(Closed) Chicago travel tips?

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 18
Member
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@Bri1o:  Yes, it’s great! My face always hurts from laughing at the end. I’ve been about 3 times. One thing to know is that seating is very tight, but you’ll be laughing and smiling and forgeting that you have no room verrrrry quickly. πŸ˜€

I think the boat tour (run the architecture foundation) can’t be beat, but if it’s SUPER hot, a bus tour with A/C might be preferable. I have done the boat tour in August and didn’t mind the heat but I realize some people might not find that comfortable. The seats are on an open deck with no shade. 

Post # 19
Member
1862 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

What’s your price point in terms of hotel? Anything on magnificent mile will cost you, but, you’re in the heart of it all. The Hilton on N Michigan Ave is a great option. Far enough away from State St where it’s a bit calmer, and possibly a little less expensive, but just 10-20 minute walk from literally everything. Blocks away from walking to the Lake.  

There is a breakfast joint called “Yolk” on Michigan Ave. Def go there! It’s delicious! Be ready for a wait time on the weekend. 

If your a fan of steakhouse, Gibson’s or Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House on Rush St is a must! 

If you want Italian, Carmines, also on Rush St is delicious. 

Go to the John Hancock building and relax in the LOUNGE area, not the restaurant. The restaurant charges tons to eat there because you have 360 view of the city, BUT, the food is NOT WORTH IT. Going up one level to the lounge will give you the same view for fraction of the cost. Go there late at night for a drink or mid afternoon for drinks and an appetizer. 

Ride the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. It’s literally just that, a huge Ferris Wheel, but SO something to do in Chicago. πŸ™‚ It’s like 7-8 minute ride and you get to see a nice view while up there. Cost is like 5 bucks. A friend of mine proposed to his girlfriend when they were on the ride, which I thought was adorable. 

Go to the Shedd Aquarium, it’s awesome.

DO NOT go to the Field Museum unless you’re a BIG buff of anthropology and all that, otherwise, you’re gonna get bored. 

Lincoln Park Zoo! Free zoo near the Lake. It’s worth checking out.

If you’re there in the Summer, go to a Cubs game in Wrigleyville! Yes, the team sucks, big time, but the ambiance and atmosphere there is one of a kind! Relax either before the game at a bar/grill, or go into one of the bars/restaurants nearby after the game for dinner. Even if we’re losing by ten, it’s a great place to be. 

The Art Institute of Chicago is a great museum. Check it out and google when they have free admission days. Last I knew, they were on Tuesday. Could be different now. 

Yes, take a boat ride, the sunset one is nice. Architecture tour is nice but could get slightly boring, but maybe that’s cause it’s my city and I’ve heard it all before. 

You have to go to Portillos! A fast food restaurant joint that’s fancier than a McDonalds or anything like that. The beef sandwich there is delicious, and the cheeseburgers! The fries, the hotdogs, everything really. You can’t go wrong ordering anything from there. I’m moving out of Chicago after I get married and this place is one that I know I’m gonna miss. 

When you’re at Navy Pier, rent bicycles. You can rent them for as long as you want. Take a bike ride along the Lake on a nice summer day. The trail along Lake Michigan is a beautiful one to bike, run, even walk along during the day or quiet summer night. 

If the broadway show Wicked is in town when you are here, go and watch it! 

Most people don’t come to Chicago without visiting the Sears Tower, so you’d want to check it out. Tallest building in the city, and they built this plank that comes out that you can stand on, with the city beneath you, it’s pretty cool. View is slightly similar to John Hancock, though you are much higher up so you’ll see more. On a clear day, you can see border of neighboring states. It’s expensive to go up there and I’ve gone on more than one occasion with out of towners when wait time was 2+ hours! So, if you are going to go, go early on a weekday, or a little before they open on the weekend so the wait time isn’t crazy bad. 

That’s all that comes to my mind right now, if I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. PM if you have any questions. Happy to help! I love my city tons, and love talking about it, ha. πŸ™‚

ETA: Oh, if you plan on riding the L (our subway system) to get from place to place (for example, if you decide to go to a Cubs game, hop on the L to Wrigleyville, DO NOT take a cab, will cost wayyy too much), buy an all-day pass or I believe a 2 day pass is available. It’s comes out cheaper if you’re gonna use public transportation to get around rather than paying per ride and with the pass, you can ride as many times as you want, along with using it for bus rides, if you buy the combination one. Note, watch your bag/wallet on the L. Just keep it in your lap.

Oh yea, and also check out Millennium Park, The Bean, and Buckingham Fountain. At 9 pm, the fountain does a water works show which is nice to see for the first time. All three of these places are roughly around one another. Oh, and in the summer months, there’s a firework show every Saturday night. So if you’re going to Navy Pier, go on Saturday and watch the show at night. 

If you want a nice, quiet ambiance with a nice view of the city, take one of the dinner cruises that leave from Navy Pier. 

Post # 23
Member
2504 posts
Sugar bee

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@Bri1o:  I would go with Lincoln Park if I were you…Chicago bees can correct me if I’m wrong but it’s close to the water where pretty much everything is; museums, aquariums, the zoo, bars, etc.

We stayed at a hotel in that area and walked to everything.

Post # 24
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2504 posts
Sugar bee

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@Bri1o:  I don’t know if it was still considered to be in Lincoln Park, but when we stayed at Hotel Sax it overlooked the Chicago River πŸ™‚

Post # 25
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2386 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@Bri1o:  I live in Chicago, and you’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions!  As far as where to stay, I would say Lincoln Park, Loop, or River North would be best.  I don’t even know where Franklin Park is LOL!  Hyde Park is far away from everything and public transit is terrible down there.  River North is a really happening place – that would probably be my first choice.

Post # 26
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2386 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@playdohpants:  That’s not Lincoln Park, that’s River North.  Lincoln Park is several miles north of there.  I think you’re confused about Lincoln Park – it’s where the zoo is.  It’s really not close to any of the major museums.

 

Post # 27
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1209 posts
Bumble bee

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@Bri1o:  Don’t pick Hyde Park or Franklin Park. Those aren’t really touristy areas. Hyde Park is where University of Chicago is (and thats about it). 

 

Any of the other three is fine.

 

There aren’t many hotels in Lincoln Park – the main one I can think of is Hotel Lincoln, which is super awesome and across the street from the zoo. In terms of public transit, its not as accessible. Definitely NOT within walking distance of stuff.

 

Millennium park has a lot more options and everything is walkable. Same with River North. River North has more of a nightlife and restaurant scene, MP is more daytime touristy stuff (shopping, Sears Tower, etc). Although you can walk between the two areas in around 20 min.

 

I use betterbidding.com to see which hotels are for which area. Here is a list of the Chicago-area ones you might win if you bid.

 

http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?app=hotel_lists&tid=159

 

ETA: If you are looking for a view, I would suggest getting a hotel room overlooking the Chicago River or the lake. Otherwise, you may just be looking into another building. When you are downtown, you don’t necessarily get a great view of downtown because its so congested. Or ask for a high floor.

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 28
Member
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Bri1o:  Definitely check out RPM Italian. Seriously one of the best meals of my life. Soooo good!!! Also, the Signature Room in the Hancock tower is nice – offers a great view but a little expensive.

Post # 29
Member
2504 posts
Sugar bee

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@oneofthesethings:  Hmmm I’m probably getting our trips mixed up. We’ve gone a couple times and stayed in different areas. We may have taken a cab to the zoo but we definitely walked to the museum (don’t remember the name but it was huge with paintings and cultural artifacts and furniture…) and the aquarium in the same day.

And by the park with the big fountain…where was I?? lol

Post # 30
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2386 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@playdohpants:  It sounds like you went to the Art Institute, so you were probably near Grant Park – that’s where Buckingham Fountain is.

Post # 31
Member
707 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2004

La Scarola. Shaws Crab House. Wildfire. Garretts (popcorn). Ginos East and Lou Malnatis (pizza)

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