Chicago: Memorial Day weekend trip report

May 27th, 2009, 07:45 AM
  #1  
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Chicago: Memorial Day weekend trip report

We had a great time in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. It was our first trip to the city, where we stayed for 3 nights.

We flew non-stop to O'Hare and arrived on Saturday afternoon. We took a taxi into the city, which was delayed due to holiday traffic.

We finally arrived to our hotel, the Park Hyatt on Michigan Ave. The hotel was great--very nice room, excellent service, wonderful restaurant (Nomi), and out-of-this world views. Our room looked directly over the Magnificent Mile to Lake Michigan. The weather was chilly, though we expected that.

We ate all of our breakfasts at Nomi in the hotel, as that was included in our package. The view from Nomi was also out of this world--the whole vibe on the 7th floor where Nomi, the lounge, and terrace area are located is amazing. I highly recommend at least drinks at the bar. We also had a lunch at Nomi--they have a 3 course prix fixe lunch for $25, which includes the soup & salad, entree, and dessert. I had the steak sandwich entree, while my husband had the sushi platter. We both really liked our meals, and the atmosphere. Of note is that for dinner, it is recommended that men wear jackets, but there is no such dress code for lunch. If you want a high-end meal, I would recommend lunch here!

We had an in-room picnic of Chicago hot dogs from Downtown Dogs for lunch one day. It is right around the corner from the Park Hyatt--we were originally going to go to Bistro 110 for lunch, but we were chilly and just wanted to have the famous hot dogs. We ordered the charred dogs, and they were delicious!

For dinners, we went to Cafe Spiaggia (definitely go here and try the wild boar gnocchi, which is fabulous...great service and experience), Goose Island Brew Pub (my husband is really into microbrews, and they had good burgers--right near Wrigley Field), and Sunda (a hip new Asian restaurant that has a very large menu--good group location because you can order a bunch of different appetizers to share...we liked it).

As far as activities, we went to the Signature Lounge at the Hancock Center to see the view the first night. This was overrated in our opinion.

We did the Architectural Foundation Boat Tour, which is a must do! I recommend doing this early in your visit as it gives a good orientation of the city.

We also did the Wrigley Field Tour. This was awesome. We're not huge baseball fans, but it was great and I also liked the Wrigleyville area around the field (particularly, Goose Island Brew Pub!).

We went to Navy Pier to ride the ferris wheel. This is obviously a touristy place, but it was fun!

During one of the chillier days, we went to the Fields Museum. Loved the Pirate exhibit as well as the evolving earth exhibit. What a great museum.

We also had drinks at the Peninsula Hotel one night. What a swank place! We were very happy with the Park Hyatt, but we would also be interested in staying at the Peninsula for a future visit as the vibe is so cool!

Finally, we of course went shopping along the Magnificent Mile! It is unbelievable how many stores there are! This is a shopper's dream!

We really enjoyed our visit. The people were very friendly. It was easy to navigate. The restaurants were reasonably priced. It is a great weekend trip place, and we'd definitely go back!
mah1980 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:56 PM
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hi mah,

thanks for sharing your report. DH and i will be in chicago from july 1-5. i have the signature lounge on our list of things to do (drinks or dessert)...just wondering why you thought the SL was overrated? not worth the price of the drinks? or just not worth the time invested? or was the view not very good?

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:34 PM
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With my trip last year, the view from the Signature Lounge was much better than the Sears. But given the price of drinks at the Lounge, it got very expensive. Drinks are ~$10 apiece plus tip. But it was a clear day. At night, I wouldnt want to pay that price for a view of lights.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Can you tell me more about the Wrigley Field tour? What did you get to see/do? How long was it? Price?
Ashley24 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Ashley, here is the page for Wrigley Tours.
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ball...ield_tours.jsp
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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hi tchoiniere,

i was planning to do the signature lounge at sunset ... do you think the view would still be worthwhile? i'm wondering if we should move that to an afternoon pit-stop while strolling mag mile instead...

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 07:24 PM
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I'm sorry, I didn't see any replies.

I think the SL was really overrated. It was like herding animals up and down the elevators (they only took so many people up at a time). I wish we would have just went to the Sears Tower instead.

The Wrigley Field tour was great. Really interesting. It was $25/each. We went to the last tour, at 4 p.m., because we wanted to go to the Goose Island Brew Pub afterwards for dinner in Wrigleyville.
mah1980 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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I would get up a little while before sunset and then stay through it.

Mah, Sears Tower herds you worse than Hancock. That is due to the space restrictions on the elevator. The view from Hancock is better than the Sears.
tchoiniere is offline  

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