Feb 28th, 2008, 08:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 31

Hi all, me and a girl friend are flying to Chicago on Saturday April 5, for the Edward Hopper exhbit at the Art Institute of Chicago. We will be in the city from about 11:30am to 8:30pm, we will be out of the museum by 2:30 pm, so I was just wondering from people that are familiar with Chicago, with some of the other things we could do before heading back to ORD for our flight home. Maybe a few sights, quick shopping and a nice place to eat dinner.

Thanks everyone, appreciate any feedback.

rache2005 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,707
Hi, rache2005 -

Roam around Millenium Park, stop in the Chicago Cultrual Center to see the Tiffany domes, walk over to Buckingham Fountain and the waterfront, visit the Shedd Aquarium, walk up Michigan Ave. to the Miracle Mile. . . . plenty of options!

kja is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
Glad you will be visiting us, Rachel. I trust that you already have your tickets for the special exhibit, because they are for *timed* entry only.

If you haven't gotten them already, I really recommend that you do. Otherwise, on a Saturday, no telling if you'll be able to see the exhibit when you wish. I also highly recommend that you and your friend do get the audio tours for the extra $$. Much more satisfying and informative.

The next thing I really recommend is that you and your friend each get 1 day CTA visitor's passes. $5 each. This gives *unlimited* rides for 24 hours to each of you. You will find that they are worth every penny of it.

Inasfar as the sights:

First, recommend that you have a short stop at Millennium Park, which is immediately north of the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue. Then walk just north of Randolph (the northern most boundary of Millennium Park).

Pick up any of the busses going north on Michigan (For example, you could take the #151 from there north - just look at the sign at the bus stop and you'll see all your options. Just keep in mind that not all busses go as far north as the bus stop I'm mentioning below.)

Take the #151 to the Walton stop (1st stop north of Water Tower Place and right across the street from 900 N. Michigan, where the Bloomingdales building is located). Just to the south, across the street is the John Hancock Centre. Go up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor for a pricey drink (assuming you are 21).

When you are through, you just want to stroll south on Michigan Avenue for a couple of blocks. Maybe you'll want to do a little window shopping along the way. Come to think of it, if you wish to do the latter, I'd suggest starting on Oak Street (2 blocks north of the JHC) where the truly upscale shops are located. Go west for a couple of blocks and return to N. Michigan Avenue, continuing south.

Suggest that you do so on the west side of Michigan. You'll first go past the Fourth Presbyterian Church. This is the second church built at this location, finished in 1874. The original building was destroyed on the night of its dedication on 1871 - you'll see why below. Look or even go into the interior courtyard there.

Then continue south, past the historic Water Tower and Water Pumping Station. These were the only structures left standing in the immediate area following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

You now want to go south on Michigan to get to the Wrigley Building (about 4 blocks). You can pick up at any busses going south at any of the stops south of Delaware. You could even walk this, if the busses aren't coming quickly. But you'll be watching your time, so I'd recommend doing whichever is the quickest, depending on the weather, of course.

When you get to the Wrigley Building, suggest that you take a little time here. Across Michigan Avenue from the Wrigley Building is the Tribune Tower. There are stones and pieces of some of the most famous locations in the world imbedded in its facade. Take a few minutes and walk around the three faces to see them all.

Then you want to cross the Chicago River on the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Suggest you (again) do it on the west side. Look west at the view from the bridge. Hope you have your camera with you.

After you have enjoyed the view from the bridge and crossed the River, you will see a bus stop just to your right on Wacker. You want to pick up the #146 SB CTA bus from that stop. The #146 travels south on Michigan, north of the River, then turns onto Wacker, going west for a couple of blocks, then turns south onto State Street. This is the Chicago Loop area. We'll leave this area for your return trip there on the same bus.

The #146 bus continues south on State Street: You'll go past the Chicago Theatre (with its famous marquee). Looking west from State at Randolph, you will see the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (aka the Oriental Theatre) and to the east is Macy's (fka Marshall Fields - you can tell by the clocks on each end). Further east at this intersection is the Chicago Cultural Center. At Washington, to your right the historic Reliance Building, where the Hotel Burnham and the Atwood Cafe are located - and where I recommend that you have dinner, if at all possible.

At State & Madison, you are at the very heart of Chicago. This is the 0/0 point of all of the city's addresses. To your left is the historic Carson, Pirie, Scott building, exterior facade by Louis Sullivan.

At State & Monroe, you will be passing the Palmer House - to your left. Actually, this is the fourth Palmer House. The first one was located further south at State and Quincy. The second one was built at the present location and was completed in September 1871. 8 days later, it was just smoldering ashes and rubble, due to the Great Chicago Fire (remember that from above?). The third one (7 stories in height) was rebuilt at the same location and advertised as the "World's Only Fire Proof Hotel". It was a very luxurious hotel, where U.S. presidents, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, and other famous celebrities stayed. The fourth and present hotel was rebuilt on the same site.

Continuing to the south, the huge building with the dragons on the roof is the Harold Washington Library.

The bus will be turning onto Balbo and then going out to the Museum Campus area (Soldier Field, where the Chicago Bears play football, Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium are located there). You want to disembark the bus and take a few photos on the north terrace of the Shedd Aquarium.

Then you'll pick the #146 NB bus up at the same bus stop where you disembarked. You want to get off at a stop on State Street, north of Madison. You could have your dinner now, if you were running short of time, or maybe do a little more exploring if you wish.

If you weren't ready yet for dinner, I might suggest a stop at Intelligentsia (coffee shop), which is located right between Macy's and the Chicago Cultural Center. The Cultural Center has many free exhibits and concerts, by the way, so you might want to stop in. Both the Cultural Center and Macy's have Tiffany domes, although the Cultural Center's are being renovated at this time.

So now you are in the heart of the Loop Theatre District and only a couple of blocks away from the James R. Thompson Center, where you can again pick up the Blue Line out to O'Hare.

If you cannot get reservations at the Atwood Cafe (and I suggest that you do try because this is VERY popular with theatre goers), you could have dinner at Aria (asian-fusion comfort food, 5 minute cab ride from the James R. Thompson Center), Catch 35 (for seafood) on Wacker (5+ minute walk) or Trattoria No. 10 (5 minute walk).

Hope you have a lot of fun in Chicago for your 1 day trip.

P.S. The very! best tour in Chicago is the Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise, which (unfortunately) isn't happening when you are here in early April. But, fortunately, you could get a DVD of it - at the Chicago Architecture Foundation's location in the historic Sante Fe Building - it just happens to be right across Michigan Avenue from the Art Institute. A great, great souvenir of your short trip to Chicago - and, maybe - just maybe - an amuse-bouche for a return visit?
exiledprincess is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
Sorry, I tried to edit that last post but, even though I typed the edit, it didn't actually post. I guess I "exceeded my boundaries", as usual.

What I wanted to mention is that if you are really running short of time, when you take the #146 to the Loop, you could forego going all the way out to the Museum Campus and back. Just stay in the Loop. However....

I suggested this specifically because you will obtain a magnificent view of the skyline (for photo ops), like few others in Chicago will give. I thought you'd like to see it in it's full wonderousness, though.
exiledprincess is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 31
This is really past due, but I got so bizzy after Chicago, I just got back from Paris a few days ago, and never had a chance to check back to the post. anyway just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful information.
rache2005 is offline  

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