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I want to travel to 2 cities in the same trip. One is chicago and I need recs for another...

I want to travel to 2 cities in the same trip. One is chicago and I need recs for another...

Old Jan 20th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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I want to travel to 2 cities in the same trip. One is chicago and I need recs for another...

I along with my husband and 18 month old daughter will be traveling at the end of April. We are looking to sightsee, do some outdoor activites, shopping, dining, nightlife (whats ok with a toddler). Our flight will depart from miami so we thought of going to chicago first then to go visit another state in the same region for about 2-3 days and fly back to miami. Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 09:36 PM
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You say in the same region, so it seems to me your choices would be Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit and maybe Cleveland. Do any of those appeal to you? Altho' I just noticed that you say "another state" so maybe you were thinking somewhere other than a city for your second stop?
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Chicago's Navy Pier will be a great destination, with a Children's Museum and lots to do and see. Go to metromix.com and get lots of other ideas for family friendly places, eat at Ed Debevics (and get their tiniest sundae), great pizza places and the like. Milwaukee is another pretty city on a lakefront, only 1-1/2 hours north of Chicago. It is quieter, but also has good museums and nice hotels with swimming pools. Great restaurants too. Good luck!
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Perhaps Door County? It's a manageable distance without taking another flight and a change of pace after the wonderful buzz that of Chicago.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:11 AM
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End of April weather is pretty iffy in Chicago. It could be warm, but will more likely be cool (50-60 degrees)and rainy.

I'm not sure why you are planning to visit another city for only 2-3 days when you have no city in mind. With a toddler, flexibility is important. I like the idea of renting a car and driving to a State Park or Indiana/Michigan beaches from Chicago - you could always change your mind at the last minute, and go to the Amish area of Indiana, for example, or to Galena (Door County is too far for such a short time - over 5 hours drive). If you are planning a lot of outdoor time, pushing your trip ahead to early-mid May will give you a much better chance of good weather. Or, you may want to consider St. Louis, which has a much earlier spring than Chicago (the lake keeps us cool.)

Finally, there is no combination of "nightlife" and "toddler." The way to enjoy a night out in the city is to hire a babysitter.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:14 AM
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In April= uHmmmmm!

I would not go North myself that time of year- two different climates in the same day and could be cold with lots of rain.

You do not say how long your entire vacation will be. This is probably essential to the possible answers, as travel between cities or country type locations is not close as with Eastern seaboard cities. If it was Map or April, I would suggust you take the train to Kalamazoo and back or do some of the lighthouse tour of Lake Michigan, but it is April and you said city. Therefore, I suggest going South where it is warmer and spend a few days in St.Louis. If you fly Chicago direct from Miami- then fly St. Louis and then fly home, it could be a good trip and a couple of different flavors for April.

St. Louis has enough to see for more than 2-3 days and is warmer etc. Spring will already have sprung. St. Louis has terrific deals and marketing literature that the state/city will send you free.
Do a google on St. Louis Visitor Information and have them send it to your home address to decide.

Chicago area has literally hundreds of day trips to suburban locations for very interesting things to do with baby, also. Like a day trip to Glencoe to the Botanical Gardens (amazing). Or a
day out to Brookfield to see one of the best zoos in the world. You don't have to stay in the Chicago only- if you didn't want to make the extra flight.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:24 AM
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I think your idea sounds fine. You could consider Cincinnati as your second city. It's about a 4.5 hour drive but a neat city that has a lot to offer a young family. You could go to Paramounts Kings Island amusement park (I believe they are open on weekends that time of year) - they have a great kids area. The Cincinnati Reds might be in town - your little one might not be able to sit through a whole game but you could cheap upper level seats and enjoy the experience for as long as it remains enjoyable. We also have a very nice Children's Museum at an old train station, Union Terminal, that has a nice preschool area. Lots of family friendly restaurant, hotels, and shopping in the area as well; and it would be less expensive than your time in Chicago.

Oh, also a very nice aquarium just over the river in Newport, KY and a great zoo in downtown Cincinnati.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:26 AM
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That's May instead of Map, of course.

The other alternative is possibly Milwaukee, but not in April IMHO. I've been to all the cities mentioned in CAPH52's post- and St. Louis has much more to see for a short stay with a toddler. If you like baseball, it is a terrific town to see an April baseball game in too.

And Milwaukee is a reasonable distance away, but it is not a "big" city, nor in April does it have the fun lakefront festivals etc. as it would in summer/fall.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 02:06 PM
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FYI, Door County is not ``over five hours'', but closer to four.

All this concern about the cool/warm weather isn't that big of a deal, I'd bet. It's a crapshoot anyway and -- when you're coming from Miami, you're not going to Chicago to get warm, but for other experiences.

I suggested Door County as a counter to Chicago -- and to address the original poster's outdoor request. The Michigan/Indiana beaches are OK, but don't have as many options for a three-day break.

While other cities all have some unique appeals, they'd all be in the shadow of Chicago and share a common thread of regional similarities. Maybe it's just a personal preference, but mixing in a little non-urban break sounds appealing. In a city like Chicago, though, it's hard to break away.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 02:23 PM
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Oops, apologizes to all for what's essentially a double post. I didn't think the first one had ``taken'' when I was checking in from a different computer.

Also if the OP is looking for cities (as in the topic) or just another state, I could be way off. The poster who asked about the length of stay is right on. There's also a point to be made about staying in a place long enough to build some local familiarity -- and Chicago's a great place for that.

And now I'll stop talking to myself -- for a while, at least.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 02:49 PM
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I am not putting down Door County but I would not go there in April, especially not with a baby.

There are not as many options in IND/MICHIGAN lakefront??? Wow, you haven't been where I have. We have tried to do a Lighthouse Tour all the way around twice and still have only gotten as far as Traverse City. There is tons to do. The biggest sand buggy dunes in the entire USA is at Silver Lakes near Mears, Sleeping Bear is fantastic, and so many others beyond all the closer places like Grand Haven, Sagatuck, Holland, Warren Dunes, Ind. Dunes State Park etc. etc. But I would not send them there in April either. We put the pier in the water in April, but you can't do much besides fish until at least first week in May. Outdoor activities with a baby in April up North could be terribly problematic and she asked for cities besides. It wasn't my post by I have to defend patg.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 02:51 PM
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st. louis and cincinnati are too far.. take about 5 solid hours, and with toddler add on to that.

madison wis., milwaukee, the dunes in indiana...or in the outskirts of chicago you have oak park ( 20 min on "EL" from downtown)with a great number of frank lloyd wright houses and his studio.

further away from downtown many state parks with lakes, etc, bike trails.

you can also bike the waterfront for MILES in chicago.

but i also like the idea of the amish in western indiana, and then you could go to indianapolis which has a fabulous childen's museum.

if you get that far, try going to columbus indiana, where the mayor commissioned world famous architects to design very public building due to the wishes aof a ocal philanthropist.. it is proportionally, imo, the third most impt. city in the usa for urban architecture.

near columbus indiana there is a small town on a canal .. Metamora, which is very quaint.. but very small.

and by that time you have practically worked your way to cincinnati.!!!!!

for good restaurants in this area check out the thread here about america's best small town restaurants.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Here's the thread that lincasanova mentioned about dining in small town USA:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...1&tid=34550567
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 08:17 PM
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jj5,
You're probably right. I was likely too hooked on Door County by my personal experiences. I was struggling to come up with a nice complement to Chicago.

It's hard for me to come up with a city that's different enough that wouldn't be a pain to get to.

You've got me intrigued with your post and thinking that I should reevaluate the Mich./Ind area.

Sorry if I offended anyone.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 05:02 AM
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If you weren't with a toddler, I'd say go up through Wisconsin to MInneapolis, and explore the Twin Cities and the bluffs of the Mississippi on the Wisc/MN border. But with the toddler, maybe you want to spend a day in Madison. Another option is door county. I disagree with the others regarding time of year. I think it is pretty any time, you just need to bring sensible clothes along.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:46 AM
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C'mon repete - why don't you think that Chicago combined with New Orleans makes a perfectly sensible trip?????
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 09:24 AM
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I would NOT choose Gary, Indiana.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 09:53 AM
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I travel all these states frequently. If they are coming from Miami they would need two different sets of clothes for going North in April. And they would be carrying all the baby paraphenalia. My daughter has two boys under 4 and they plan camping, hotel or whatever vacations South of about Springfield etc. for that time of year- just because of the above packing logistics and not because there isn't a lot to see. They (sommer478's family) don't really know the variables of weather coming from their climate that do exist here, that time of year.

repete, if you like going down 100 to 150 foot drops (sand dunes) in your own car (or you can rent a jeep made for it)- then do not fail to check out the area near Mears, MI on the lakefront. Biggest adrenaline rush I have ever gotten in any vehicle/bike etc. You have to take some air out of your tires to do this, and then replace after your adventure. Do a search on this forum as I think I have detailed this before. Sorry, I do not want to hyjack the original thread.

Depending upon the length of the trip some of this would not be doable at all-and sommer478 never did say how long they would or could consider.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Thank you guys for your suggestions. I will have a total of 9 days to travel. I was thinking 4 days(5 max) may be enough for chicago (of course you have to compensate time lost for baby care!) Weather of about 50 degress and warmer is not a problem for us because we are tired of the heat and humidity year round that we get in miami. (Currently we have about 65 degrees and enjoying ) If we take a car trip from chicago, it would have to be somewhere that is no longer than 2 hours away. I was actually thinking it might be better to fly somewhere. How about washington dc or boston? 2-3 days is good?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 01:15 AM
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if that is the case.. washington area with all the free museums in d.c would give you many sights to see, plus you have wonderful park areas to do outdoor activities.

if you have not been to d.c i would definitely add that.

you can check out flights also from midway airport as it is very convenient to downtown chi.
and you might find some super cheap flights to bwi. rather than d.c.
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