Sweet Home Chicago and

TravelMuse completes its alpha phase and migrates to its new address. Oh, and we have a new issue too—my hometown, Chicago.


For those visiting TravelMuse for the first time—welcome! This issue marks the debut of TravelMuse on its official Web site after a three-month alpha test period.

We’re incredibly excited about the release—so much so that we took time out to celebrate with a team bowling outing—and hope you are too. 

Users familiar with TravelMuse know that we offer online travel guides for 150 destinations, booking capability for air and hotels, and a growing library of original articles written by our editorial staff and a team of nearly 50 freelance writers.

With this release we’re also pleased to introduce the following new features:

• updated and improved functionality of the site overall, particularly for searches;

• the TravelMuse Company Blog, where you can keep up with what’s new and happening with the company;

• the Photo Blog, led by one of our photo editors, Calista Chandler; author pages for our freelancers;

• and the TravelMuse Planner—currently available only to a select group of individuals.

Every two weeks since January, we’ve published a new issue of our online magazine. Issue covers have included Alaska, Rome, Vail, Orlando, Lake Tahoe and Seattle.

This week I’m excited to present the Chicago issue. 

A Kid’s Kinda Town

Chicago is famous for being the epicenter of many kids’ favorite foods: hot dogs and pizza. But did you know that Chicago also is where Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys were invented, and where the Ferris Wheel debuted? That makes the city a bone fide kid’s kinda town.

It certainly was my kinda town growing up 40 miles outside its southwest border. I savored every opportunity to spend a day or weekend in the city, visiting the Art Institute, catching Cubs games with my mom and her girlfriends, thoroughly loving those Vienna hot dogs served at Wrigley Field, or sinking my teeth into a corn-crusted slice of thick Gino’s East pizza pie. Each time we’d visit cousins who lived near O’Hare International Airport, I begged my dad to stop there for just a little while so I could count the planes and daydream about all the exotic places people were coming from and going to. The roar of the jets lulled me into a peaceful state that worked better than Ritalin. I was already a travel junkie.

Another travel lover from Chicago, journalist Cindy Richards, wrote our Chicago overview, along with a piece on tours led by teen docents of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in nearby Oak Park, budget tips for exploring the city with kids and favorite restaurants where her family likes to dine. I share Windy City restaurant recommendations as well in our Taste Buds column, and a roundup of hotel family packages. Additional destination coverage includes a Chicago College Visits guide by Rebekah Tsadik, a TravelMuse intern who’s about to graduate from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwest University, and a look at accessible Chicago by Samantha Cleaver in our Special Needs column.

Back Page columnist Amy Hatch gets expert tips on how to survive flight delays with kids at airports, particularly at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in her one-on-one with the Chicago Department of Aviation about the airport's cool kids areas. Rounding out this issue are 10 cruise packing tips by Debbie Hardin; a piece on Brisbane’s South Bank, a kid-friendly respite in the Aussie city, by Ben Chapman, who writes the Road Trip column for the Washington Post; and a review by veteran newsman Maurice Fliess of the Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism that opened on April 11 in Washington, D.C.

We hope you like the new issue, along with the improvements to the site. As always, we’d love to hear from you on how we’re doing. Share your thoughts by clicking the Feedback button found on the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, or, if you haven’t already done so, please register on the site, which will enable you to rate and comment on articles, hotels and points-of-interest.

I’m now going to sign off and put our new planner to the test for my upcoming vacation to Argentina. Next issue on the docket: Quebec City.

Happy trails!

Donna M. Airoldi
Editorial Director

Destinations: Chicago

Themes: Family Travel

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