Located in Chicago's Gold Coast, the legendary Drake Hotel has been a timeless property which provides its guests the ultimate access to the city's finest restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

The Drake is one of about 260 hotels and resorts in the country to be admitted into the Historic Hotels of America due to it's ability to preserve and maintain its historic architecture, integrity and ambiance. 

For a hotel to be honored with this distinction, it must be at least 50 years old as well as being designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Drake has been recognized for almost century as the premier destination the high society crowd to assemble. The ability of the hotel staff to ensure each guest receives nothing less than The Drake Standard of Hospitality ensures it's high level of customer loyalty. 

During the 1920's the Palm Court became the desired location for the city's elite to indulge in the ongoing tradition of Afternoon Tea. This room has seen the likes of Bing Crosby, Walt Disney and Charles Lindbergh imbibing on their favorite cocktails. 

The tradition of Afternoon Tea has become a city staple comparable to the Chicago Hot Dog. This quintessential hotspot has been frequented by royalty such as Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana who enjoyed their favorite tea and snacks. 

The tradition of afternoon  tea was created by the Seventh Duchess of Bedford back in 1840. Since there was such a long interval between meals, the duchess began requesting tea and cake be brought to her room to satisfy her hunger pangs. She soon made this a daily ritual and invited some friends to join her. This has now become a highly desired experience at the hotel and reservations are strongly recommended.

The hotel has become synonymous with great customer satisfaction while providing the ultimate guest experience. The attention to detail can be seen throughout the hotel through its ornate decor and ambiance. While visiting Chicago, this hotel should be on everyone's list even just as a walkthrough while providing a unique perspective on the Windy City.  One final note, I must insist you stop at the restaurant Coq D'or and partake in a Lobster Roll - you will never forget it.


As the temperatures in the midwest begin to dip, I cannot help but reflect back on the warmer memories of summertime. 

Blue Angels Moving Up

Every August, The City of Chicago along with Shell Oil Products US hosts The Chicago Air And Water Show, which happens to be the largest free show of its kind in the entire United States. Visitors from all over the world inhabit the Windy city during this weekend to witness one of the greatest spectacles in Aviation, The infamous Blue Angels. 

Blue Angels in Action

The Blue Angels represent the some of the most highly trained pilots in the world. The commanding officer known as "Boss" must have accumulated a minimum of 3000 tactical jet flight-hours while the other members of the fleet must need a minimum of 1250 hours to be eligible for admission to this elite squadron. The Angels have an extensive travel schedule and can be seen in a city near you. I highly recommend experiencing this spectacular and invigoration display - there is simply nothing quite like it.

Team Aeroshell in Action 

The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team seen above has quite a following of its own. Perhaps not as famous as the Blue Angels, they are more than capable of stealing the show. They can be seen entertaining families throughout the country on weekends and have recently been inducted into the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Hall of Fame.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Team

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was founded just two decades after the Wright Brothers history-making flight. The institution is a highly respected authority on aviation and aerospace providing education in the fields of research, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and management of modern aircraft systems. There are over 150 campus locations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the Middle East. The University is represented at numerous air shows throughout the world. 

The final plunge

The Chicago Airshow provides ample entertainment for young and old alike. There is no better place to spend your day on a warm summer afternoon than consuming the breezes of Lake Michigan while dipping your toes in the sand.



The Chicago Cultural Center is an historic icon to many locals yet overlooked by the majority of travelers to the Windy City. This landmark building served as the central library since it's inception in 1897. In 1977, it was converted to an arts and cultural center which happens to be considered one of the most comprehensive in America. The center hosts numerous programs throughout the year involving the performing and visual arts, as well as serving as headquarters for the Chicago Children's Choir.

G.A.R Stained Glass Dome

The Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda (G.A.R.), located in the North wing, is a large hall featuring a stained-glass dome, 30-foot walls of Knoxville Pink marble, and a mosaic floor. The dome, created by the firm of Healy and Millet, serves as the centerpiece for the room with all its intricate detail. 

G.A.R. Rotunda Room

As you venture up towards the top floor, you are greeted with the ultimate prize upon entering  Preston Bradley Hall.  Through the Curved white Carrara marble pillars, a 38-foot Tiffany Glass Dome awaits which happens to be the largest of its kind in the world. The meticulous attention to  detail in its construction is absolutely mind-boggling. 

Tiffany Glass Dome

The final room on this journey is the Sidney Yates Gallery which serves as a replication of an assembly hall in Venice, Italy characterized by its coffered ceiling and heavily ornamented pilasters.

Sidney Yates Gallery

This destination is a must see when visiting the attraction - laden city of Chicago, Illinois. The best time to visit is during the week when tourists are at a minimum and photographic opportunities are aplenty.  

For those interested in photographing this place as well as other popular sights throughout the city of Chicago, I will be hosting a workshop along with Thomas Nighswander. The workshop will be held on November 1st and 2nd of 2014.  For complete details, visit Windy City Guided Photowalk. I look forward to seeing you all there.