As Midwest winter winds blow and temperatures drop to single digits, we dream about warm weather and sunshine. Turn those dreams into reality by starting your planning at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show. The popular travel show returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on January 21 and 22.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2016. It has been updated for the 2017 event.
Speakers and Entertainment
Listen to well-known travel personalities, including Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg, and Johnny Jet, share travel tips in seminar sessions. Taste a sample of international cuisine when you watch top international chefs demonstrate cooking techniques. International cultural performers will entertain with dances from around the world.
For hands-on fun, try out a Segway or ride an old-time bike. Or ride a live camel!
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Sneak peek at some exhibitors
Be sure to leave plenty of time in your schedule to visit exhibitors. Representatives from dozens of organizations, from local Midwest resort towns to African safari destinations, will be on hand to provide you with information.
I am amazed at the number of tourist attractions Louisville has added since my visit there four years ago. The Mega Cavern, where I ziplined underground, has added an underground Mega Bike Trail and Mega Quest, a ropes course. A pedestrian bridge now connects Louisville to Louisville’s southern Indiana neighbor, Jeffersonville. The folks at the Louisville exhibit will be happy to tell you what southern Indiana has to offer, as well.
For those who haven’t been to Louisville before, Churchill Downs and Louisville Slugger are must-sees. And if you’re a fan of bourbon, be sure to ask about the Urban Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Door County, Wisconsin, largely a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan from the east coast of Wisconsin, is a magnet for Midwesterners, especially from spring through fall. There are also 34 small islands in Door County, the largest being Washington Island off the tip of the peninsula. With Lake Michigan to the east and Green Bay to the west, it is no surprise that water-related activities top the list of things to do.
However, there is plenty to do inland, as well. Door County is popular with the arts community, both visual and performing. It isn’t unusual to visit a gallery and find the artist busy working on his or her next project. Catch summer stock theater with the Peninsula Players, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater.
Each Door County small town has its own character. For instance, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay is known for Swedish pancakes and goats on the roof. Yes, you read correctly. True to Swedish tradition, the restaurant has a sod roof, and during the summer the goats keep the sod trimmed.
Tips on attending the 2017 Chicago Travel and Adventure Show
- Purchase tickets early for discounted admission. On-site ticket sales are cash only.
- Plan your strategy ahead of time. Check the seminar and entertainment schedules, and make a note of those you want to see. For the best seats in speaker seminars, get there early. Seats for popular speaks fill up quickly.
- Strategize your visits to exhibitors, especially if you attend the show only one day. You’ll find the floor plan online, and you’ll get one when you enter the show, as well.
- It gets rather warm on the show floor, so dress accordingly. Leave your coat in your car if weather permits, or check it in the coat check area.
Chicago Travel and Adventure Show location and time
The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is located at 5555 North River Road in Rosemont, Illinois. Parking fee at the convention center is $15. The Chicago Travel and Adventure Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 21, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 22.
Disclosures: I received a complimentary media pass for the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show. However, any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
If you book a hotel room through the TripAdvisor link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
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