Chicago style

Chicago is one of four cities in the running to host the 2016 Summer Games. Take a visual tour of some of the attractions the Windy City offers to visitors from around the world.

A view of the Chicago skyline with Lake Michigan in the background from atop the Sears Tower Skydeck observation tower. Completed in 1973, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in the U.S. and a popular location for tourists.

Tim Boyle / Getty Images North America

Two lions guard the entrance to The Art Institute of Chicago along Michigan Avenue. The institute was founded in 1879 as both a museum and school.

Jeff Haynes / AFP

Austin Hilsmier, then 3, from Chicago, looks back at his mom as he plays in Crown Fountain at Millennium Park.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Visitors to Chicago's Millennium Park pass by the Millennium Monument.

M. Spencer Green / AP

Tourists gather under Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Millennium Park.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A man jogs along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Chicago.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A woman pushes a baby buggy through a small playground nestled in downtown Chicago's Grant Park.

M. Spencer Green / AP

A male trumpeter swan at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo takes his newly hatched offspring into the swan pond for a swim.

Greg Neise / Lincoln Park Zoo

The Chicago Botanic Garden features 23 beautiful gardens and three native habitats set on 385 acres of rolling hills and tranquil lakes. The garden is open year-round.

Visitors check out the three-million gallon Oceanarium exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium. The Oceanarium is the largest indoor marine mammal facility in the world and one of the few aquariums in North America to display Pacific white-sided dolphins and beluga whales. Cutting edge innovations introduced by the Shedd over the years has helped change the experience for visitors at aquariums around the country.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

The Evanston Historical Society, at the Charles Gates Dawes House in Evanston, Illinois. The chateauesque mansion of former U.S. vice-president Charles Gates Dawes, is three-and-a- half stories, has 25 rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 11 fireplaces. This national historic landmark's exhibits focus on Evanston history.

Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851, this renowned educational institution is rich in history and architecture.

Two cyclists pedal along Lake Michigan in Chicago, during the early morning hours. Chicago has earned the reputation as a bike friendly city.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP