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Tell me your favourite things to do in Chicago...

Tell me your favourite things to do in Chicago...

Oct 3rd, 2011, 08:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,757
Tell me your favourite things to do in Chicago...

...because we're going to be there this week (Oct 6 to 9; Thursday to Sunday).

I'm going to look up a couple of 'events in Chicago' websites but always count of the Fodorites for the best insider tips.

We've been a couple of times before and have walked on the Mag Mile, done the Art Institute, Navy Pier, Second City and an architectural boat tour.

This time we'll probably take the architectural boat tour again and we've got tickets to see Million Dollar Quartet.

We'll be staying at the Marriott Blackstone hotel at Grant Park and will probably buy transit passes. Here's what friends have recommended:

Wicker Park
miniatures at the Art Inst
Tony Gun's Garage (for 'gangster dinner theatre')
State Street for shopping
events that might be happening at Daley Plaza
Webber bbq restaurant
Prosecco (Italian restaurant)
Lou Molnati's (sp?) restaurant on State Street for pizza
see the Gehry amphitheatre and Buckingham fountain in Grant Park
Lincoln Park
Blue Chicago (for music)

What's your take on the above?

We're big blues fans and last time we were there we went to Buddy Guy's and heard great music and had a great dinner. I understand it's since moved. Is it still good? Any of you Chicago blues fans got any recommendations for me? Do you know Blue Chicago mentioned above? I wouldn't cross House of Blues off my list but hope for something a little smaller and more intimate.

If you know of any fun events, great music venues or great restaurants (casual is just fine), I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks in advance
goddesstogo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:18 AM
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The Blackstone was reportedly one of Al Capone's haunts. I liked it when I stayed there~had a big room with a view of the Navy Pier. We had pizza at Lou Malnati's on the recommendation of the concierge........it was quite good. One of my favorite museums was the Museum of Science and Industry. I found the U-505 exhibit fascinating~the time lapse video of how they moved the sub from Lake Michigan over Lakeshore drive to the museum was impressive. Have a great time~I'm envious!
tenthumbs is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Thanks, ten. C'mon along!

The Blackstone looks lovely and we got a great rate. At the recommendation of a friend, I asked for the Government rate which seems to be applicable to even Canadian university profs. The regularly posted rate was about $350/night which is WAY above my willingness to spend and we got the hotel for $190/night.
goddesstogo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Have you gone up to the top of the Hancock Tower or Willis (former Sears) Tower?

Really enjoyed the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.
tchoiniere is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:32 AM
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I'd love to join you!! I was a total leech, tagged along with a family member who had conferences there..... I thought the Blackstone had a nice ambiance and 20's glamour to it.

I did both the Hancock Tower and the Willis Tower. Both have beautiful views. I was a touch disappointed in the view from the Hancock Tower because I went at night~there were pretty lights everywhere except the huge black void that was Lake Michigan. The plexiglass box~the Sky Walk, I think is its name~in the Willis Tower completely weirded me out. NO WAY could I stand on that plexiglass and look at the street 100+ stories beneath my feet!!! :0
tenthumbs is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Gibson's on Rush Street
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Looks delish, Dukey -- I'm putting it on the list! Thanks.
goddesstogo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 12:54 PM
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We were in Chicago last week and had a great time. We went on the Tastebuds food tour and had a wonderful time. We have been to Chicago several times and always find something new to see.
We love walking on the riverwalk and found Millennium Park on this trip-the Bean sculpture was amazing. Restaurants we liked were Lawry's and Grand Lux. Hope you have a great trip.
nlg is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Eat breakfast at the Bongo Room. Your hotel is just a few blocks north of the one on S. Wabash. If you've never been, it is a breakfast experience!
BetsyinKY is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Buddy Guys is close to where it was and nicer. Blues Chicago is good. Do Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain together. Consider taking a river cruise. Go to the top of the Hancock Building.The Lincoln Park Zoo is very nice. Shop on Michigan Ave.
Proseco is formal and romantic. The food is great. Most of the Chicago style pizza places are the same. LM is a fine choice.
Chicagofan is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:48 PM
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Chicagofan, what a coincidence -- I was just downloading the calendars for Buddy Guy's and Blue Chicago. It's possible we'll go to both of them. When you say a river cruise, do you mean one of the architectural foundation boat tours or are you talking about something else.

Betsy, I'll definitely look up the Bongo Room. How can I resist something with that name?

nlg, we're staying right near Millenium Park and the Bean, et al, so we're more than likely to browse around there and I'll make a note of Lawrys and Grand Lux. There's a Grand Lux in North Miami at Aventura Mall. I wonder if they're related.

Ohboy ohboy ohboy -- I'm getting excited now!!!!
goddesstogo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:59 PM
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I hate to say it but I did not find the shopping on State St to be anything wonderful. Mostly the same chain stores at the local mall. However, the Macy's is beautiful inside. So if you find yourself there, have lunch at Miller's Pub on Wabash. Good food, reasonable price and fairly quick service. Grand Lux is a chain owned by The Cheesecake Factory. for a nice Italian dinner try Volare on Grand. The building does not look like much from the outside but the food is wonderful and not really that expensive.
gardendiva is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:30 PM
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I'm not much of a shopper when I travel (or even when I don't travel, for that matter) but I do like Macy's and we don't have it here it Canada, so I try to stop in when I'm in the US. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing this one.

We've been to Grand Lux in Fla and thought it was pretty good as mall restaurants go. I'll definitely add Volare to the list.
goddesstogo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Go to Macy's on State. It is the former flagship Marshall Fields and the building is beautiful. I love the dome in the center of the main floor. I'm not sure if the windows will be decorated for fall. The shopping there however is typical Macy's. Enjoy Chicago. It is wonderful city.
japw82 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:57 PM
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Even as adults, we enjoy the Museum of Science and Industry.
abram is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Second Lincoln Park Zoo (which is free), Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium; walk along the lake. Great pizza at Pizzeria Due. Russian Tea Time at 77 E. Adams -- across the street from
the Art Institute -- good food and great tea.
Uma is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Favorite thing to do in Chicago...ride bikes along Lake Shore Drive from the Field Museum to Navy Pier. The weather is going to be terrific this week. Get there early before all the health nuts.
I'm meeting girlfriends at Grand Lux for lunch on Thursday. It's just okay. Prefer Greek Islands!
Favorite pizza place - Gino's East. It's dark and dingy, but the pizza is FANTASTIC. But if you're a health nut, skip it.
Buckingham Fountain, Lincoln Park Zoo, The Field Museum, Museum of Science & Industry, and again, since the weather should be good, Navy Pier again.
Chicago natives call the Willis Tower, Sears Tower and Macy's we know it by Marshall Field's. The Walnut Room on the upper floor is a bucket list item.
Welcome and hope you enjoy your visit in Chicago.
ChallengerGrey is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2011, 07:21 PM
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If you are into "theater" i highly recommend taking the Chicago Theater tour. Inexpensive...12.00/person, behind the scene tour of the theater. Oh and you can buy your tix at the theater right before the tour starts. Enjoy!
ruwithme is offline  
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