From its earliest frontier days, Chicago has had some of the best nightlife in the USA. Blues fans who celebrate Chicago as the birthplace of Muddy Waters’ urban blues will not be disappointed. The city remains proud of its blues traditions, while continuing to innovate in other genres, such as the energetic dance beat of 1980s house music as well as the groundbreaking jazz of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. There are nightclubs aplenty all over town, especially along Halsted Street, Lincoln Avenue and Clark Street on the North Side. Uptown, at the intersection of North Broadway and Lawrence, has a couple of excellent venues for jazz and rock. The best gay clubs congregate in the Boystown area, which is a mile north of Lincoln Park. Highbrow pursuits are also well provided for: Chicago’s classical music, dance and theatre are world-class. For listings, Chicagoans pick up free weeklies including the excellent Chicago Reader (available Thurs afternoon and online at Wchicagoreader.com), the New City and the gay and lesbian Windy City Times. The Friday issues of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune are useful, while Time Out Chicago has good arts, music, theatre and movie listings.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

This year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south – a route…

10 Jan 2018 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in New York City

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in New York City

For dynamism, cultural impact and sheer diversity, New York City is hard to beat. The city is a global leader in art, architecture, music and food, and is cramm…

10 Jan 2018 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
Why you should head to Minnesota and Wisconsin for winter thrills

Why you should head to Minnesota and Wisconsin for winter thrills

Though it may be tempting to escape to the sunshine this winter, there's a lot to be said for revelling in the snow and ice, too. And there’s plenty of beau…

27 Dec 2017 • Michelle Bhatia insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right