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Weekend Trip to Chicago

Weekend Trip to Chicago

Old Feb 16th 2011, 12:55 pm
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Default Weekend Trip to Chicago

Having just moved to Indianapolis, we are starting to explore the local area, hence a trip planned to Chicago this weekend - staying at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Any idea about what we should plan to do, see and experience whilst we are there? Its just me and my OH, Thanks.
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

A soft pillow for the Hard Rock hotel?

Navy Pier if it's not too windy, Willis (Sears) and Hancock towers, trip on the El (overhead part of the subway system)... We even found the city tours to be more interesting than expected (Grayson Line?).

Last edited by GeoffM; Feb 16th 2011 at 1:13 pm. Reason: Sears
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Take the architectural boat trip - I thought it would be boring but it was really fascinating. Take in the views at the top of the Hancock tower, and of course dont forget to go to a blues bar in the evening! Have fun
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

You should get to the museum campus if you can too, if you like that sort of thing. It's on the south side off Lake Shore Drive (Rt.41 if you're driving) near Soldier Field. On a weekend that's about a $16.00 cab ride from downtown.

I'd recommend the Museum of Science and Industry or the planetarium but I'm biased towards that sort of thing . The aquarium is decent too and I havent had a chance to go yet but I hear the Field Museum is worth a look. Definitely do at least one of the towers too. I did Sears, back when it was still called Sears - it was a hell of a view of the city.

I like Chicago - I don't get to go there anywhere near as often as I should, given I only live 60 miles away!
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Originally Posted by katybluewater View Post
Take the architectural boat trip - I thought it would be boring but it was really fascinating. Take in the views at the top of the Hancock tower, and of course dont forget to go to a blues bar in the evening! Have fun
You will be lucky to find any Boat Tours going at this time of year.

Go to the 96th floor (Signature Room) of the John Hancock Center. have a Cocktail and enjoy the view (on a good day). It is free of charge to get up there, but, a Beer will knock you back about $8.

You will find excellent shoppping across the River on the "Magnificent Mile" and around the corner from you on State Street. The Museums are always worth a few hours, at the very least.

Good Restaurants are Maggianos, for Italian. Gino's East or Giordano's for Pizza (I prefer the latter).

On the corner of Wabash and Randoph, around the corner from your Hotel, you will find an "Elephant & Castle" English-Style Pub. Sheperds Pie and a big selection o decent beers including "Old Speckled Hen."

Edit: Seeing as though you will be going and back on I-65, be sure to visit "Fair Oaks Farm" at exit 222. It's one of the biggest Dairy Farms in the country, and, they have excellent tours of their facility. You can also have lunch here, too.

Jim.

Last edited by Scouse Express; Feb 16th 2011 at 2:54 pm.
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Great thanks for the ideas - just discovered it is Restaurant Week 18-27 February too, and of course the weather is at least a bit warmer..
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

There is also the surgical science museum https://www.imss.org/

If you're not grossed out, they have an exhibit Our body - the universe within.
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Originally Posted by Scouse Express View Post
Seeing as though you will be going and back on I-65, be sure to visit "Fair Oaks Farm" at exit 222. It's one of the biggest Dairy Farms in the country, and, they have excellent tours of their facility. You can also have lunch here, too.
I wonder if that's the one that was on UK TV recently. A dairy farmer in the UK was being filmed as he sold his smallish herd (?flock?whatever?) of cows to a conglomerate, and was invited to a giant dairy farm somewhere south east of Chicago. What was striking was the tears in his eyes as he surveyed the mass conveyor belt of milking while commenting that "the cows look so happy". Despite the scale of the farming, he seemed actually impressed at the welfare of the animals!

I also recommend the Museum of S&I (couldn't think what it was called earlier) but take decent transport there. My poor companion wasn't at all happy after getting off the subway (well, elevated), and having to catch a bus in a less than desirable area.
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

We went for a weekend in the Summer, and subsequently spent most of the time outdoors.
If the weather is nice, I can recommend wandering around the Millennium Park / Buckingham Fountain area. I think it is actually compulsory to view The Cloud Gate Sculpture aka The Bean - http://bit.ly/gDH4BN
One of my favourite bits was sitting on the lake shore at Ohio Beach and just people watching. It was so peaceful after the city.
It's probably a bit of a tourist trap, but we were advised by a friend (who used to live in Chicago) to visit Buddy Guy's Legends to listen to some Blues. The place has a lot of music history. Depending on what's on, there may or may not be a cover charge. A word of warning though, if you order the 'chicken wings', be aware they are actually more like '1/2 chickens'. The waitress must have thought we were so greedy going for the bigger plate option, but they were much larger than we're used to around here
We aslo had a nice & reasonably priced evening meal at The Berghoff in The Loop area.

And don't forget to look for a Route 66 signpost! I don't know if it's been moved recently, but there wasn't one where our guidebook said. We found one on the Adams Street bridge next to Union Station.

Have fun
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 9:23 am
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
You should get to the museum campus if you can too, if you like that sort of thing. It's on the south side off Lake Shore Drive (Rt.41 if you're driving) near Soldier Field. On a weekend that's about a $16.00 cab ride from downtown.
Bah, walk it - that's what I did in December when I was stuck with the UK weather on the way back from SLC. I walked all down Lake Shore to Soldier Field from Washington-Blue CTA station (I did get a cab back though, as I was running late to meet someone in Division for beers )

I did like downtown - nice walkable city
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Originally Posted by rallybug View Post
Bah, walk it - that's what I did in December when I was stuck with the UK weather on the way back from SLC. I walked all down Lake Shore to Soldier Field from Washington-Blue CTA station (I did get a cab back though, as I was running late to meet someone in Division for beers )

I did like downtown - nice walkable city
It is a nice walkable city. My son and I walked to Union Station from the United Centre after a concert there because we figured it'd take just as long to wait for a taxi and those little bicycle rickshaw jobbies had literally doubled in price (we took one the last mile on the way to the show because we were cutting it fine for time.)

That was only maybe 2.5 miles - pretty easy walk. No idea how far yours was but I suspect it was further. Not that walking is a big deal. I once walked home 5/6 miles from my old school once because I could either spend my £2.00 on a bus fare or 10 B&H
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

I am far from an art buff but the Chicago Art Institute is a fantastic gallery. I remember my favourite exhibits being the famous "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper and a big one with a French title by Georges Seurat. (Told you I was no expert!)
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

The idea is to walk everywhere and the Chicago Art institute is at the top of my list (not OH's). He wants to go to the Planetarium and experience the Millennium Park. Booked a table at N9NE steakhouse for Friday night and onto Ghostbar after and have lunch on Saturday at the Park Grill.
It is his choice for Saturday night dinner

Is the Body exhibition a different one to the one that was touring a few years ago - Body World - the plastination process - I saw that in Charlotte about 4 years ago - it was amazing.... but didn't fancy lunch afterwards.
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Old Feb 18th 2011, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

I can recommend the walking tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation it's located just across from the Art Institute. This time of year they start at 10am
http://caf.architecture.org/
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Old Feb 18th 2011, 2:00 am
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Chicago

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
Having just moved to Indianapolis, we are starting to explore the local area, hence a trip planned to Chicago this weekend - staying at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Any idea about what we should plan to do, see and experience whilst we are there? Its just me and my OH, Thanks.
Don't forget to check out the Megabus to get from Indy to Chicago in the future. I think if you book at the right time it's as little as $1 each way. Nice if you don't want to worry about driving there!
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