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Your guide to Chicago’s weird and wonderful
Chicago – affectionately known as the Windy City – is home to over 2.6 million people and is famed for its bold architecture including the John Hancock Center. Though it’s not only the impressive buildings that capture tourist’s attention, but the weird and wonderful quirks that make the city so unique.

For an off-grid experience we’ve put together our top things to see during your stay in the heart of Illinois.


View the 1957 Cadillac encased in concrete

If you walked past and didn’t already know what it was you might find it hard to believe that the 15 cubic yards of concrete holds an actual 1957 Cadillac De Ville. Believe me when I say your eyes aren’t deceiving you!

The piece was created in 1970 by German artist Wolf Vostell. Called Concrete Traffic, it originally resided at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. After 6 months it was then on display in Hyde Park before the cold Chicago winters meant it was moved inside the Hyde Park neighborhood at 60th and Ingleside parking structure in 2016.


How to get there: the street address is 5501 S. Ellis Avenue. Though the entrance gate is on Greenwood, one block east.


Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities

If you’re on the lookout for a truly unique souvenir to surprise your friends, or as an interesting conversation piece at your next dinner party, make sure you visit Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities. Opened in 2010 by a couple who were inspired by a set of teeth they were gifted; the shop has become a hub of bizarre relics. From used hearing aids, odd taxidermy, lice powder and skulls. The shop is filled to the brim with the weird and wonderful – you’re sure to find something to capture intrigue.


How to get there: the street address is 1513 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60640. Located next to Hopleaf.


Off to see the wonderful wizard of… Chicago?

Did you know the author L. Frank Baum who wrote the Wizard of Oz lived near Lincoln Park in the 1890s?

When the city decided to improve the dilapidated neighbourhood they took inspiration from his well-loved novel and chose to feature Oz-ified amenities including the playground called Dorothy’s Playlot, and a green space known as Emerald Gardens. Throughout the park the beloved characters stand proud amongst the greenery. If you look around you’ll spot the 1939 musical adaptations of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and Toto.


How to get there: the entrances are at intersections of W Webster & N Orchard (the statue of Dorothy) and the intersection of N Lincoln Ave, N Larrabee St., and W Webster (the statue of the Tin Man). The park is open daily from 6:00am to 11:00pm. The address is; 2021 N Burling St Chicago, Illinois, 60614.


Have a moment of peace at Garfield Park Conservatory

When you need a break from the bustling streets and eye-wateringly tall structures, take a moment to enjoy the peace and nature in this hidden gem.

Garfield Park Observatory is a community-run garden that acts as both a study space and an artistic collection. On entry you’re greeted with moist, humid air and striking shades of green. Each year different plants are showcased in new arrangements so you’re guaranteed to see gorgeous displays filled with exotic flowers. Open 365 days a year, you’ll always find a place to unwind here.


How to get there: the street address is 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, Illinois, 60624. Open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm, and until 8:00pm on Wednesday. Admission is always free.


Discover magic and myth on the coast of Chicago

Over 50 years ago in 1968 four sculptors decided to hide a mermaid along the city’s waterfront. Made from public stone, the beautiful creation by guerrilla artists Jose Moreno, Román Villareal, Fred Arroyo and Edfu Kingigna, was originally unauthorised but has since become a much loved masterpiece and eventually preserved.

During its time in its original location, the sculpture was a secret amongst locals, until 2000 when the U.S Army Corps of Engineers blew its cover. Between then and now it was put in to storage in 2004, before a group of students worked with the park district to restore it and get it back in to the public eye. Since 2010 the work has sat in its current Oakwood Beach location.


How to get there: Walk along the bike path near the Oakwood 41st Street Beach


To plan your off the grid discovery of Chicago, view all packages here.


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