After a quick stop in New York we flew to Chicago, the Windy City, where we spent 3 days. Below our 2 days itinerary. If you have one extra day, it allow you to see more of this beautiful city included some indoor attractions.
Said to be the birthplace of the skyscraper, this thriving metropolis, set on the shores of Lake Michigan and threaded by the Chicago River, boasts world-class museums, vibrant neighborhoods, lively urban parks, and a top-notch, continually-emerging culinary scene.
Each neighborhood offers its own unique feel, particularly the Loop, where most of the action happens—it’s full of restaurants, bars and other attractions. The West Loop is one of the most happening neighborhoods in Chicago. Home of many factories , the West Loop is now home to some of the city’s best restaurants, amazing shops and a bar scene that’s hard to beat.
SKYDECK CHICAGO, Willis Tower
To avoid a crazy queue make sure to be there before 9am or alternatively buy the Fast Pass ticket (which cost double). Skydeck Chicago occupies the 103rd floor of the 110-story Willis Tower (the second-tallest building in North America after One World Trade Center). The highlight for most visitors is the Ledge. Extending beyond the building’s exterior, this platform is made entirely of glass – even the floor. General admission $23
ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
Considered one of the best if not the best museum of the world. The Art Institute of Chicago sits just south of Millennium Park and next to Grant Park in downtown Chicago. General admission $25
MILLENNIUM PARK + CLOUD GATE
Situated in the Loop just north of the Art Institute of Chicago, this space is used to showcase cutting-edge art, architecture and landscaping; it also acts as a backdrop for concerts and festivals. Most visitors come to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean”.
This is where you’ll find several of Chicago’s most popular things to do, included the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. At the heart of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world.
360 CHICAGO, John Hancock Center
One of Chicago’s most notable attractions is its skyline, and one of the best places to experience it is at the 360 CHICAGO, John Hancock Center. You can enjoy the stunning view from the Observation Deck, on the 94th floor. My personal advice is to skip this, save the $20 general admission ticket and to enjoy the view while drinking a great cocktail on the Signature Room on the 96th floor.
Nice walk among bars, cafes and yachts. Pick a nice spot and enjoy a chill bear while admiring the yachts sailing Chicago River between the awesome buildings.
Extending out onto Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers plenty in the way of family-friendly entertainment. We were lucky enough to be there on July 4th and we could enjoy the beautiful fireworks on Navy Pier.
If you have some spare time or one extra day you shouldn’t miss: Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago United Center (home of Chicago Bulls) and the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour of the city.
Where to Eat/Drink:
- Federales (West Loop) Mexican barbecue-style tacos, ceviche & tequila in a funky warehouse setting with a beer garden.
- Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe (Downtown/Millennium Park) Pancakes & other big portions of American eats draw hungry folks to this breakfast-lunch cafe. -> to avoid the long queue try to arrive very early
- Lou Mitchell’s (Downtown) Iconic diner that’s been serving hearty breakfasts & lunches since 1923.
- Portillo’s Hot Dogs (Downtown) Chicago-born chain for hot dogs, sandwiches & more, in retro digs.