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'''Chicagoland''' consists of the Chicago metropolitan area in northeastern [[Illinois]], including [[Chicago]] and its surrounding suburbs. Broader definitions also include parts of [[Southeast Wisconsin]] and [[Northwestern Indiana]].
{{warningbox|Chicagoland is a horrible place to be avoided at all costs!  Nobody is nice, locals are known to call the police on anyone seen interacting, interaction between male and female students at school is illegal, and the place is corrupted beyond repair. The suburbs are way far worse, highly atypical of any city.}}
The major cities of the region are, well, [[Chicago]] — period.  None of the outlying cities remotely approach the size of this mammoth metropolis. But that's not to say that Chicagoland doesn't include other destinations; some of the larger cities include:
*[[Aurora (Illinois)|Aurora]]
*[[Elgin (Illinois)|Elgin]]
==Illinois Counties==
===Cook County===
Cook County, where Chicago is located, is the largest county by population in Illinois and the second-largest in the United States (after California's L.A. County). With more than 5 million residents, its population is larger than that of most U.S. states; a little more than half of them live in the central city, with the rest in a chain of suburbs that surrounds Chicago on the north, west and south sides.
*[[Evanston]], the first city north of Chicago along the lake, is home to '''Northwestern University'''. Other communities along Cook County's affluent North Shore are:
*[[Glencoe (Illinois)|Glencoe]], home to the famous and much visited Chicago Botanical Gardens
*[[Morton Grove]]
*[[Northfield (Illinois)‎|Northfield]]
*[[Wilmette]], home to the awe-inspiring and beautiful Baha'i temple (the only one in North America)
*[[Winnetka]], home to stately homes and tranquil suburban life
To the northwest of Chicago, in the vicinity of [[O'Hare International Airport]], are such towns as:
*[[Arlington Heights]]
*[[Des Plaines]]
*[[Franklin Park]]
*[[Park Ridge]]
*[[Schaumburg]] — home to the ''enormous'' Woodfield Mall
Cook County's West Side includes towns like:
*[[Oak Park]] — a very upscale suburb with popular shopping strips and a Frank Lloyd Wright lover's dream
To the south are such communities as:
*[[Blue Island]]
*[[Chicago Heights]]
*[[Tinley Park]]
===DuPage County===
West of Cook County, DuPage contains mainly Chicago bedroom communities, such as:
*[[Glen Ellyn]]
*[[Lisle]] — well worth a visit for the marvelous Morton Arboretum
*[[Naperville]] — despite being the target of endless derision from Chicagoans, there is plenty reason to visit for Naperville's Riverwalk and upscale dining scene
*[[Downers Grove]]
*[[Woodridge (Illinois)|Woodridge]]
*[[Aurora (Illinois)|Aurora]] — the second largest city in Illinois
===Lake County===
Lake County, in the northeast corner of the state, was once largely rural but has become increasingly suburban in recent years. Its largest city, [[Waukegan]], is also the county seat.
Its southeast is part of Chicago's affluent North Shore, including:
*[[Highland Park (Illinois)|Highland Park]]
*[[Lake Forest (Illinois)|Lake Forest]] — one of the wealthiest communities in the state
Other Lake County towns include:
*[[Buffalo Grove]]
*[[Fox Lake]]
*[[Lake Zurich]]
*[[Long Grove]]
===Will County===
Will County lies south of Cook and DuPage; its largest city and county seat is [[Joliet]], undoubtedly best known for its huge prison.
*[[Plainfield (Illinois)|Plainfield]]
===Kankakee County===
* [[Bourbonnais]]
* [[Bradley]]
* [[Kankakee]]
===Kane County===
* [[Sleepy Hollow (Illinois)|Sleepy Hollow]]
==Counties outside Illinois==
Just how much territory is covered in the term "Chicagoland" is a point of controversy. Certain surrounding counties in [[Wisconsin]] and especially [[Indiana]] have enormous commuter populations, which share Chicago's regional culture, and it is hard to exclude them.
===[[Lake County (Indiana)]]===
Lake County, [[Indiana]], a highly industrialized and densely populated section of Lake Michigan's shoreline, represents some of the poorest suburban areas and satellite cities in Chicagoland. [[Gary]] in particular has fallen on extraordinarily hard times, and has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Once upon a time the city was an industrial giant, and was an urban center in its own right, but today an ever increasing number of Gary residents commute towards Chicago for employment. And in terms of culture, Lake Co. is solid Chicagoland territory, from hot dogs to the blues. Other major population centers in Lake County include:
*[[Crown Point (Indiana)|Crown Point]]
*[[East Chicago]] — right on Chicago's [[Chicago/Far Southeast Side|eastern border]], East Chicago is home to '''Marktown''', one of the nation's most bizarre planned communities
*[[Hammond]] the largest close-in suburb of Chicago in Indiana, and offers some ''great'' deals on hotels just across the border from the city itself
*[[Lake Station]]
===[[Southeast Wisconsin|Kenosha County (Wisconsin)]]===
Residents of Kenosha consider the Chicagoland denotation controversial, as it is closer to [[Milwaukee]], but nonetheless there is a big Chicago commuter population here, largely from expatriates of Chicago's northern suburbs. The main city, and only city, is [[Kenosha]].
Chicagoland is ''huge''; it is one of the world's largest metropolitan areas both in terms of population and area.
==Get in==
===By plane===
* '''[[O'Hare International Airport]]''', one of the largest and busiest in the world, is located in the northwest Chicagoland area.
* '''[[Chicago/Southwest Side#By plane|Midway Airport]]''' is a smaller airport on the Southwest Side of Chicago.
* '''Dupage County Airport''' a "designated reliever airport" for O'Hare and an increasingly popular destination.
===By train===
Chicagoland is served by numerous '''Amtrak''' routes.
==Get around==
[[Image:Metra map.png|thumb|300px|Metra system map]]
In addition to an extensive highway system, Chicagoland is served by '''Metra''''s 12 rail lines[] and by Chicago's '''CTA''', which reaches some of the nearer suburbs.
* The '''Baha'i Temple''', a cultural and architectural wonder in [[Wilmette]].
* The beautiful '''Chicago Botanic Garden''' in [[Glencoe (Illinois)|Glencoe]].
* '''Frank Lloyd Wright House''' and several houses designed by the architect in [[Oak Park]].
* The '''Kohl's Children's Museum''' in [[Glenview]].
* The '''McDonald's #1 Store Museum''' in [[Des Plaines]].
* The splendid '''Morton Arboretum''' in [[Lisle]].
* The '''Elmhurst Art Museum''' in [[Elmhurst]].
* The '''DuPage Children's Museum''' in [[Naperville]].
* The '''Tivoli Theater''' in [[Downers Grove]].
* '''Chain o' Lakes State Park''' in [[Spring Grove (Illinois)|Spring Grove]].
* '''Volo Bog State Natural Area''' in [[Ingleside (Illinois)|Ingleside]].
* The '''Joliet Correctional Facility''', Illinois' most notorious prison, in [[Joliet]].
* The '''Brookfield Zoo''' in [[Brookfield (Illinois)|Brookfield]].
* The '''Forest Preserve District of Cook County''' [] is responsible for the numerous open spaces ("forest preserves") around the county. These preserves range from heavily used parks with extensive roads and well-developed picnic areas, to relatively isolated expanses of land that are only really accessible on foot (or cross-country skis in winter).
* '''The Pickwick''' in [[Park Ridge]] is one of the true grand movie palaces remaining in the Chicagoland area.
* '''Ribfest''' in [[Naperville]] is one of the largest festivals in the county.
* The annual '''Eyes to the Skies''' Balloon Festival in [[Lisle]].
* The '''Illinois Prairie Path''' runs through the center of DuPage County.
* '''Illinois Beach State Park''' in [[Zion (Illinois)|Zion]].
* The '''Ravinia Music Festival''' in [[Highland Park (Illinois)|Highland Park]].
* The '''Six Flags Great America''' amusement park in [[Gurnee]].
* The '''Empress''' and '''Harrah's''' casinos in [[Joliet]].
* The '''Chicagoland Speedway''' in [[Joliet]]
For all intents and purposes, Chicagoland is Chicago when it comes to food. You ''don't'' need to head into the city proper to get your [[Chicago#Eat|Chicago-style]] pizza, hot dogs, beef, steaks, and what have you. There are some Chicago-style fast-food locations outside the city that will serve you these items, prepared better than anywhere in the city. Same goes for many styles of ethnic food—you can get Mexican, Polish, Italian, Greek just as good or even better in the 'burbs. Some ethnic cuisines out here you would have trouble finding in the city—Uzbek, Russian, Afghan, etc.
For upscale cuisine, the hautest of the haute is still to be found downtown. But there are plenty of nice restaurants in places like [[Evanston]] (especially), [[Naperville]], and others.
* '''The Chicago Tribune''' [] ("The Trib") is the Chicago area's biggest daily, and publishes a suburban edition.
* '''The Chicago Sun-Times''' [] The other major Chicago paper, long-time rivals with the Tribune.
* '''The Daily Herald''' [] is a large daily newspaper aimed primarily at the suburbs.
* '''The Northwest Herald'''.
==Get out==
Chicagoland is adjacent to [[Northern Illinois|Northern]] and [[Central Illinois]], to [[Southeast Wisconsin]], and to [[Northwestern Indiana]]. Parts of Wisconsin and Indiana are sometimes included in the definition of Chicagoland.
[[Wikipedia:Chicago metropolitan area]]

Revision as of 05:31, 19 February 2011

Travel Warning WARNING: Chicagoland is a horrible place to be avoided at all costs! Nobody is nice, locals are known to call the police on anyone seen interacting, interaction between male and female students at school is illegal, and the place is corrupted beyond repair. The suburbs are way far worse, highly atypical of any city.