By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We're going to see a taping of Oprah Winfrey. Where can we get accommodation and what streets should we cover?

A: Over a century ago when Chicago city planner and architect, Daniel Burnham, remarked "Make no small plans," he truly meant it.

Affectionately known as the "Windy City," Chicago is an oasis for jazz, art, sports and lovers of Oprah. This is where a multi-talented news anchor/actress morphed into a syndicated talk show goddess. It's also the home to basketball legend Michael Jordan and the northern home of migrating deep south blues players like Louis Armstrong and Muddy Waters.

When it comes to a street worth visiting the "Magnificent Mile" known for its swanky boutiques runs along the famed North Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River. A few blocks west of the Field Museum at Canal Street, the Maxwell Street Market is a hub for junk collectors where you can find anything and everything from old tee-shirts to music albums. Founded in the 19th century this Chicago open-air market is open Sunday year-round.

Like any large urban center, accommodations run the gamut. There's the luxurious Ritz-Carlton (tel. 800/621-6906), the historical Drake (140 E. Walton Place) and a list of hotels such as the Holiday Inn Chicago City Center, (tel. 800/HOLIDAY) and the Four Seasons (tel. 800/332-3442) with magnificent views. For the budget-minded, Motel 6 quickly comes to mind. Located 14 miles outside the city center, reservations can be made at toll-free 800/466-8356.

For more accommodation info and online reservations visit Visitors who prefer a live operator can call 1-877- CHICAGO (1-877-244-2246) and speak to a travel counselor. Locally (Canada-wide), visitors can contact the Chicago Office of Tourism and State of Illinois Office to request brochures at: 905-891-1581 or toll free at 1-866-776-0812.


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All text & photos 2004.