Best things to do in Chicago

  • NHLFAN

    Posts: 370

    Sep 03, 2013 5:57 AM GMT
    For those who have traveled to the city and have a favorite restaurant to go, things to do, or stuff you'd recommend for a first time visitor, let me know.

    I'll be arriving tomorrow and be here for a week to run in the Chicago half marathon next Sunday.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Sep 03, 2013 1:23 PM GMT
    Spend a full day at the Art Institute and Millenium Park. AI is one of the great museums of the world.
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    Sep 03, 2013 8:32 PM GMT
    The MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the relatively unknown (to most visitors) Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

    If you have time, you may take a day trip to Milwaukee to see their spectacular Milwaukee Art Museum. It's just 1.5 hours away by Amtrak train. That's what I did last month.


  • swimmer29

    Posts: 35

    Sep 03, 2013 9:54 PM GMT
    Agree with Destinharbor - the Art Institute is incredible. You will be amazed at how many recognizable pieces they have there, and so many more you'll discover.

    Each October I venture to Chicago for a race and after a few years I have my favorite spots and a few tips for the visitor.

    Take the architecture boat cruise. It is a fun way to see the city from a different angle, as well as learn a bit about the city's history and check out the truly awesome buildings the city has.

    If you are looking for a fun, low key bar, I like Sidetracks (or is it Sidetraxx?) on Halstead. They have theme nights (Showtunes is my personal favorite) and the grape slushy drinks are good, but dangerous.

    Where are you staying? If you are downtown, the best way to get to Boystown (gay neighborhood)is the red line. When I am there, it is usually for a long weekend and since cabs get pricey, I go to Walgreens and buy a pass for the subway (The El Train). I use this to get to and from my hotel to Boystown (and other parts of the city) and it saves not only time (not having to buy individual tickets for each trip), but it is a fairly inexpensive way to get around the city.

    I know it is touristy, but going to the bar atop the John Hancock building and having a cocktail is fun, too. If you are traveling solo, it is no problem finding a spot at the bar. If in a group, try to get a reservation.

    Have fun and good luck on the half marathon!
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    Sep 03, 2013 11:55 PM GMT
    swimmer29 saidAgree with Destinharbor - the Art Institute is incredible. You will be amazed at how many recognizable pieces they have there, and so many more you'll discover.

    Each October I venture to Chicago for a race and after a few years I have my favorite spots and a few tips for the visitor.

    Take the architecture boat cruise. It is a fun way to see the city from a different angle, as well as learn a bit about the city's history and check out the truly awesome buildings the city has.

    If you are looking for a fun, low key bar, I like Sidetracks (or is it Sidetraxx?) on Halstead. They have theme nights (Showtunes is my personal favorite) and the grape slushy drinks are good, but dangerous.

    Where are you staying? If you are downtown, the best way to get to Boystown (gay neighborhood)is the red line. When I am there, it is usually for a long weekend and since cabs get pricey, I go to Walgreens and buy a pass for the subway (The El Train). I use this to get to and from my hotel to Boystown (and other parts of the city) and it saves not only time (not having to buy individual tickets for each trip), but it is a fairly inexpensive way to get around the city.

    I know it is touristy, but going to the bar atop the John Hancock building and having a cocktail is fun, too. If you are traveling solo, it is no problem finding a spot at the bar. If in a group, try to get a reservation.

    Have fun and good luck on the half marathon!


    + 1 agree with Swimer - here I did the Architecture cruise and John Hancock building just the elevators ride which you have to switch is amazing and it was a blast it gives you a sense of the city like no other.

    Also I know is touristy but Navy Pier is a blast as well, and Millennium Park. And stroll thorough Michigan Ave. the shops, restaurants, etc. and could forget Chicago Pizza..after that Marathon have a piece with some good beer .
  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1276

    Sep 04, 2013 12:02 AM GMT
    NHLFAN saidFor those who have traveled to the city and have a favorite restaurant to go, things to do, or stuff you'd recommend for a first time visitor, let me know.

    I'll be arriving tomorrow and be here for a week to run in the Chicago half marathon next Sunday.


    For food, if you want a great dining experience and are willing to shell out some bucks, Gibson's is a must.I went there with a friend when we decided to splurge. Fabulous wait staff, first rate food and drinks. We had steak and lobster and it was one of the best meals ever.

    http://www.gibsonssteakhouse.com/dinner-menu-pages-332.php

    If you are into theater and have not seen it yet, go to see Book Of Mormon at the Bank Of America Theater, it's only here another month.

    http://theater-chicago.com/Events.php?search_text=Book+of+Mormon+Chicago&gclid=CMTalejIsLkCFSJqMgod3A4Aug


    Take a stroll along the lakefront, start at the Drake hotel at Michigan Ave/Walton St.Cross the street and use the underpass over to the beach front. Walk along the lake past the highrise apartments across Lake Shore Drive and as you walk north you'll pass North Ave Beach, stop and have a cocktail at Castaways Bar & Grill, keep walking north to Fullerton Ave and then you can walk back through the park. It's a long walk but very pretty.

    http://www.castawayschicago.com/index.html

    Go to the top of Willis Tower(former Sears Tower)and visit the Skydeck on the 103rd floor with a glass platform you can walk out on and look at the sweeping view(and the ground 103 stories below).

    http://www.theskydeck.com/

    Go up to Boystown and have a cocktail at Chicago's premiere gay bar Sidetrack. Over the years I've seen that bar just get bigger and bigger as they keep buying neighboring store fronts. Very good mix of ages and music.

    http://www.sidetrackchicago.com/

  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Sep 04, 2013 1:22 AM GMT
    If you like cannoli, you MUST go here: http://www.jpgraziano.com/

    The best cannoli outside of Italy. Period.
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    Sep 04, 2013 1:25 AM GMT
    The Aquarium is quite good!!!! In fact, one of My faves.

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    Sep 04, 2013 1:52 AM GMT
    Go see a Frank Lloyd Wright house or church. Easy by bus to Hyde Park (museum as well) , or by commuter train to Oak Park.
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    monochrome saidThe MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the relatively unknown (to most visitors) Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

    If you have time, you may take a day trip to Milwaukee to see their spectacular Milwaukee Art Museum. It's just 1.5 hours away by Amtrak train. That's what I did last month.

    If you should go to Milwaukee, have a meal at an old german restaurant, like Mader's or Ratzsch's. (Or try the Berghoff in downtown Chicago).
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Sep 04, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    RENT. A. BIKE.

    Ride around for hours. Ride the lakeshore bike path for miles and ogle at hot men. Best in the early evening. You can ride 30 miles in this town and not even realize you've gone anywhere. Go see all those places mentioned above--- just make sure you arrive on two wheels. You will be so happy.

    Also, this weekend is Riot Fest, the Wine Festival, and four other street fairs. I think Oyster Fest is in Roscoe Village!!!

    YUM.

  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Sep 04, 2013 2:06 AM GMT
    Also: Go for a meal at Avec. It's fantastic.
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:35 AM GMT
    swimmer29 saidIf you are downtown, the best way to get to Boystown (gay neighborhood)is the red line. When I am there, it is usually for a long weekend and since cabs get pricey, I go to Walgreens and buy a pass for the subway (The El Train). I use this to get to and from my hotel to Boystown (and other parts of the city) and it saves not only time (not having to buy individual tickets for each trip), but it is a fairly inexpensive way to get around the city.


    I concur that it's really fun to get around town riding the train. A 7-day pass is only $28.

    I love Al's Beef. Their sandwiches are so good and inexpensive. There are a few branches in Chicago, including one on Clark near Boystown.


  • NHLFAN

    Posts: 370

    Sep 04, 2013 3:06 AM GMT
    Thanks for the replays! Today went to architecture boat tour and walked the downtown area. Looking into the Book of Mormon for Sunday after the race. Planning out the day for tomorrow and based on your suggestions will be doing some of the things mentioned.

    Will post later what we ended up doing tomorrow. Gotta get a short run in and hit the gym tomorrow too, so lots to do before Sunday's race.

    Appreciate the responses so far.
  • NHLFAN

    Posts: 370

    Sep 05, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
    Today ventured to millennium park and art institute and both I highly recommend. icon_smile.gif. Ventured to get run in and then headed to DMK Burger Bar and another good place to eat. Drove past the gay neighborhood, but there weren't a lot of people outside.

    Tomorrow is gogo boy time or so I'm told. Lol anyone have change for a $5? icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 11, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    danisnotstr8 saidRENT. A. BIKE.

    Ride around for hours. Ride the lakeshore bike path for miles and ogle at hot men. Best in the early evening. You can ride 30 miles in this town and not even realize you've gone anywhere. Go see all those places mentioned above--- just make sure you arrive on two wheels. You will be so happy.

    Also, this weekend is Riot Fest, the Wine Festival, and four other street fairs. I think Oyster Fest is in Roscoe Village!!!

    YUM.


    Thanks for mentioning the wine fest and street fairs! I'm going to Chicago for Riofest but wasn't sure if anything else was going on.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Sep 11, 2013 8:14 PM GMT
    swimmer29 saidAgree with Destinharbor - the Art Institute is incredible. You will be amazed at how many recognizable pieces they have there, and so many more you'll discover.

    Each October I venture to Chicago for a race and after a few years I have my favorite spots and a few tips for the visitor.

    Take the architecture boat cruise. It is a fun way to see the city from a different angle, as well as learn a bit about the city's history and check out the truly awesome buildings the city has.

    If you are looking for a fun, low key bar, I like Sidetracks (or is it Sidetraxx?) on Halstead. They have theme nights (Showtunes is my personal favorite) and the grape slushy drinks are good, but dangerous.

    Where are you staying? If you are downtown, the best way to get to Boystown (gay neighborhood)is the red line. When I am there, it is usually for a long weekend and since cabs get pricey, I go to Walgreens and buy a pass for the subway (The El Train). I use this to get to and from my hotel to Boystown (and other parts of the city) and it saves not only time (not having to buy individual tickets for each trip), but it is a fairly inexpensive way to get around the city.

    I know it is touristy, but going to the bar atop the John Hancock building and having a cocktail is fun, too. If you are traveling solo, it is no problem finding a spot at the bar. If in a group, try to get a reservation.

    Have fun and good luck on the half marathon!


    I also recommend the boat cruise; it is very interesting and educational. There is also a sightseeing 'bus tour that is interesting. By all means go to the top of the two tallest buildings; both offer an excellent view.

    'Bus transportation between Boystown and downtown is very good. It may cost less to stay in Boystown than downtown and just use the bus to get downtown. I stayed at The Willows hotel in Boystown, where Al Capone once had his headquarters. There was a minor parking problem since the closest parking garage to The Willows hotel would not permit motorcycle parking there, but fortunately there was a parking garage only one block away that would accept motorcycles.

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    Sep 11, 2013 8:17 PM GMT
    monochrome saidThe MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the relatively unknown (to most visitors) Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

    If you have time, you may take a day trip to Milwaukee to see their spectacular Milwaukee Art Museum. It's just 1.5 hours away by Amtrak train. That's what I did last month.




    I was going to say come up to Milwaukee
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    I actually go there once a month. Definitely worth the time.

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