Chicago Awaits You! What to do and where to stay.
They call it the Windy city but do you know why they call it that? Not the wind that blows through the beautiful architectural buildings but local legend says its because of all the hot air bellowing from the early politicians.
Before you head to Chicago you have to read the book ‘Devil in the White City‘ by Erik Larson, it is a fascinating historical fiction of the World’s Fair in 1893 and the first documented serial killer in America who scoped and lured his victims in the dark streets of early Chicago. It makes for a fascinating background on the history of such a great city!
So where to stay and what to do? Here are the best things to do in Chicago.
We stayed at the Thompson Hotel and it was amazing. A boutique hotel at the north end of the city just a step from the John Hancock Tower, the beach and shopping on the Magnificent Mile while just enough removed from all the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. They treated us like gold and the rooms are to die for! Be sure to get a corner room and I say go for just a little extra with the ‘Corner King’ room – it is just a little price upgrade and so worth the extra space and the view. They also have a fabulous bar for a drink before heading out on the town.
Shopping near the hotel is not just the magnificent mile but one major street away is Nordstroms Rack with so many amazing deals you won’t have room for it all in the suitcase home.
Best Places To Visit In Chicago
We did lots and lots of walking, we never did an official walking tour but there are many to choose from. I think one the food ones would have be my choice if we had one extra day. Visit Tastebud Tours to check them out at www.tastebudtours.com.
We did however ensure we had time for the architectural water tour which is a must. There are many of them and all fairly equal so walk down to the river and find one that suits your departure time. Go a couple hours ahead of your departure time to ensure you get a ticket for the time you want. You can do a little shopping or lunch and come back a ½ hour before your departure time to get a great seat on the top deck.
While you are waiting for your boat tour visit the Virgin Hotel just a block south of the river on Wabash street for a drink and great food on their outdoor patio. The best Reuben I have honestly ever had. Yum!
Check Out Chicago – Big Bus Tour
We also did the Big Bus Tour as it is a tradition for us in every city we visit. You can’t get better than hoping on and off while checking out the city streets and the inner city view of all the beautiful buildings. Check out bigbustours.com. We actually took advantage of the bus tour to hop and off for food – we started with a late brunch for the must have deep dish Chicago pizza at the famous Lou Malnati’s. Hopped off for taste of Chicago deli at the Eleven City Diner (Manny’s is the most famous Chicago deli and was closed on Sunday but The Eleven City Diner was another great option for a real deli experience and a little closer to downtown).
We then ended with dessert at the incredible and famous Sprinkles cupcakes. I am a cupcake guru and I have never had a better cupcake then their red velvet cupcake – if only they shipped to Canada!!!!
Other Must Do’s In Chicago!
… a drink at the Trump Tower with fantastic views right on the river. An authentic incredibly relaxing foot massage after all the walking at Yamato www.yamatomassagebar.com . Also, a visit to the John Hancock or the Willis Tower for a birds eye view of the city. Both towers have a great view of the city. The John Hancock has no cost to go up for a drink. The bar is a little dated and you will have a wait to get up as the elevators take some time, but it’s an inexpensive way to see the city and a gorgeous sunset. For the Willis Tower there is a cost and much longer lines to get up but they do have a cool glass box to step out in if you are braver than I am.
Chicago Tourism Map
Something to check out is the Official Visitors Guide with lots more cool stuff to do in Chicago and the best places to visit in Chicago. The windy city has so much to offer and we loved every minute of it. Be sure to carve out at least 3 days to take in this incredible city.