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4 Epic Reasons to Visit Chicago, the Windy City

4 Epic Reasons to Visit Chicago, the Windy City

If you’re planning a vacation on the Land of the Free then you should definitely consider a visit to Chicago. Chicago is one of North America’s most unique and beautiful big cities with its perfect combination of art, culture, and history. Below are some of the reasons why Chicago is such a popular tourist destination. And if you do decide to make the trip, make sure you have a Chicago Travel Guide and Offline City Map & Metro on the ready. Willis Tower

The Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) is the tallest building in the United States with a dizzying height of 1,450 ft. Designed by Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the tower is made unique by its lack of interior supports. It instead uses nine exterior frame tubes to maintain its structural integrity. The Skydeck in the 103rd floor allows for a 360-degree view of the city. The Skydeck also connects to the Ledge, an arrangement of enclosed glass boxes that allow you to view straight down to the ground.

Field Museum

The Field Museum, named after its first major benefactor Marshall Field, is a massive museum built to display items from the World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, it houses a plethora of treasures, fossils, and artifacts. It also offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits. The unique insight into global cultures and environments past and present makes it one of the best museums in the United States.

Navy Pier

The Navy Pier, a former military and freight terminal, has undergone numerous renovations to become a center of recreation filled to the brim with various attractions for both kids and adults. Today, it has become the most visited attraction in Chicago, drawing over eight million people every year. It also offers spectacular views of the city.

Let's have fun at Chicago Navy Pier
Let's have fun at Chicago Navy Pier

Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is the second most popular attraction in Chicago. It is also one of the oldest zoos in the US and one of the few that still offer free admission. This small park was built in 1868 with just a couple of swans. Now it is home to a wide variety of animals and has even become one of the leaders in ape research.

Visit nature in Chicago!
Visit nature in Chicago!

There are tons of more reasons to visit the wonderful city of Chicago. eTips, your reliable travel companion, has info on all of them.

Haight-Ashbury: On San Francisco's Hippie Trail

Haight-Ashbury: On San Francisco's Hippie Trail

Fueled by either flower-power or psychedelic drugs, an estimated 100,000 tie-dye-wearing, alternative-lifestyle-advocating, Vietnam-War-protesting, rock-and-rolling youths marched to the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco.It was 1967 – the Summer of Love.

Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair

If the Summer of Love had a soundtrack, Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco would be the first track. The song - along with its now famous lyrics, “be sure to wear flowers in your hair” - was used to promote the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Headlined by legends such The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas and the Papas, Otis Redding, The Animals, and Ravi Shankar, the now iconic three-day long music festival officially kicked-off the Summer of Love.

And as the festival wound down, the thousands in attendance continued their counter-culture pilgrimage to what will soon become as the epicenter of hippie culture – Haight-Ashbury district, San Francisco.

Going on a Good Trip

Although the Haight-Ashbury district is a very different scene now, fragments of the 60s hippie culture still peeks through the high-end boutiques, private schools, and even through a Ben & Jerry’s franchise.

So, if you’re up for a very good – excuse the pun – trip, to re-live the era of free love, first, download this free app. The San Francisco Travel Guide and Offline City Maps SF has an augmented reality feature, offline metro maps, and suggested itineraries.

To get you started on following the hippie trail, here are a few suggestions of historical and groovy places to visit in the Haight-Ashbury district from eTips.

San Francisco Travel Guide and metro maps
San Francisco Travel Guide and metro maps

The Red Victorian

As one of the Haight-Ashbury originals and witness to the Summer of Love, there are plenty of reasons to stay at The Red Victorian.

But mostly, who wouldn’t want to stay in hotel that’s rumoured to have been a brothel, hosts World Peace Conversations on Sundays, and have rooms named Summer of Love, Flower Children, Earth Charter, and Peacock?

The Painted Ladies

If only Haight’s Painted Ladies can talk. These intricately-designed Victorian and Edwardian houses that line up the district’s streets, were once home to such greats as Jimi Hendrix (1524A Haight St.), The Hell’s Angels (719 Ashbury St.), Grateful Dead (710 Ashbury), Janis Joplin (122 Lyon St.), and Sid Vicious (32 Delmar St.).

Hippie Hill

Living up to its name (and history), Hippie Hill on the east end of Golden Gate Park hosts the annual 420 in the Park festival. Where thousands of visitors smoke up, listen to some drum circles, face paint, and most probably, satisfy their mid-day munchies.

The festival isn’t exactly legal, so enjoy at your own discretion. But if you want a more law abiding happening, the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of June.

Bound Together Bookstore

Nothing screams more of counter-culture symbol than a bookstore with "An Anarchist Collective" as its tag-line. The all volunteer-run, consensus-based shop sell zines and books that cover topics like feminism, queer culture, poetry, politics, drugs, spirituality, and, of course, Anarchism.

Tourism in San Francisco
Tourism in San Francisco

Amoeba Music

While it wasn’t yet around during the Summer of Love, Amoeba Music is the portal to era’s record collection. True to its name as the world’s largest independent record store, it carries everything from vintage vinyl LPs to hard-to-find CDs, even cassettes.

If you’re a music lover, better dedicate a whole day just for visiting the shop. Because with their quality stock of music and movies, you might not even make it to the new release aisle.

Jammin’ on Haight

What better souvenir from the home of the hippies than premier psychedelic fashion items? In true peace and love fashion, the boutique gives a portion of its profits to Taking It To The Streets San Francisco (TITTS), an organization that works with homeless youth.

Eat Your Way Around NYC: Best Hot-dogs in New York City

Eat Your Way Around NYC: Best Hot-dogs in New York City


The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is real and it knows everything about hot dogs.According to the Council’s most recent data, Americans consume roughly 9 billion hot dogs a year – and that’s just what they’re buying from retail stores. They estimate that if you add other places where hot dogs are served like a baseball game, local fairs, and carnivals, the number is actually closer to 20 billion.

And the city with the largest appetite for hot dogs? The city that never sleeps, or in this case, never stops eating hot dogs, New York City.

If you want to see the city in its most authentic, download the New York Travel Guide and Offline City Map app and take a bite of gastronomic history with this list of the best hot-dogs in NYC from eTips.

Nathan’s Famous

As iconic as its original location in Coney Island is its annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. The current record is held by competitive eater Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who ate 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

New York Travel Guide and offline maps
New York Travel Guide and offline maps

Gray’s Papaya

If you want a no non-sense New York hot dog, Gray’s Papaya on the Upper West Side at the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street is open to satisfy your taste buds, 365 days a year, 24/7. A must-try is their much beloved Recession Specials - $4.50 for two hot dogs and a 14 ounce drink.

New York Best Hot Dogs
New York Best Hot Dogs

Crif Hot Dogs

An open mind and a recklessly adventurous palate is what’s required if you’re eating at Crif Hot Dogs. Long way from traditional, toppings for its bacon-wrapped hot dogs consist of pineapples, cream cheese, eggs, avocado among others. And, of course, slathered in copious amounts of melted cheese.

Katz’s Delicatessen

A sign where Meg Ryan sat in the movie When Harry Met Sally reads: "Where Harry Met Sally... Hope You Had What She Had! Enjoy!" And what she had was their classic pastrami sandwich, meant to be eaten with mustard – and only mustard. It’s been on top of every Best Pastrami Sandwich in New York City list. Put simply, it’s delicious – and there’s no faking that.

Papaya King

At first glance, the odd combination of tropical fruit drinks and a beef frankfurter doesn’t make any sense – but it does. When you’ve got a drink made by New York’s first juice bar and a hot dog topped with a delicious red onion sauce, everything makes absolute sense. Curious? Drop-by their flagship store at the corner of 86th Street and 3rd Ave in Manhattan.