Chicago Challenge

Old Mar 1st, 2013, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,700
dfrost: For an unconventional look at touring Chicago, check out this link.
(Warning: Adults only. Language and humor herein may be found offensive by some persons)
Dave_Ohio is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 03:59 AM
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Toucan !!!! thanks. The boat tour is on our maybe list. Bitter thanks for the link to the other thread. I'll check out Lurie Gardens and do I dare look at Dave_Ohio's link? I think the L to the closest station and then a cab might be the best idea. My friend says she'll be fine with her GPS but if I take the earliest flight, I'll be arriving during commuting hours and expect the traffic will be awful. If I weren't dragging a big suitcase and heavy carryon, a 6 block walk would be fine.
My friend thinks she would like the City Greeter Chinatown tour.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Hi, dfrostnh.

I think your hotel package is a great bargain. The hotel feels about 1 block off the tourist loops, but a good location, so don't worry about that. Definitely, have friend go on her own to the hotel to park on her own, and you can take the blue line train (the only train) from O'Hare to the city.

However, if you're feeling fatigued and the bags are really heavy, (intent on a taxi anyway), I'd recommend getting off the blue line train at Clark/Lake, go up to street level and catch a cab from there to Lasalle X Ohio. Always difficult to get your bearings upon getting up to street level, but if you can get yourself over to Lasalle, that would be slightly better than Dearborn. (You may as well do this plan, because you'll not save that much money if you transfer from blue line @ Jackson Station to the Red line train, ride it north to Grand, take a cab from a much more congested area.)

Then, you and your friend can arrange to meet someplace nice. The area immediately surrounding your hotel doesn't offer nice meet-up places. But don't let it concern you. You'll be here in a better weather month, so a 1-2 block walk will get you lots of nice options. A recco is the Starbucks straight east on Ohio (from your hotel) to State Street.

RE: Art Institute Day
Great idea, and great price to get in. Taking the bridge to Lurie Garden (lovely) as suggested is a great idea. You can do this and (heading north through park) see all of Millennium Park, which is wonderful. The Chicago Cultural Center is across the street and worth popping in to explore and see the Tiffany designed dome.

Lunch is available in the museum, but if you’re looking for lunch or dinner reccos, let us know and we can weigh in.

RE: Chinatown Tour
Ew... I admit, I've not taken the tour but have been to our Chinatown several times. I find it horribly, horribly dreary... and being Asian myself, I feel somewhat bad deterring anyone from patronizing the business there. With so little time, pass on Chinatown.

RE: Art galleries
Your hotel isn't far from the (somewhat smallish, concentrated) gallery area of Chicago. It's centered around Superior X Wells/Franklin. Nice, quiet area... if you go there, walk north on Wells street (Lasalle Street is just ugly), to Superior. But do a search for galleries that tempt you beforehand. There may not be enough, though there is a Luminaire modern furniture showroom at 301 W Superior that I enjoy drooling in.

If you want restaurant reccos for b’fast/lunch/dinner, evening ideas (theater? Improve? Jazz? Fine dining?), let us know what your tastes are.

If weather is nice, a walk north on Michigan Ave to Oak, then taking the underpass to Oak Street Beach is a nice thing to do, as the view can be very pretty.

Have fun!
ChgoGal is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Re arriving during commute hours - a favorite memory of ours is taking the L from O'Hare and watched the standing still traffic ( on the Dan Ryan Expressway?). We were so happy to be on a train!
sf7307 is online now  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 12:23 PM
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on the Dan Ryan Expressway?

no biggie, but it's Kennedy Expressway...

that is if you arrived at O'Hare
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 01:47 PM
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We went to Chicago last May and had a wonderful time. Weather was spectacular. Loved, loved, loved the architecture boat tour. The greeter program has an architecture tour, too.

Did not have a car and did not need one, but I admit one Saturday night it got a little scary on the streets downtown.
jayne1973 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 03:50 PM
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AA, that's why I put the question mark!
sf7307 is online now  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Yeah!! You're coming to Chicago!! I'm excited for you. Have you ever been before??

I looked into that same hotel over Christmas when we were going to do a family thing for the Christmas parade. It didn't work out at the time but I thought the hotel looked great and it is in a good location. The prices were very good.

Chicago is expensive, but there is lots to see just walking around. You are going to love the Art Institute!! I lose track of time in there, it's probably my favorite place in Chicago. And I also have to recommend the Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center. It is free and right across the street from Millennium Park and of course the Bean. Love, love Mellennium Park too and the splendid gardens. And if you smell some good popcorn as you are strolling down Michigan Avenue you have found Garretts, very famous in this area.

The architecture boat tour while pricey is very, very worth it. I have lived in the Chicago area my whole life and only did the tour two years ago. I second the part about Chinatown. With limited time, it's kind of iffy. But I think the idea about drinks at the John Hancock lounge (96th floor) is a great idea.

I wish you had more time in Chicago or I would suggest a GTG, it would be so great to meet you.
barbrn is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I grew up in Chinatown. I recommend it for the food and some of the kitschy shops. You can take a water taxi for $8-$10 R/T from Michigan Ave. to Ping Tom Park in Chinatown and walk over to the restaurants and shops.
Dave_Ohio is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 02:49 AM
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Chgogrl and others, thanks for the directions. It looks like it will be very simple to add the Tiffany Dome and Lurie Garden to our Art Institute visit. Even with a guidebook, it's hard to figure out what's do-able in our limited time. Your advice is a big help. I usually like to get out on the water for a different view of things so the boat tour sounds good. Funny, I did check out the "adult-content" review and the recommended cheap hotel but the cheap hotel is much more expensive than the BW.

I'm disappointed by the Chinatown discouragement. I've been to Boston's Chinatown (great food tour there) so maybe the negatives are similar. My friend likes to try Chinese recipes but has never visited a Chinatown so I think we will take Dave-Ohio's recommendation and give it a try. Dave - can you recommend a good bakery there?

barbrn, since I live in a rural area, rarely visiting Boston because DH hates cities, this is going to be great fun (leaving DH at home). We are arriving early to visit Chicago before heading to a conference in St Charles.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Your trip gets better and better! You are going to love the historical pretty downtown of St Charles. It is a gorgeous area. And you are close to the quaint little shops and restaurants of Geneva. Hope you have some downtime. My daughter lives and works close to that area, and I shop in St Charles frequently.

I was in Chinatown Chicago 2 years ago the first weekend in May. We took the train to Union Station and wanted to take the water taxi to Chinatown. They had not started going to Chinatown yet at that time. If this is a way you would want to go, I'd check the website of Chicago Water Taxi to see where they stop and the times. This is a great (and cheap) way to get around. I have taken them from Union Station to Michigan Avenue countless times and they are a fun way to see the Chicago architecture and river.

I hope you have good weather and wear good walking shoes. I understand about living in the rural area. That's me too. But I love Chicago (and I loved Boston the one time I was there).
barbrn is offline  
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