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Is it a good idea to take a tour of chicago? RO

Old Apr 7th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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Is it a good idea to take a tour of chicago? RO

My last "real" trip was to London and France and I took a tour bus to see those cities, of course they are relatively big. Do you recommend taking a tour bus around chicago the first day? If so, which one? Thanks!
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Chicago is quite 'do-able' without paying the $$ for a sight-seeing tour. An exception, however, would be one of the boat tours that takes you through the downtown area along the river - that can be quite refreshing (depending on the weather) and interesting. If your major points of interest are going to be downtown (the Loop), North Michigan Avenue and the museums, you can do all w/o a sight-seeing tour. And a stroll northward from the N. Michigan Avenue area, first along the lakefront and then cutting in a block or two to State or Astor, up to Lincoln Park will take you through one of the toniest neighborhoods in the country. And put you in one of Chicago's front-yard 'jewels,' with the Chicago Historical Society and Lincoln Park Zoo close at hand.

Why don't you post more of the details of your trip - when; where you are from (will an urban center like Chicago be brand new to you?); what you hope to see, etc. and I'm sure you'll get some useful info.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Another great tour option in Chicago are the walking tours led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. www.architecture.org (They also sponsor one of the boat tours which focuses on architecture.) The architecture of Chicago tells a lot about the city and has a big influence on modern architecture around the world, and these tours are different than any that I know of anywhere else. Enjoy Chicago!
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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There is also a free Chicago Greeter program:

http://www.chicagogreeter.com/index.html


I've yet to try it, but it sounds neat.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:03 AM
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I've seen great write-ups on the greeter programs recently. If I was a total newbie, I think I would give it a try.

Actually Chicago is so huge that depending upon how long your stay is, I would highly advise to do at least one tour. The Architectural ones are all good, but the river/boat one is superb. If you want to get out of the downtown area, any tour is going to take you some time to complete. If you are just staying Loop/Michigan Av./River North area for less than 3 days- you could start to see what YOU like the most in your own way/time/schedule but it will take more time than you really have to see just a few basics in your area. Art Institute is an absolute must, IMHO. Impressionists are fantastic.

But trying to get to Hyde Park or Pullman etc. by yourself as a total newbie, it isn't impossible or hard- but I just wouldn't suggest doing it on your own, if you haven't gotten a good start on seeing the downtown and real tourist attractions first. Follow the greeter link and see what you think of it. I've heard nothing but positives from those who have done so.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:27 PM
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I will be going for 7 days and staying at the Wyndham chicago at the mag mile. What is the name of the river/boat tour? Where does it depart?
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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I enjoyed the boat tour very much. I don't recall the name of the tour, but it can be booked through your hotel conceirge. I also recommend the hop-on, hop off bus tour just to get a good overview of the city. You can use it as transportation from one place to another, or you can use it to decide what you want to see and go back later.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour
www.architecture.org
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