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With its good food and amazing architecture, the city of Chicago is a memorable destination with a rich history. You probably already know Chicago’s adored pizza places as well as its various nicknames and sports teams, yet there is still so much more to learn about this city.

Below, we share five fun facts about Chicago that may surprise you.

Home to The World’s First Skyscraper

The Home Insurance building, which was 10 stories tall, once stood in Chicago. Built in 1885 by William Le Baron Jenney, it was known as the first-ever skyscraper. In 1931, the building was demolished, and though the city can no longer see it, another structure has earned recognition in its place. Jeanne Gang constructed The St. Regis Chicago, now standing at 101 stories, in 2016. It is the world’s tallest building designed by a female architect.

The Plentiful Waterfront

Did you know that Chicago is consistently known as one of the best beach cities in the Midwest — and even in the country? The city of Chicago has 26 miles of lakefront with numerous beaches, including Oak Street Beach and Ohio Street Beach, which are minutes away from most downtown attractions. Whether you love summertime sports on the sand, or you need another peaceful retreat for reading, visitors to the city and Chicago residents alike significantly benefit from the easy access to the local beaches.

Over 20 Michelin Star Restaurants

Given that Chicago is a global city, it offers an impressive restaurant scene, especially when it comes to Michelin dining experiences. You can try elevated Mexican cuisine from Topolobampo, Peruvian food from Cabra, Mediterranean from Cira, Indian indulgences from Indienne, and so much more. Another favorite is Girl & The Goat for — of course — goat and meat entrées, along with pickled vegetables.

Beyond these options, Chicago offers plenty more restaurants. One recently-opened choice is Tre Dita, an elegant spot for Italian dining that recently opened within The St. Regis Chicago Hotel. Enjoy handmade pasta, Tuscany-inspired cocktails, and other divine drinks and dishes.

Chicago’s Really Wild River

Interestingly enough, the Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backwards; it runs into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan. Originally, untreated water would move from the river into the lake, Chicago’s source for clean drinking water. In 1900, the city reversed the water’s flow away from Lake Michigan and toward the Mississippi River. If you wish to see this unusual sight for yourself, take the stairs down to the Riverwalk from Michigan Avenue or Wacker Drive.

A Base for Bridges

Speaking of the Chicago River, boasting more than 37 movable bridges, Chicago has the most movable bridges of any city in the world, with the majority of them on the river. These bridges are versatile, helping locals and tourists navigate the city. The bridges are ideal for driving or walking within city limits, and they lift to make way for boats. You can learn more about Chicago’s bridges and how they work through a guided tour.

Given these unique features (and even oddities!), as you can see, there are so many things that make Chicago special. We encourage you to celebrate this city, and you can do so even more if you reside just steps away from all the action. Within The Residences at the St. Regis, located in the Lakeshore East neighborhood, you will enjoy optimal proximity to city happenings and luxury on every level.