There’s a Nip in the Air . . .

Fall means many things to many people.  Children often think of Halloween . . . for many it means fall clean up and raking up mounds of colorful fallen leaves . . .  Moms pull out winter wardrobes and determine who needs a new winter coat, and so on.  Though, a sure sign of fall is football!

Football is tourism at its best since cities where football games are played benefit in many ways. 

According to the chronology of professional football, the first football game played was in 1869, when Rutgers and Princeton played a college ‘soccer’ football game on November 6th?  It seems, however, that the first rules for American football were not written until 1876.

Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears - Flickr photo by ttarasiuk

In 1898, the Morgan Athletic Club formed a neighborhood football team on the Southside of Chicago, later named the Normals, then the Racine Cardinals, the Chicago Cardinals, becoming the St. Louis Cardinals, then the Phoenix Cardinals and are now known as the Arizona Cardinals, and have the distinct history of being the oldest continuing pro football team in operation today.  And while Chicago may be the foundaton for the oldest pro football team, it is the Chicago Bears that call Chicago home.

Chicago Water Tower survived the 1871 Chicago fire - Flickr photo by Bernt Rostad

If you traveled to Chicago back in the day, you might have traveled by rail as Chicago was not only one of the fastest growing cities in the United States with a population of 1.6 million residents, it was also the world’s largest rail hub.

Buckingham Fountain, one of Chicago's most recognized landmarks opened in 1927 - Flickr photo by David Paul Ohmer

Chicago, nicknamed the “Windy City” by the New York press, hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition, drawing more than 27.5 million visitors, and is considered “the most influential world’s fair in history.”   Chicago also was known for its innovative architecture, especially after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871; when stringent fire-safety codes were established.  Thus Chicago became a leader “in modern architecture and set the model nationwide for achieving vertical city densities.”

Chicago on the River - Flickr photo by NoiseCollusion

Today, Chicago rivals many cities worldwide with wonderful venues that draw tourists from around the world.  And, football fans that pile into Soldier Field to see the Chicago Bears are treated to far more than their favorite game.

Famed John Hancock Building - Photo by Wikimedia Commons

You might want to visit the John Hancock Building, the sixth tallest building in the U.S., and the fourth tallest in Chicago, or the Willis Tower Skydeck (known to many as the Sears Tower); either of which provide an outstanding view of greater Chicago and the water front.  Lincoln Park Zoo and Millennium Park are a real favorite for families, or if you’re a TV aficionado and lucky to be in town when An Oprah Winfrey show is being taped then you might want to trek over to Harpo Studios.

Lincoln Park Zoo features more than a million lights in late November and throughout December - Flickr photo by keith0117641

To learn about all these great attractions while in Chicago you may want to visit the following websites: http://www.johnhancockcenterchicago.com/, http://www.willistower.com/, http://www.lpzoo.com/, http://www.chicagotraveler.com/chicago_millennium_park.htm, http://www.chicagoadventures.com/fullday.html

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