The Windy City was organized in 1833, incorporated in 1837 and quickly became an important hub between the eastern and western states. Fifty percent of U.S. rail freight passes through the city and it’s the starting line for Route 66. Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports make it the nation’s busiest aviation center. For a great view, head out to Navy Pier and climb aboard the 150-foot tall Ferris Wheel ride for scenery of Lake Michigan on one side and the city on the other. Get a closer look at the magnificent architecture on one of the boat tours along the Chicago River, where highlights include the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center and Wrigley Building. Or take a tour of sites designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. There’s plenty of brain power here, too. The University of Illinois College of Engineering is home to 16 programs that are ranked in the top five nationally. And as part of the Manhattan Project, the world’s first controlled nuclear reaction, happened at the University of Chicago.