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St. Paul / Beloit / Chicago

Old May 26th, 2010, 08:01 PM
  #1  
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St. Paul / Beloit / Chicago

My daughter and I are going to look at colleges this summer, specifically Macalester, Carleton, Beloit and Northwestern. Luckily, looks like there's only one long day of driving.

I'd like to break up the school tours with some fun activities that would let her see the towns the way a college student would, so she can get the "feel" of the places. Any ideas for college-student type activities? (No bars -- she's still too young) Thanks!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Evanston is an adorable town and I think you will both really enjoy it. I live in Chicago and am by no means an Evanston expert - others can help with that.

However, we drive up to Evanston to eat at Dave's Italian Kitchen. It's been there forever, everything is made from scratch and it's a fun atmosphere.

I think you will enjoy walking around the town and seeing what it has to offer. There is a lot of shopping and restaurants in Evanston. There is also a big movie theatre right downtown.

Another spot to check out is Bennison's bakery. It's a classic as well...excellent bakery which has been a staple in town forever.

Have a wonderful time!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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There's quite a bit in Evanston, I'd also say to head north on Sheridan Road to Wilmette and visit the Baha'i Temple. They were doing some restoration/construction work, so all of the gardens may not be planted, but it's still a great place. www.bahai.us/bahai-temple.

If she's considering Northwestern, part of her world will include The L and trips into the city. You could take a trip into the city and walk around Grant & Millennium Parks, window shop on the Mag Mile or just grab a bite.

Catch the Purple Line in Evanston to Howard. If you go during morning or evening rush, you can take the Purple Line all the way into The Loop.

During the rest of the day, transfer to a Red Line train toward 95th Street. Exit at Chicago Avenue and head 2 blocks east to Michigan Avenue, you can walk south on Michigan and 3 blocks after you cross the river, you'll find Millennium Park, Grant Park, Macy's on State, the Art Institute is a couple more blocks and the Museum Campus is beyond.

To return home, I'd recommend taking the Number 147 bus. Catch it northbound on State Street in The Loop. It will make its way to Michigan Avenue, then run express on Lake Shore Drive. Your daughter will be able to see Lincoln Park and the adjacent neighborhoods. The bus will make local stops through the Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods, then end at the Howard terminal. At Howard, just head upstairs and catch the Purple Line back to Evanston.

You can get transit info and maps at www.transitchicago.com. For events and happenings, check www.choosechicago.com, www.explorechicago.org or www.chicagoreader.com
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:51 PM
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This is a great start -- just what I wanted!

Any ideas on Beloit or Minneapolis/St. Paul?
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Old May 27th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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In the Twin Cities you could try catch a baseball game at the brand new Twins stadium in Minneapolis - it's open air and the talk of the town. Or you could go watch a St. Paul Saints game - they're the minor league team and games are outdoors, affordable, and tons of fun!

You could also check out the Mall of America, though it's probably not somewhere your daughter would actually be spending a lot of time if she goes to school there
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Macalester in St. Paul is only about an hour away from Carleton. Carleton is in Northfield MN a cute college town. Basil's Pizza is a favorite among the students there.
In St. Paul, Grand Avenue - which runs through Macaster has lots of small shops and non chain restaurants. One fun thing to do in Minneapolis is the Segway tours. They go along the Mississippi River and are quite fun. A neat art like park in Minneapolis is over by the Walker Art Institute. There is fun outdoor art - Spoonbridge and Cherry is a classic. The St. Paul Saints games are truly a blast. They velcro people to a billboard and do lots of other crazy things.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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My son is also on the college tour mode this summer and we've visited all of the colleges on your list except Northwestern, (son opted for Notre Dame as his "reach school"). If you're not already familiar with the two websites below, they're worth checking out. The first is a campus review forum with helpful postings on campus tours. The second link provides honest, off the cuff and usually funny student commentary on life at specific schools. Both are well done.

FYI, the common theme to your daughter's selections are academically challenging, liberal & politically active. Hopefully this is is the type of school you are looking for. Good luck!

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/vibe/

http://www.unigo.com/
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Old Jul 15th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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TC
 
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You may have already had your tours, if not, do have a look at the St. Olaf campus while in Northfield to visit Carlton. Its a wonderful campus and school. Our daughter graduated from there and I always loved visiting her. Northfield is indeed a small town with most activities centering on campus life rather than town life. However, its only about an hour from the Twin Cities and students can easily get the the Cities for weekends -- if you consider that a good thing
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Thanks, TC. We did drive by, but couldn't do a tour because of time. You're right about it, though.

And sneadhearn57 -- just a warning about college confidential. Those in the college counseling business (soon to be me) don't use that. Much of what's written is unreliable. Unigo is much more respected for getting a feel for a campus. And you might want to check the NYT blog, "The Choice," written by a reporter who has had an inside seat in college admissions.
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