Chicago's unassuming nightlife scene comes as a refreshing change to some other big US cities. Most locals prefer to stay close to what they know and hang out at their local watering hole, but Chicago still has its fair share of hip and happening places to see and be seen in.
Popular areas for nightclubs, bars and music venues include Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Lakeview, where revellers can find music clubs devoted to just about every genre from rhythm and blues and jazz to alternative rock and Indie. The city's waterfront nightlife is popular with residents and tourists alike, while the piano bars at The Drake Hotel and the Ambassador East Hotel's Pump Room are favourites with locals.
Wells Street in the Old Town offers some great restaurants and bars as well as the popular Zanies Comedy Club. Chicago's gay scene is concentrated on a stretch of North Halsted Street in Lakeview, where men's bars dominate the strip.
The birthplace of house music in the 1980s, Chicago has plenty of loud and pumping clubs full of 20-somethings dancing the night away to the latest offerings of the resident DJ. Many of these types of clubs pop up and disappear at a dizzying rate while others have been around for decades.
The culture scene in Chicago is bustling with shows and plays running throughout the year at renowned Chicago theatre companies, such as the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Goodman Theatre, and the Victory Gardens Theater. Broadway-style entertainment can be found at the LaSalle Bank Theater and the Cadillac Palace Theater. For lovers of classical music, a visit to Symphony Center to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform is an absolute must.
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