The Windy City awaits, with flights from Thunder Bay to Chicago.
Whether you’re walking the Magnificent Mile, riding the Navy Pier Ferris wheel, or observing the city from the Willis Tower Skydeck, Chicago is sure to impress. This large midwestern city serves a deep dish of architecture and culture.
Start your trip from Thunder Bay with a tour of some of the city’s most famous structures. After the smoke of the 1871 Chicago fire settled, the city began a building boom that’s still visible along its Lake Michigan skyline. Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright left his mark on the city with daring designs like the world’s first modern building, the Unity Temple.
At the Smart Museum of Art, furniture from Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Robie House is on display. 15,000 other works from different eras make this museum a smart choice for art enthusiasts. Architecture meets art at the City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower, inside the Chicago Water Tower. Set in one of the only buildings to survive the Chicago Fire, this gallery features Chicago focused photography from local artists.
Chicago artists find a platform for performance at the Chicago Cultural Center. Free cultural events draw the public under the stained glass domes of this 1897 structure. The performing arts always have a home in Chicago’s many theatres. From the 1926 Oriental Theater to the open-air Harris Theater, there are always shows on in Chicago.
For a look into the heart of a Chicago cultural institution, see the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Enjoy America’s pastime, while you’re in town from Thunder Bay, to get the most of your Chicago experience.
Be sure to bring an empty suitcase on your trip from Thunder Bay, for a shopping trip on the Magnificent Mile.
Beginning at the Chicago River, this stretch of Michigan Avenue continues north to Oak Street. This easily walkable stretch features some of the best things to do in Chicago.
At the south end, you’ll spot the Tribune Tower, one of the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers. This neo-gothic building was initially built in 1868, and rebuilt after the Chicago fire of 1871, which spurred the city’s architectural revolution.
Continuing northward, you’ll be met with Chicago’s best shopping. This stretch of street is stocked with almost 500 stores, ranging from luxury labels to global brands. If you get hungry along your way, try one of the Magnificent Mile’s restaurants. 300 restaurants pack lunch with a punch, cooking up everything from dumplings to deep-dish pizza.
Work off your lunch, with a walk to some of the Magnificent Mile’s cultural attractions. The City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower holds the work of local artists in a historic building. Just off the Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art offer detours into Chicago’s cultural scene.
At the top of the Mile, the John Hancock Center can give you a view of the entirety of Chicago. On the 360 Chicago observation deck, the tilted windows of the 94th floor give you a vantage point over the city at 1,000 feet up. From this height, it feels as if you can see all the way home to Thunder Bay.
Business and leisure travellers from Thunder Bay can stay in the loop with Chicago’s attractions in the Loop.
If you’re travelling from Thunder Bay on business, the Loop is your best bet to see some of Chicago’s renowned architecture. Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, stands as a 108 storey monument to Chicago’s architectural ambition. From the glass-bottomed viewing balconies, you’ll have a sweeping view of the city below.
The smaller, but still impressive, Rookery Building dates back to 1888 and features a lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Public tours can guide you through one of the Rookery’s highlights, with its light court with intricate wrought iron details.
When you’re looking for leisure, the sprawling Grant Park provides an urban oasis. Whether you’re soaking in the spray of the rococo Buckingham Fountain, or soaking in the sounds of an outdoor concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, this park is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon.
Reflect on one of Chicago’s favourite photo-ops, Cloud Gate, as you exit Grant Park. This metallic bean-like structure looks like something from a science-fiction movie and was designed as a futuristic gateway to the city.
When the sun goes down, the Loop really comes to life. These busy streets aren’t just for business. With a thriving theatre district, the Loop is Chicago’s main stage. The historic 1921 Chicago Theater, whose sign has become a symbol for the city, shines the spotlight on plays, comedy, and music, in its ornate, gilded interior.
For more music, turn your ears toward Jazz Showcase. This circa 1947 jazz club holds 170 people in an intimate setting. A much bigger venue is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It’s one of the five largest orchestras in the United States and will bring your trip from Thunder Bay to a grand crescendo.
Fly from Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) to Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), with a quick connection in Toronto. Thunder Bay to Chicago flight time is 3 hours and 45 minutes on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Thunder Bay to Chicago is around 1,645 km / 1,020 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.
Porter’s check-in desk is located in departures, near security checkpoint A.
Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) is about 5 km / 3 mi from downtown Thunder Bay.
Please allow sufficient time to drop off your car rental before your departing flight.
Taxis from downtown cost about $30 CAD. Car service costs about $85 CAD.
Take the Thunder Bay Transit 3 Memorial / Airport bus to the airport stop. The fare is $2.65 CAD.
Several hotels offer complimentary shuttle bus service to the airport.
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is about 9 km / 6 mi from downtown Chicago.
The Go Airport Express shuttle bus provides service from the airport to downtown. The fare is $27 USD.
Car rental services are available at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW). Take the shuttle to the rental car area from the pick-up location at door 3 of the lower level, near the baggage claim area.
Taxis to downtown cost about $20 USD per person. Car service is available.
Take the Chicago Transit Authority orange line from the Midway stop. The fare is $2.25 USD.