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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report My budget trip to Chicago (except for the shopping).

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I just returned from my first trip to Chicago and loved it.
I went with two friends... we are not Foodies, and were trying to keep our costs down . (Ok, so I blew it when it came to shopping).

We flew into Midway and took the EL into the city, and then caught the Orange line subway , then a short walk to our hotel. It was all very easy, and an economical way of doing it.

We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard on Ontario Street just off Michigan on the Magnificent Mile. Our room was fine and the service was great.
Since there were 3 of us, and the room had 2 queen size beds, we asked for a cot, and it arrived within minutes. We then asked for a fridge, and it arrived minutes later.
I would recommend this hotel. The price was great, and the location could not have been better.

We set out for a walk up the Magnifecent Mile and went up the the Hancock Building.
Here is a tip for saving money.. You can pay to go to the observation deck on the 94th floor. We did not do this. Instead, we went to the 96th floor where there is a restaurant. There are great views from the lobby area of the restaurant with out actually eating there. But the best kept secret is the view from the Ladies restroom. There is a floor to ceiling window and the view is spectacular.

We ate dinner at Grand Lux Cafe and enjoyed it very much. It is owned by the same company as Cheesecake Factory and the portions are huge. It's located at Ontario St and Michigan , above the Ann Taylor store.

We found Dominic's grocery store and stocked up. We ate breakfast in our room... bagels, yogurt, and fruit.

Touristy things we did that we really enjoyed:

The double decker bus tour.. worthwhile.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise... very very good.
A walk through Millenium Park .. beautiful
Art Institute ... really worthwhile.
Navy Pier. I really enjoyed the Stained Glass Window Museum there.
Walking and walking and walking all over the downtown area.
And, of course, shopping. GREAT shopping.

Places we ate that were reasonably priced.
Portello's Hot dogs on Ontario St. we had the famous Chicago hot dog.
The food court on the Mezzanine at Water Tower Place.
California Pizza on Erie.

We splurged and took a taxi back to Midway . It was $36 with tip....but well worth it.

It was the end to a really great 4 day vacation. I wish we'd had more time, but I think we did very well in 4 days.

Everyone should see Chicago!!

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