Feb 20th, 2002, 02:42 PM
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As an extension to a holiday would people recommend Washington or Chicago?
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:53 PM
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I presume you mean Washington DC and not Washington State? And by using the term "holiday" may I assume you're from some place where the queen is on the coins or at least used to be?

If the month is June-September, probably Chicago, especially if you love diverse big, muscular cities with an impressive arts and culture scene, and/or great architecture and nightlife. Otherwise, DC, with its astounding collection of monuments, historical sites, the Smithsonian, and easy access to wonderful distractions in the countryside outside the Beltway. Both destinations seldom fail to please first time visitors.
Feb 20th, 2002, 05:05 PM
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I'd even stretch that time frame for visiting Chicago to May - October!

Both cities are wonderful to visit. I think you can squeeze in a few more different things to do in Chicago -- in Washington you can get stuck in the museum rut (wonderful museums, mind you).

Late spring to early fall, Chicago would be my choice. Choose a hotel on or near North Michigan Avenue and don't forget to ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.

Have a wonderful trip!
Feb 20th, 2002, 06:26 PM
Stephanie P.
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D.C., no doubt about it. So much to see, will not see it all. It is a prettier city with alot of culture and politics - good mix.
Feb 20th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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I disagree that DC is a "much prettier" city, if you're using skyline and cityscape as the main parameter.
Chicago's skyline is the prettiest in the US with it's lakefront and tall, diverse buildings.
SF is the prettiest if you exclude skyline consideration.
DC has no skyline.
Yes, close up DC is a beautiful city, but it doesn't hit you in the gut as you approach by car or plane like Chicago, NYC and SF do.
Feb 21st, 2002, 06:35 AM
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Having in a boyfriend who I visit all the time in Chicago, but living in Washington DC, I think I have a pretty good perspective on both cities. As above posters have said, visiting Chicago from May-October is a good idea, and you definitely want to miss out on the winter months in Chicago. Chicago is a great city to visit if you want the traditional 'city,' tall buildings, beautiful skyline, fast pace. Reasons to go would be museums (DC isn't the only of these two cities with great museums), night life, theatre (Chicago has grown in the theatre department lately), architecture, restaurants, and that big city feel (3rd largest city in the US!). I would say that Chicago definitely has better restaurants than DC, and more of them too. Chicago's architecture is beyond compare--and you can get a great tour of it on a boat that goes along the Chicago River and out to the lake. Also, check a cubs game while you are in town.

DC on the other hand does not have the skyline (as mentioned above), but many people would consider that a plus, depending on what you are used to. DC's lack of a skyline makes the city less claustrophobic. It is a WONDERFUL walking city--much more so than Chicago. There are quite a few parks and paths you can take throughout the city (in Georgetown, near Adams Morgan, etc.), and of course there is the Mall, with all of its Smithsonian glory.

As mentioned above, you CAN get stuck in the museum rut, but there really is no need to. There are so many other things to do in DC, and plenty of times tourists miss these things. Visiting Georgetown is a good place to start, and going down to Old Towne Alexandria (right across the Potomac) is also a great place to visit, and not QUITE as touristy. Also, take a trip to Mount Vernon, which is not far, and it feels like you are miles away from ANY big city. On a Saturday or Sunday, go into DC's Eastern Market, where you can find fresh lunches and brunches, and you can do some fun, market shopping. Don't miss the museums, but check out some of the less likely ones: the Phillips Collection is the premier Modern Art Museum in the country and, despite the fact that it costs a little (unlike all Smithsonian museums), it's worth a visit. ALSO, go to the Zoo. It's a great place to spend a sunny afternoon--FREE! Afterwards, you can visit the eateries Adams Morgan.

Overall, Chicago is more of an industrial, large city, and DC is a small city that fits into a big city atmosphere. Hard to say which is BETTER, but hopefully the comparisons above will help. Either is a good choice, though. Also, both offer fun day trip options (Milwaukee is very near Chicago, Baltimore is very near DC).

Have fun!
Feb 21st, 2002, 06:49 AM
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DC all the way!!!
Feb 21st, 2002, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the great advice - I think we're leaning towards a trip to DC

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