ONE day in Chicago…what should we see and do?!

posted 3 years ago in Chicago
Post # 4
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

go on the architecture river tour.  it was awesome.  you got to see all the buildings in chicago.


Post # 5
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’d second the architecture river tour. I like walking down Navy Pier, and you can catch the boat there anyway. Sears Tower is fun, but I’ve heard that the Hancock building is better. The aquarium is supposed to be fantastic.

Post # 6
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

If you want a great view without the lines and cost of the Willis Tower, check out the John Hancock Building.  The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor has great views of the city.  For the price of a beer or other drink (expensive but not too crazy) you can enjoy great views of the city.  Be sure to go in the ladies bathroom while you are there – huge floor to ceiling windows!


I like Milennium Park and the Bean – it’s nice to walk around.  There are a few cool things to see in the park and its a nice setting on a sunny day.  You can walk down to the lake from here as well and get some nice lake views.


I also like Navy Pier – they have a great stained glass museum in there, and the other pier stuff is fun if you like that kind of thing, imax, etc.


Michigan Ave is nice if you like shopping or window shopping.  We had a great meal there at the Grand Lux Cafe, which I’d recommend.


My next trip I want to go to the Art Institute, but not sure that my FI would be able to spend a lot of time there.  That’s close to Milennium Park.


The aquarium is nice but crowded – buy tickets ahead of time and go earlyish – the line to buy tickets is crazy and some days they just stop letting people in due to too many visitors.  You can buy online and print out or have  a hotel concierge do it.


Museum of science and industry is fun but more geared toward families.  Planetarium is similar – fun but more families and kids.


I’ve always wanted to do a lake/river cruise but have never had the chance.


There’s a House of Blues that always has concerts going on, and on Sundays does a  Gospel Brunch that is very fun and tasty.


Post # 7
3889 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Another vote for the Architecture Tour. I’d give Navy Pier a big miss unless you just want to have a lovely walk, or are joining one of the many lake tours/boat rides that leave from the Pier; the restaurants there are all pretty meh, and Chicago is such a major food town that you shouldn’t waste one of your few meals in town on a meh meal.

If you can’t get a table at Frontera Grill, I’d opt for The Purple Pig on Mag Mile (be prepared to wait quite a while for a table, they are incredibly popular and don’t take reservations but it is worth the wait); Harry Carray’s steakhouse; or Shaw’s Crab House (it’s dressier than what you might expect from the crab house name, business casual or jeans and a nice top are fine but it’s not a brown-paper-on-the-table type place).  Sunday morning I’d do dim sum for brunch at The Phoenix in Chinatown; one of the few places that do a proper cart service for dim sum. Be prepared to wait for a table if you get there after 10:30 or so but it’s a fantastic place, no atmosphere, no decor, and some of the cart attendants are surly but the dim sum is out of this world and dirt cheap!

Post # 8
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I live in Chicago and I personally think that while it does suck to pay for admission to the Willis [Sears] tower, it’s definitely an experience (if you aren’t afraid of heights). Standing on the Sky Deck, over the city, is absoltely breath taking and amazing. But don’t bother going if it’s cloudy that day cause you won’t be able to see much.
If you want to go to Frontera Grill, I suggest you call RIGHT.NOW. to reserve your table. Sometimes they’re booked 2 months in advance. They’re pretty good. But not amazing (in my personal opinion). I haven’t been to the girl and the goat. I’ve heard several opinions about it. Going to any museums or aquariums is going to take up a full day, so I’d save that for a vacation to Chicago.
Navy Pier is nice… you can walk around and have some drinks and food. The ferris wheel is nice too, as you can look over the lake and the city. Quick and romantic.
If you intend on having breakfast, i highly recommend you go to Yolk! It’s amazing.. everytime my FI and i get visitors, we always take them there and everyone loves it. Millenium Park is a nice must see area.. You wont spend more than 10 minutes there, so you should go. You’ll just see the wall of faces and the bean and you’ll take a few pics. Also, a fun place and chicago staple for lunch or unhealthy dinner would be Portillos. They have everything from milkshakes to burgers to italian beef sandwiches, hotdogs, pasta, ribs, etc.. but its all really good. And their chocolate cake is the best i’ve ever had.
As for Chicago Pizza, I’d recommend Lou Malnati’s. Other popular places are Giordano’s and Gino’s East. Just keep in mind that these 3 places are very popular and you might have to wait for a couple hours to get a table (especially on the weekends).. so I’d call before going just to get a rough estimate on the wait time.

Some other fun and inexpensive to eat that the FI and I love are Fish Bar, Taco Joint, Quartino’s…. you can find websites and menus on the internet..
Hope you have fun! :] 

Post # 9
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

i’m commenting to follow cuz i’m not getting many bites on my post of a similar nature : )

Post # 10
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Navy Pier is a tourist trap and a total waste of time, imo 🙂

Architecture tour is amazing.
The view from the Sears Tower is breathtaking.
If you can see the Buckingham Fountain, you get a nice view of the skyline and it makes for great pics too

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