Sponsored: The Ultimate Architecture Vacation: Chicago

They say that out of tragedy comes triumph, and for Chicago that is surely the case. If it weren’t for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Windy City may very well not be the architectural playground that it is today.

Slumber: At the W Chicago Lakeshore enjoy one of the city’s best views at one of the city’s most desired hotels – a lofty perch overlooking with the deep-blue Lake Michigan to one side, downtown Chicago to the other. For a full panoramic view, head up to the Whiskey Sky rooftop nightclub. 644 North Lake Shore Drive. 312-943-9200

Float: The Chicago Architecture Boat Tour may sound like a touristy cliché, but it is, in fact, the finest way to see some the city’s most interesting buildings, like One Prudential Plaza and Smurfit-Stone Building. Plus: They serve beer onboard. 112 East Wacker Drive.

Learn: The Museum of Science and Industry is among the most masculine museums we’ve seen, boasting a fully functioning replica coal mine and an authentic German WWII submarine. 57th Street and Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414.

Dine: Art, design and food meet on the much-hyped plates of Alinea, where Grant Achatz tramples culinary boundaries – and bends the laws of physics – serving everything from tomatoes on a pillow of fresh cut grass aroma to a dish of bacon, butterscotch apple and thyme. It’s pricy, yes, but since your Starwood Preferred Guest® Card from American Express earns you points for every purchase, that you can use to stay in over 1,000 hotels around the world, you’ll be saving money on your next getaway, leaving a little extra cash in your pocket. 1723 North Halsted. 312-867-0110.

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