Summer is underway, but Fall is just around the corner. Future minded business and procurement leaders: it’s time to start planning your trip for the premier annual conference for smart business buying, Amazon Business Reshape 2023 (register here if you haven’t already).
Our conference is the main event, but Chicago is a close second. Whether you’re traveling from across the globe or playing tourist in your hometown, The Windy City has much to offer. Named the best big U.S. city to visit for six years and counting, Chicago offers world-class dining, entertainment, and cultural experiences. Many are a quick walk or ride from our conference headquarters, the Marriott Marquis.
What are you looking forward to? Here are some recommendations from Chicago-based Amazonians.
Chicago has a long and storied musical history, serving as the birthplace of genres like house and Chicago-style blues, as well as legendary artists like Smashing Pumpkins, Chaka Khan, and Earth, Wind &Fire. There’s no shortage of top-notch music venues to explore throughout the city.
● For something a bit more vintage, check out the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge in Uptown for live jazz (and to learn about the bar’s fabled history with Al Capone).
● If you’re in the mood to get dressed up, pay a visit to the Theodore Thomas Orchestra Hall, located in the heart of the Loop, to see the 64-time-Grammy-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Even if you don’t make it out to a venue, you won’t miss out on music while in Chicago. Throughout Amazon Business Reshape 2023, you’ll enjoy performances from the multi-platinum alt-rock band Gin Blossoms.
Known for its theater and improv comedy scene, Chicago offers a wide variety of non-musical entertainment:
● Theater. Chicago is home to a wide array of options for theater aficionados, from DIY shows in intimate theaters to grand Broadway productions in massive concert halls. Enjoy Broadway shows in the heart of Chicago's Theater District, which is home to the CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and Cadillac Palace Theatre. For innovative contemporary theater, pay a visit to Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Lincoln Park.
● Comedy. For visitors in the mood for a laugh, Chicago’s thriving comedy scene is full of options. Catch emerging stand-up comics at venues like the Laugh Factory and Zanies, or see an improv show at the iconic Second City, whose alumni include actors like Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, and Keegan Michael-Key.
We could not possibly capture all of Chicago’s mouth-watering food options in one list—it’s an exceptional food city, after all. But here are a few Chicago mainstays every visitor should try at least once in their lifetime (or if you’re like us, many, many times).
Enjoy Chicago staples like deep-dish pizza at restaurants including Lou Malnati’s and Pequod’s Pizza, and Chicago-style hot dogs at Devil Dawgs or The Hot Dog Box. Or, swing by Portillo’s or Al’s for a classic Italian Beef sandwich (a must-do for any “The Bear” fans).
There are also countless Michelin Star restaurants to choose from, including the modern Japanese restaurant Mako and upscale Mexican restaurant Topolobampo . For a more guided culinary experience, sign up for a tour with Chicago Food Tours and grab a bite at some of the city’s best hidden gems.
Art lovers, history buffs, and science enthusiasts alike will find exhibits to admire across Chicago’s roster of world-class museums.
● Start with the city’s flagship art museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses nearly 300,000 pieces in the Loop. Take in ancient Buddhist statues, traditional African art, and works from artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Edward Hopper. Also plan a stop at The Bean for an iconic photo!
● Then, head south to Museum Campus, home to several of Chicago’s top museums. Pay a visit to the Shedd Aquarium to check out marine life including dolphin, penguin, and sea otter exhibits.
While the Loop offers no shortage of fun activities, Chicago’s real magic is found in the city’s 200 neighborhoods, each with its own character and history. Plan an extra day to explore the authentic Mexican food and beautiful street murals in Pilsen. Check out vintage clothing stores, record shops, and art galleries in Wicker Park. Or take a 20-minute walk from the Marriott Marquis to Chinatown, which offers stunning architecture and traditional east Asian cuisine.
We couldn’t ask for a better city to host Amazon Reshape 2023. Early bird registration for our conference is now open, so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets if you haven’t already. Why not plan to connect with your network and peers at our conference and enjoy Chicago together!
Be on the lookout for more updates on Amazon Business Reshape 2023 over the coming months. We can’t wait to see you in the Windy City!
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