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How many days visiting Chicago?

How many days visiting Chicago?

Old Mar 13, 08, 4:22 am
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How many days visiting Chicago?

I booked a week long trip (from Saturday to Saturday) in early May to Chicago. I used to visit for weekends from my time in Detroit, but will be able to take my time to explore the city and its surroundings. Just wondering if a week might not be too long, and maybe make some side trips visiting friends in Detroit or doing a MR... So basically, is there enough to do and see as a tourist compared to NYC, London, Paris, Hong Kong, or Tokyo for example where a week is almost too short?
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Old Mar 13, 08, 4:49 am
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I went for a week a while ago and found plenty to do. There's lots of museums, galleries, theatres, etc. Also plenty of shopping and some fantastic places to eat. Although the centre is very small, the metropolis is sprawling (a car would be useful). My Chicagoan friends hardly go into the Loop at all, and I probably know the central area better than they do from my visits...
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Old Mar 13, 08, 11:32 am
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You can certainly fill 7 days in Chicago, as long as you don't expect to do Blockbuster things every single day. Look at a few things beyond the core of the downtown area. Skipping the obvious big museums, a few other things come to mind immediately:

Graceland cemetary is wonderful and ofter overlooked, distinctive graves of many famous people, many of them reflecting their specialities (Sullivan's, for example, is a bandbox of a perfect little Sullivan building).

Get a car, drive up to the Bahai temple and then on to Milwaukee to see the fantastic art museum and to tour the Pabst mansion if you're interested in architecture. If you want some cheap shopping, there is an outlet mall right on the highway just inside Wisconsin.

Take a couple easy days during the daytime and see some shows - Chicago has fabulous theater. Ditto for the symphony and opera (if they're in season in May).

Go to the architecture foundation on S. Michigan and sign up for a couple tours, they have some nice walking tours, and their boat trip on the river is a must do.

Take in a baseball game at Wrigley (while it still IS Wrigley). Lest I get a raspberry from my southside friends, you CAN also go to a Sox game, but if I were to choose one for a visitor, Wrigley is still the ultimate historical ballpark.

Walk up the lakefront and then back to your hotel through the city streets. Depending on how much you want to walk, you can start out from Oak Street and walk to North Avenue, to Fullerton, to Belmont or to Irving Park - each major street here is about a mile. And then cut over and walk back down Broadway/Clark. Lot's of interesting shops and restaurants.

Eat yourself silly and collapse into a coma in your hotel room.

Explore our ethnic restaurants, many of which are easily reachable even without a car, for example, the Red Line will take you north to Devon - home of Indian/Pakistani food, to Arglye the northside asian area - or south to Chinatown, which can be easily reached from the Cermak/Chinatown stop.

Go to Hyde Park and visit the Museum of Science and Industry and then explore the University of Chicago campus. Not terribly convenient from the L, but several bus lines will take you right there.

I also noticed recently that the historic Chicago Theater (on State St.) does facility tours, and that could be fun.

May is a little early, but check out if there are any concerts in Millennium Park. Get a picnic and sit on the grass.
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Old Mar 13, 08, 12:33 pm
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You certainly will not run out of things to do.

The previous post mentions the architecture foundation.
Check out their website for specific tour info.
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Old Mar 13, 08, 4:38 pm
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Thanks for all the tips. Sounds like there will be plenty to do for a week. Will think about renting a car for a few days too.
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Old Mar 13, 08, 4:41 pm
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For 7 days, I don't know that I'd bother with a car ... I've been lucky enough to visit Chicago for about a week every year since around 2000 - it's only now that I'm thinking about hiring a car to visit some of the 'outer' places ... there's just so much to do ... as others have pointed out!
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Old Mar 15, 08, 11:24 am
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If you are a "museum-type," the Hopper/Homer shows at the Art Institute are quite good, as is the newly-opened temporary Glass exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.
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Old Mar 25, 08, 10:43 am
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You should have a relaxed visit with that much time. I wouldn't rent a car, too much to do downtown and distances are too far to anything worthwhile in the suburbs for a first-time visitor, unless you are really interested in botanical gardens or something(and even then you can get there on a bus/train). And that's coming from a suburbanite. Get a 7-day cta pass and just enjoy the city itself. Make sure you have some deep dish pizza and a good italian beef, make sure you visit a blues bar some night(a real one, not "House of Blues", sorry), of course do the architecture cruise as was mentioned, walk Michigan from Oak south to the Art Institute or a touch farther, and to echo the other PP, the Hopper exhibit should be worthwhile also... if you care, check out Chinatown, Navy Pier, Greektown, and of course check out "Chicago must do's" on tripadvisor for more ideas. Oh ya there are double decker bus tours that are decent for getting an overview/lay of the land.
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Old Mar 25, 08, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by pbz View Post
make sure you visit a blues bar some night(a real one, not "House of Blues", sorry)
Well said, no need to apologize! Kingston Mines is a great spot that's alive every night of the week.
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