With nearly 40 million visitors annually, Chicago is a Midwestern treat for all ages and interests. Discover a fascinating array of items invented in Chicago from zippers to the Twinkie. Explore exciting landmarks like the popular “Bean,” Wrigley Field and Millennium Park. Read up on even more interesting facts about Chicago, then take a look at our affordable Chicago vacations and begin planning your trip the Windy City today!

1. The first-ever Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, Navy Pier has one modeled after the original that stands 15 stories tall.

2. Historic Route 66 begins in Chicago at Grant Park in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.

3. Chicago’s downtown area is known as “The Loop.” It got its name from the area encircled by the elevated (‘L’) train tracks.

4. Spray paint was invented in Chicago in 1949, the zipper in 1851, and the Twinkie in 1930.

5. Do we even need to say this one? Chicago invented the deep-dish pizza! Cue the applause.

6. From the top of Willis Tower, you can see four states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

7. Walt Disney was born in Chicago.

8. The longest MLB game to ever be played was in 1984 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Chicago White Sox defeated the Milwaukee Brewers after 25 innings!

9. Even though it has a big-city reputation, Chicago has 552 parks and 15 miles of bathing beaches.

10. Forty pounds of an environmentally friendly powder is poured into the river every St. Patrick’s Day to turn it bright green. The tradition began in 1962.