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Amy288 Nov 23rd 2016 12:39 pm

Things to do in Chicago
 
Hi Guys,

I will be landing in Chicago at 3pm and have booked a hotel for the night (west Chicago lakeshore) before I drive to Kentucky the next day.

Providing I clear the airport in a decent amount of time I wouldn't mind getting out and seeing Chicago as I've only ever driven through it.

Does anybody have any suggestions on things to do or places to go? Also is it worth picking up my hire car from the airport and taking to the hotel or getting it the next day? Will I need it to get around Chicago?

Thanks in advance

Pulaski Nov 23rd 2016 1:36 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
Downtown Chicago is quite compact so I wouldn't pick up the car until the next day. We went to the top of the John Hancock tower - you get a good view from up there.

Amy288 Nov 23rd 2016 1:56 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
Thank you I will check it out!

Owen778 Nov 23rd 2016 2:09 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12112565)
Downtown Chicago is quite compact so I wouldn't pick up the car until the next day. We went to the top of the John Hancock tower - you get a good view from up there.

I agree on transport.

For the views, we went up the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which is higher than the John Hancock Tower. I'm sure either would be good.

Other options:
- Eating Chicago-style deep pan pizza
- The Field Museum (a world-class history, science and natural history museum)
- The Art Institute
- Cloud Gate (a huge mirrored doughnut-shaped art installation in the park)
And many others.

Pulaski Nov 23rd 2016 2:49 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by Owen778 (Post 12112600)
I agree on transport.

For the views, we went up the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which is higher than the John Hancock Tower. I'm sure either would be good. .....

The advantage of the John Hancock tower is that you get a view of the Willis/Sears tower. :)

Aside from the downtown skyscrapers, what you can see from the top is that Illinois is incredibly flat - flat enough to make the Netherlands look hilly! .... it's so flat that the Chicago river, which runs through downtown, was re-engineered in the late 1800's to flow backwards, out of lake Michigan and drain, eventually, into the Mississippi.

Owen778 Nov 23rd 2016 2:52 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12112636)
The advantage of the John Hancock tower is that you get a view of the Willis/Sears tower.

Aside from the downtown skyscrapers, what you can see from the top is that Illinois is incredibly flat - enough to make the Netherlands look hilly! .... it's so flat that the Chicago river, which runs through downtown, was re-engineered in the late 1800's to flow backwards, out of lake Michigan and drain, eventually, into the Mississippi.

That is interesting, thank you.

But then, I live in Houston. Outside the high-rise offices downtown, the highest points are the connectors at the freeway intersections.

Amy288 Nov 23rd 2016 3:10 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
I noticed how flat Illinois was last time I drove down to Kentucky from Chicago and I grew up in Norfolk so for me to notice it must be flat!

I will check all of those out ty I guess the two different views is similar to the view from the Eiffel Tower vs the Montmarte tower which includes the Eiffel in the view! I will just have to pick one and do the other next time.

Any suggestions on the best place to get a pizza?

Nutmegger Nov 23rd 2016 4:21 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
Do you like to shop? Check out the Magnificent Mile!

The Top Shopping Streets & Neighborhoods in Chicago | Frommer's

SanDiegogirl Nov 23rd 2016 4:24 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
If you have time take the Architecture Boat Tour - see some great views and learn about all the wonderful architecture in the city.

loubiblu Nov 23rd 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
Hancock v Willis - you can essentially go to the signature lounge of the Hancock Tower for free (their cocktails and mock-tails are worth trying). The 360 at the Hancock is a paid for experience as is the view from the Willis ($22 for Willis, assume similar for Hancock).

Millennium Park (home of The Bean/Cloudgate) is worth a visit and whilst you're there, head over to the Chicago Cultural Centre on Michigan and Washington. Head upstairs to view the Tiffany Dome.

My favourite museum to visit is the Chicago History Museum on North. You can also go into Lincoln Park zoo for free if you're in the area.

What time of year will you be visiting?

Leave picking up the car until you need to head out to Kentucky. You can get the CTA blue line from O'Hare directly into the city for $3. That'll take up to an hour depending on your stop. The taxi line at ORD moves quickly and will be anything from $25-35. Uber will be similar and the city cabs offer a ride share scheme. Where is your hotel?

If you've got any other interest give me a shout. Pulaski is right that the city is nice and compact, very walkable in parts and a great mass transit network. There are some areas you will definitely want to avoid, however.

For deep dish, the 2 biggest rivals are Lou Malnatis and Giordanos. Lou's all the way for me!

loubiblu Nov 23rd 2016 4:28 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl (Post 12112695)
If you have time take the Architecture Boat Tour - see some great views and learn about all the wonderful architecture in the city.

Great suggestion, this has been by far the best touristy thing I've done here.

Amy288 Nov 23rd 2016 4:36 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
Thank you for all the great suggestions, I will be there on the 21st December.

The history museum and boat trip definitely sound like things I would enjoy.

I may even do both pizza places just for the sake of comparison!

Amy288 Nov 23rd 2016 4:37 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by Nutmegger (Post 12112693)
Do you like to shop? Check out the Magnificent Mile!

The Top Shopping Streets & Neighborhoods in Chicago | Frommer's

Apparently my hotel is around here but not sure my credit card would cope trying to be frugal lol

Nutmegger Nov 23rd 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 

Originally Posted by Amy288 (Post 12112710)
Apparently my hotel is around here but not sure my credit card would cope trying to be frugal lol


Sometimes it's easier to have fun looking when one hasn't a hope of buying anything! When the prices are within reach, that's when it gets tough . . . ! ;)

Cook_County Nov 23rd 2016 6:48 pm

Re: Things to do in Chicago
 
It will probably be well below freezing; so think of indoor things...the Art Institute is amazing if expensive now. Lunch at the Hancock equally fab if expensive. I'd go for a proper pizza and relax...


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