Chicago is a beautiful, clean city with nice people and lots to do. If you get a chance to visit (and hopefully during the warmer months) here are 7 things you should definitely put on your to-do list.
- Find a hotel near the Magnificent Mile, the downtown center, which makes up the area on Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River. Here you will find 460 stores, 300 restaurants and 60 hotels. The exceptionally manicured landscaping along the side walks and beautiful bridge views give the city a distinct look and feel.
- Located along the Magnificent Mile is 360 CHICAGO (formerly The John Hancock Observatory) which is located at 875 N. Michigan Avenue. 1000 feet above the city you have the best views of the Lake and city skyline. If you would like to bypass the $19 adult ticket price take the elevator to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor bar for a drink and you get to enjoy the view for free.
- 4.5 miles from Downtown you will find Wrigleyville. You can easily take the CTA (subway) Red Line ‘L’ train to Addison station for only $2.25 a single ride. Wrigleyville is a hip, up and coming neighborhood with novelty shops, restaurants, bars and of course Wrigley Stadium. If you get a chance to go to a game it will be a Major League baseball experience like no other. With all the new high tech stadiums these days in this one (the second oldest stadium in baseball) you feel like you take a step back in time.
- You can use the CTA or just want to walk the streets and bridges and venture to one of the local neighborhoods with unique vibes and cultural traditions brought from around the world such as Chinatown, Little Italy or Greek Town. Each neighborhood has their own special touches the residents have brought with them that are reminders of their homeland.
- Millennium Park is a 24.5 acre public park that is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive. The park is the city’s second biggest tourist attraction following the Navy Pier that opened in 2004 with total costs amounting to $475 million. The park has various attractions throughout the year and large public artwork displays that can’t be missed.
- Chicago offers a unique bike share system called Divvy. There are 30 stations across the city and 3,000 bikes to share. This is a fun, easy and affordable way to get around Chicago. You can pick up a bike at one location and drop off at any docking station throughout the city, and it only costs $7 for a 24 hour pass.
- After you ride around town and burn some calories make sure you try at least one of the foods that Chicago is known for: deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dog, Italian beef or tamales. Giordano’s, Hot Doug’s, Portillo’s and La Cocina are just a few popular places to try out these tasty eats.
Hopefully these 7 tips will be a good start to enjoy your time in the Windy City. Going along with Chicago film reviewers Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s trademark phrase I would give this city “two thumbs up”.