings behind their usually closed doors. This really is a tour that will allow you to discover Chicago in a different and exciting way. Book this walking tour via phone at (800) 979-3370.
2. Go see the Art Institute of Chicago
This art institute features one of the world’s great art collections and, having won the TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award 2014, is a Chicago must-see! Plan several hours up to a day to really be able to enjoy its world-class exhibits.
3. Take a photo at the Cloud Gate
One of the main attractions in Chicago, the centerpiece of the Millennium Park is a bean-shaped sculpture reflecting the surroundings in an intriguing way. Go ahead and snap a photo!
4. Pay a visit to the Holy Name Cathedral
This site won the Certificate of Excellence in 2014 and is one of the most beautiful cathedrals Chicago has to offer. Built in Neo-Gothic style, this building is an eye-catcher and worth the visit.
How to get there
Buses from Chicago to Madison leave three times a day from the Greyhound Bus Terminal on 630 W Harrison Street. The ride takes about four hours, so you should have ample time to visit Madison if you choose the early morning bus.
Madison is the capital of the State of Wisconsin and is the second-largest city in the region. This makes it a worthy stop on any travel towards the west.
1. Visit Wisconsin State Capitol
The State Capitol of Wisconsin was built in Neo-Renaissance style. Entry is free and there are tours provided for those interested in learning more. Additionally, you can go on one of their balconies to enjoy great views of the city!
2. Go to the Madison Farmer’s Market
Each Saturday, the Madison Farmer’s Market takes place on the square around the State Capitol. This also is one of the must-sees of the region and a great opportunity to buy snacks and drinks for the journey towards the west.
3. Sample spirits at the old sugar distillery
Stop off to sample the self-distilled spirits of the Old Sugar Distillery. Visitors like the upbeat atmosphere and the generous samples they are served. Try some of their honey specialties before you hop back onto the bus!
4. Enjoy Lake Mendota
This beautiful, underrated lake is in the middle of Madison, and offers a really nice stroll along its borders. It’s also great for a swim in the summer or for some ice-skating in the winter.
Photo of Chicago courtesy of USATourist.com