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Chicago , as a yachting destination, may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of “The Windy City,” but it has quite an extensive list of yachting clubs, yacht charters and associations. All facets of yachting are available in Chicago, including power, sail, educational and social. Chicago is located on Lake Michigan, which is the second largest Great Lake by water volume. The lake’s northern tier is in the colder, less developed region, while its more temperate southern basin contains the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas. Lake Michigan looks a lot like the sea most of the time, and although it has no tides to speak of, it does have currents, wind and fog. Yachting to Chicago will take you past forested shoreline, sand dunes, lighthouses, and of course, the magnificent Chicago cityscape. On the Lake Michigan shoreline, just east of Chicago’s downtown, is the Navy Pier, a landmark in the city since 1916. It contains a collection of unique shops and restaurants, an indoor botanical park, the Chicago Children’s Museum, theaters, museums, miniature golf, a musical carousel and a permanent 150-foot high Ferris wheel. Chicago is host to several yachting events each year, such as the Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race. It has been called “the most exciting fresh-water race in the world,” as sailing teams compete in this 333-mile, 24-hour race. Other special events include the Fall Frostbiting Race at Belmont, and the Chicago Yachting Ball.


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