CHI Day Trip

Old Jul 1, 04, 5:20 pm
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CHI Day Trip

Im planning a day trip to either ORD or MDW, and was wondering what you think would be good things to do/see... also is there a train or something to get me downtown so I dont have to rent a car? Any ideas would be appreciated!

flyboy1980 is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 10:22 pm
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Yes, take the L in from either ORD or MDW. Both will take you direct to downtown. Figure 45 minutes or so from ORD, about 30-35 from MDW. More info at .

While there, definitely hit one of the biggies, either the Sears Tower or the Hancock. I'm a bigger fan of the Hancock, as there's much more to do in the immediate surrounding area than at the Tower. That said, the Tower is a little more convenient off the subway.

If you're coming in from ORD, you'll take the train into the Loop, then either transfer and head north to the Chicago Avenue stop if you're heading for the Hancock, or get out and walk over to the Tower. You could also head upstairs and take the Loop L a couple of stops over to Quincy, or just stay on the Blue Line train and get off at Lasalle.

If you're coming in from MDW, the instructions are similar. The maps on the CTA web site are quite good--check them out.

If you're there on a cloudy day, skip the biggies, since you can look at a foggy mirror in your bathroom and achieve the same result.

The Art Institute is awesome; don't try to hit everything if you make it there.

The Shedd Aquarium and the Planetarium are great, and are within short walking distance of one another, as is the Field Museum, where you can see Sue the T-Rex.

If you're there only for a day, just two or three of these should tire you out!
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Old Jul 2, 04, 11:13 pm
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Smile Chi-Town Visit

I agree with all of the museums. Our new museum campus is awesome! You are within walking distance of all. I would also recommend checking out Navy Pier, if you have the time. The facilities, shops, ferris wheel, etc. are fantastic. You could also grab a boat tour and check out all the sites already mentioned and then some.

Cubs games are always fun - win or lose! Lots of activity (bars, restaurants) around Wrigley Field as well. The L can take you there as well.

If you're looking for nightlife, that's another ball game! Rush Street, Halsted Street, River North are where are all the action is....bars,clubs, etc.

Have fun! It's a great city!!

Last edited by mama_fred; Jul 2, 04 at 11:13 pm Reason: Typo
mama_fred is offline  
Old Jul 3, 04, 2:17 pm
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Don't Forget the Food!

Our favorite activities when visiting Chicago invariably include eating as much as possible. In particluar, you can get (of course) great pizza - my favorite is Gino's East which is pretty close to the Hancock Tower. Another great favorite is Italian Beef. Al's is on Ontario Street which is not as easy to get to without a car.

If you are going to go to the Hancock tower, you'll be on the Magnificent Mile which is a great walk.
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Old Jul 4, 04, 9:37 am
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Hello flyboy1980, welcome to Flyertalk (FT)

Definitely take the el to/from the airports. Very cheap and no traffic/parking worries.

I too prefer the Hancock, also great at night but go for drinks, not for the food as it is mediocre.

FYI, there is the Chicago Forum under the section titled Travel&Dining: Featured Destinations. This forum has a ton of info on Chicago, things to see/do, places to eat. Make sure you use the search function to enhance viewing all the threads there. Discussed are Italian beefs, pizza, activities, museums, etc etc.

Also, if you care to meet other FT’ers, we are a pretty active group in Chicago and some of us meet on a pretty regular basis, no real schedule, someone comes up with a place to meet/eat and we get together. Any get togethers (Do’s) are listed in the CommunityBuzz Forum which is under the section titled Community. There are a few Chicago events planned for this summer already, more will be forthcoming. Feel free to join us or post your own gathering when you get into town, i.e. “anybody up for pizza at Due’s” or “drinks the night of….”.

I’m born, bred, raised, and work in the Chicago area, feel free to PM me with any questions.

Have fun, I love Chicago.

Willie (Sweet Willie)
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Old Jul 4, 04, 5:30 pm
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I'm guessing, by your username, you're about 24 years old. In that case, I'll step in and recommend some good clubs/bars.

Check out some of these places like Vision, The Apartment, and Leg Room. Leg room is on Division, which is a city block of clubs. It's usually packed with people on Friday and Saturday nights. There's other good places there on Division like Funk and Bar Chicago. Mother's is right across the street and isn't too bad in their downstairs section, in the back. (It's sorta big)

Let me know if this is your sorta thing- I have a lot of friends in the industry that would be willing to help someone out for me.

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Old Jul 7, 04, 3:22 pm
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CHI - great place

Fully agree with all the suggestions above. Here are a couple more:

1. The soul food plate at Heaven on Seven restaurant (downtown, above the theater). (How does good Cajun food get to be in CHI?) If you are a fan of hot sauce, they have the "Final Answer." One drop on anything and the rest of the food goes uneaten and the remainder of the day is spent trying to cool down your mouth. NOT recommended.

2. House of Blues (near north side, not far from Mich Ave) - got in for $5 one night and saw some great acts. Better and cheaper than one of the 'in' blues spots (name escapes) on S. Michigan.

3. CSO (Chi Symphony Orchestra). They have "rush" tickets that allow you to take an unclaimed seat just before the performance. 1/2 price or better.

A great town. At one time it was the coldest I had ever been (Jan downtown without all the winter gear). I used to have a low opinion of the place for a number of reasons. However, I later got the chance to spend some time there and now I love it - in any season.
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Old Aug 16, 04, 1:09 am
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I recommend the Art Institute of Chicago. It is within easy walking distance of the train. Many beautiful items and large so it did not seem overly crowded.

The only restaurant I have eaten at was Miller' Bar (Pub) near the train stop. My husband liked it on his first visit to Chicago and now that is where we eat. Damn he is such a food chicken.
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Old Aug 16, 04, 6:42 am
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If your trip is before September 19th, the Art Institute has a special exhibit centering on the making of auguably its single greatest masterpiece, of its great masterpieces, Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte":

And don't miss that great American icon, Grant Wood's American Gothic:

For lunch or an early dinner, consider the Frontera Grill, in the easy-to-reach River North portion of the central city. Innovative Mexican food - no reservatons, but by going at the beginning of wither th lunch or dinner hours you can usually get seated quickly:
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Old Apr 28, 06, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by mama_fred
You could also grab a boat tour and check out all the sites already mentioned and then some.
One of the many signposts that summer is around the corner: The Chicago Architecture Foundation's ARCHITECTURAL BOAT TOURS are hitting the Chicago River for the season. Get a detailed history of the buildings that make up Chicago's skyline from informed docents. April 29 and April 30, 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $27. Wacker and Michigan avenues, 312-902-1500,
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