Chicago and Where Else

Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 02:57 PM
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Chicago and Where Else

We've never been to Chicago other than changing planes.

We'd like to go for a few days but that's a lot of flying to spend 3-4 days in one place.

Any add-ons in the area?

Thanks.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 03:22 PM
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In three or four days, you can barely put a dent in Chicago. What else do you want to see and do? And when will you be there?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 04:26 PM
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3-4 days is a minimum to spend in Chicago! And to be honest, there isn't a lot nearby that's worth dealing w car rental and leaving the city! Use transit and cabs to explore the many neighborhoods (wrigley, buck town, Lincoln park and zoo, Ukrainian village, Andersonville, downtown, Gold Coast, Hyde park.....) and you'll wish you had more time!!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2014, 06:39 PM
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We'd probably go (just thinking about it) in early September.

Three or four days wasn't definite. Just a thought.

We're not really museum goes except for the very well-known.

Our style is to walk in various areas most of the day, sightsee, and just wander around seeing the sights.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 12:11 AM
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Given your stated interests, a stay of 4 days (or more!) should suit well. Chicago has LOTS of great neighborhoods for roaming around, along with wonderful architectural tours (boat and foot), a great waterfront with some wonderful places to walk, ready access to Oak Park and its treasure trove of Frank Lloyd Wright Houses, etc.

"We're not really museum goes except for the very well-known." The Art Institute of Chicago qualifies, as does the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology. And the Oceanarium is outstanding.

The Botanic Garden is a bit out of the way, but it is reachable by public transportation and has some lovely areas. The Brookfield Zoo is also a bit out of the way but accessible by public transportation.

Chicago can be quite pleasant in early September. The Ravinia Festival lasts into mid-September and is well worth an evening.

Once you get a good guide book and start identifying what interests you, you could easily find that you want closer to a week for this magnificent city!
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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kja forgot to add the Field Museum to that list.

I don't see any issues with you finding enough to do for 3-4 days. I know you love national parks and nature but you'd need to drive a ways to find something. The only thing relatively close is the lakeshore in Indiana, and to paraphrase your opening post, that's a lot of driving just to spend a day at the beach.

http://www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm

It's really not that far from Chicago but you'll have plenty of other things to occupy your time without needing to leave the city. But I thought I'd throw that out there because it probably is the closest thing to Chicago that is comparable to a national park experience.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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Oak Park for Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, including his own house.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Park,_Illinois
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Wrigley Field for Cubs baseball
The following are all downtown near the lakefront:
walk around Museum campus along the lakefront.
Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium
Grant park, Millennium Park and Cloudgate aka "the Bean"
Lincoln Park Zoo
Navy Pier
Architectural River Cruises
Wendella river and Lake cruise
Willis Tower (formerly sears tower)
Hancock Tower skydeck
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 03:22 PM
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Hi, there are 20+ miles of lakefront bicycle paths, the beach is really pretty and the outdoor cafes are delightful! September is usually warm enough for that.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 06:26 AM
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iTunes carries downloadable walking tours of Chicago that you might enjoy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Quick note re: Sears/Willis vs. Hancock Towers -- it's (as always) a matter of personal preference, but I preferred the view and exprience of going to the Hancock Tower over the Sears/Willis. Like the lakeside/Mich. Ave. location, the option to have a drink or whatever at the bar there, and the angle re: the rest of the city and the north shore area. Sears/Willis is tallest, of course, but the location gives you a view from a different angle and much of it is the flat surburban sprawl to the west, and the neighborhood has slightly less to offer.

Don't miss doing one, or the other, or both. Just FYI.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 05:46 PM
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I, too, preferred the Hancock to the Sears.
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 07:28 PM
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Three or four days isn't really enough to see Chicago, let alone Chicago and someplace else.
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 03:55 PM
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September is the absolute best month to go to Chicago.

What to do in Chicago in the fall:

• Head north (take Sheridan Road for the best view) to the Bahá'í House of Worship and the Chicago Botanic Gardens
• Head slightly west to see Pilsen’s street art and murals
• Head south to Hyde Park to see the University of Chicago architecture, Oriental Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House
• If you’re there during the weekend of October 10, 2014 cheer on the Chicago Marathon runners at North Avenue and Wells Street, while listening to the Elvis Presley impersonator
• If you’re there during Halloween 2014, attend the North Halsted Street Halloween Parade and/or the Sculptural Objects and Functional Art exhibit (and that is the ONLY reason to EVER go to Navy Pier)
• If you’re there during the weekend of November 14, 2014, check-out the Chicago Humanities Festival
• For low-pretense, high-quality, reasonable-priced dining in a comfortable atmosphere, try Mon Ami Gabi, the Pink Pig, Avec, North Pond and Girl and the Goat
• If you want the best hotel, stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago (runner-ups: The Trump, The Conrad, The Peninsula and the Park Hyatt)

More info: http://bit.ly/1cWSM2D
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 05:59 PM
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Check a map for distances here -- the Baha'i Temple and Botanical Gardens are quite a bit north outside of the city -- wouldn't try that anywhere near rush hour or if my time was short and I planned to do something else that day.
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