Chicago is one of the beautiful cities and must visit place in the world with its diverse culture and elegant architecture with loads of fun to offer for several days. Located in Mid-West of the United States of America along Michigan river, it is known for the adverse weather conditions and so called Windy City. One would understand it better while flying in Winter (which is usually October to May) thru O’hare, Chicago’s international airport due to numerous cancellation of flights or long delays. Nevertheless, O’hare and Chicago are worth visiting. Named after a local crop chicagoua which is no where to be seen now, it is third most populated with amazing sweet people all around willing to help/talk, unlike New Yorkers, no offense 😛. Obviously, one can find many more stats in Wikipedia, but if one visiting and looking for the best places to look around and eat, this should be your Wiki 😄. With that said, let’s dive into the world of Chi-Town.
After tiresome flight, I am sure one need to lie flat soon and if you are looking for a bed close to airport and quick transport to downtown, Rosemont is the best and safe neighborhood with reasonable prices. Bonus you are close to The Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Convention Center, movie theatres and one and only popular blue line which takes us to heart of Chicago Downtown, The Loop. Parking is not that bad in downtown but why miss a chance to travel like a local experiencing spectacular Skyline views and Chi-rail system, right? Now that you are here, enjoy the architecture capital of the United States.
John Hancock Center:
Fourth tallest in the town, 100 storeyed black X framed tower is must visit than regular Sears Tower for its breathtaking views of Michigan River, Lakeshore drive, Tri-State view and everything else similar to Sears Tower. While Sears is special in its own way for being on a ledge 1353 ft above the ground hanging in air known as Skydeck outside the tallest building above Michigan Lake, Hancock offers 360• view with incline feature plus no long lines. Cherry on Top, Signature Lounge coffee and highest indoor pool. But if you wanna visit any of these skyscrapers in night, Sears alias Willis Tower is the best option for its electrifying view of Chicago streets. By 2020, Sears Tower also hosts a spine-tingling slide from its 103 floor to 102 outside the building which might turn the odds completely.
Walk the famous mile of Chicago with the top class brands for some window shopping. Holiday season is the most famous time to walk this mile with thousands of people around and spectacular decorations. Grab famous Girardelli ice cream just immediately after descending the John Hancock Center and start enjoying the walk a mile. While you are half there, you are probably on one of the most famous double deck bascule Chicago styled bridges – Michigan Avenue Bridge surrounded by super skyscrapers – The Hyatt, The Trump Tower and The Wrigley building.
Enjoy the view and breeze from Michigan if you are lucky the wind isn’t chill-killing. Hop on-Hop off bus tours provide all we need or walk to lower level of the bridge for Architecture tour on Michigan River for 75 minutes and learn all about Chicago. Also, Riverwalk all along offer not-to-miss local beer with many more amazing moments. Talk to lovely local people who jog all the trail from Wacker Dr to Navy Pier and all the way to Museum Campus.
End of the mag mile is Chicagos’s famous architecture wonder, Cloud Gate aka The Bean. One visit is not complete without checking in here. Known for its classic sculpture style which mirrors the Chicago’s skyline and don’t forget to swoop in to experience the ‘navel’ beauty of the sculpture.
While you are here, you might not wanna miss “the” thick crust Giordanos pizza, because why not.
Soldier Field and Navy Pier:
10 min drive from The Bean or the preferred 15 min bike ride – Divvy : Chicago’s Bike Share System along the river trail, you will land into this most happening place, The Musuem Campus. Buckingham Fountain would have cheered you up half way thru the drive. One can spend more than a day at the Museum Campus with The Shredd Aquarium that has spectacular shows and animal species, The Alder Planetarium first of its kind in The United States, The Field Museum – one of the largest natural history museums and the home field of Chicago bears – Soldier Field. All you can see with all the time one have. Walk down the steps at the end of the Solidarity drive to only experience the stunning Skyline view of Chicago. One can see all skyscrapers from far left with black tall standing poles of the Willis tower and the right most black skyscraper The Hancock Tower and across the river, is the Navy Pier. Take a 10 min ferry ride from Shoreline Water Taxi located on Lakefront Trail to Navy Pier and experience Chicago’s ferry wheel, have some liesure time with a local beer on one of the benches enjoying the infinte view of Michigan River or take a thrilling ride in Michigan river and party hard in one of the many docked Ships.
Chicago has lot of history to learn and lucky we, the top notch museums in the Chicago stored it all. The Field Musuem is the best of all and one can spend here days appreciating all its exhibits. Art Institute of Chicago’s New Contemporary exhibition, Science Storms in Musuem of Science and Industry, Mexican Art in Museum of Mexican History, never ending cultural and sports museums are just few of thousands of exhibits among Chicago’s most popular ones.
Lincoln zoo, just outside the downtown is a quickie plus its free. If you wanna see more species and can spend a complete day, Brookfield zoo is the right one. An hour ride from Chicago’s most beautiful Central rail station – Union station in downtown has convenient Metra trains. Jumbo Pandas, Cuty Teeny Penguins, Dolly Dolphins.. did you hop on to train already?
Rock n roll in Chicago never ends. With plenty of clubs, bars and theatres, it offers all types of entertainment after a busy day. One can never miss operas in Civic Opera House, classic old shows in Chicago Theatre on State street.
Late night hangouts? Chicago’s Grand Street has it all. The Castle used to be one of the most happening clubs of Chicago, but it was closed in 2016. One can visit – Soundbar for best EDM now while karaoke lovers has House of Blues just under Chicago’s famous and first apartment complex – Marina Towers. Guess the James Bond movie shot here.
Fado’s Irish pub is not to miss on game days. Late late night? The Dentention is pretty night clubs in Chicago downtown but if one can go an extra mile or I should say to an extra state, an hour n half drive from Downtown, The Atlantis is all one looking for. Worth the drive. Period.
Chicago sports clubs have their own style and fans go crazy on game days. Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs, Whitesox and so on for every game out there. Blackhawks match in United Center, Wrigleys for Cubs and Bears in Soldier Field are absolutely stunning. Soccer fans sometimes get lucky in Soldier Field.
Champion of restaurants – Chicago’s best Alinea is here. Unique experience and of course $$$$$. Craving for best shrimp in town? Mccormicks and Schmicks is the one you looking for. Looking for upscale bar? Sweet water it is. Girl and Goat for some signature dishes. Bub City for barbecue. Authentic P.F.Chang’s on Wabash Avenue is another top beat.
Indian in Downtown? Jaipur restaurant for yummy lamb biryani. No buffet please. But for authentic Hyderabadi Biryani with Haleem, more like street food, the smaller Hyderabad House on Devon street with blue board is the one you looking for. Yes they are two. Just across the road. Remember to carry cash and avoid parking but take out. Masala in Naperville has famous Indian buffet. Bombay Chopsticks in Schaumburg is the most authentic Indo-Chinese restaurant one must try. Both these latter spots an hour drive from Downtown.
Of all,street style is always best. Nothing beats Al’s Italian Beef, hot dog at Hot-Doug, Yum-Dum for dumplings. Garrett popcorn and Cheesecake Factory to end a meal. And of course list never ends.
North of Downtown is pretty with lots of awesome beaches – Glencoe, Grosse, Montrose and North Avenue beach. Also located The Baha’is, the most beautiful House of Worship and the one and only in United States. Chicago Botanic gardens for its famous Japanese style is one time visit. Six flags Great America is further north, an hour drive. Northwest is Schaumburg for many Indian restaurants. West is Naperville with famous Indian temple – Aurora and Chicago outlets for budget shopping. The Morton Arboretum, a large public park with thousands of trees for fresh air is also around and if visiting in Holiday season, lights show is must.
That goes without saying, Chicago has lot to offer and this is just a beginning. Shameless on Netflix make me miss Chicago life style more now. Enjoy your visit in Chicago and explore the town like a PRO now 😄.
Keep having a good day (Chicago’s South Side Style).
Still Need a reason to visit Chicago? Slide down :