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First Time in Chicago - Now What?

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Oh, geez. I just wrote a long post and it all disappeared before I posted....!

Anyhow...much shorter version:

Hi everyone!

I'm an East coast gal, livng on the West coast, and paying a solo visit to Chicago for the very first time.

I'd like input/suggestions on what one should do/see, where to eat (not big on seafood or exotic eats), how to dress (given the crazy heat!), how/where to stay safe, and what mode of transportation to use (train, bus, and feet are my options).

I'll be staying in a hotel at the Loop, walking distance to the Millenium Park. I'll also be in town the same week as Taste of Chicago and wonder if it's worth paying a visit?

I want to do the tourist thing, but also see some of the more local-but-must-see-purely-Chicago places (if any).

I'd also like to know if anyone recommends buying either the CityPass or the Chicago Go Card? Prices are different, as are the attraction options, and even though the two have been compared here (http://www.chicagotraveler.com/chicago-attractions-card-comparison.htm), I'd like an insider/local person's input.

My budget IS limited, so I have to be picky.

I'm staying 6 nights, one of which involves landing at O'Hare at rush hour (oh, joy), takingthe train to my hotel at the Loop, and possibly checking out the neighborhood on feet that evening - if recommended and weather permitting.

Would appreciate any/all input.


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