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  1. #1

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    What To Do in Chicago in the Spring?

    I will be going to Chicago at the end of April/beginning of May. Sunday-Wednesday and Thursday morning, I will be at a convention for work so sight-seeing is kind of out. But I thought it was such a shame to go to Chicago--when I've never been there before--and see nothing, so I'm taking a few days to look around. I don't know much about Chicago, besides deep-dish pizza.

    For my vacation-part of my stay, I will be staying on the Magnificent Mile, the cost of which is but it's my present to myself.

    Things I've heard of that I'd maybe like to see/do/eat:
    Water Tower Plaza
    Navy Pier
    A great lake
    Fields Museum
    Museum of Industry and Science (this one is a definite must)
    Deep-dish pizza
    Something with either sweet or spicy peppers?

    Any input would be appreciated!
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  2. #2
    Going on diet soon
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    Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and Navy Pier are all right on or near the lake (Michigan). Also in same general area is Grant Park with Buckingham fountain, and Millenium Park with the bean.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_Fountain
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Gate
    Crows and Eville SQUIRRELS love peanuts!

  3. #3
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    As for sweet or spicy peppers, get a Chicago-style hotdog with hot sport peppers, and a juicy beef sandwich with either sweet or hot peppers!

    http://www.hotdogchicagostyle.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_beef

    If I knew where you were staying, I could help locate a specific restaurant.
    Last edited by Jem X; 01-09-2012 at 03:20 AM. Reason: location
    Crows and Eville SQUIRRELS love peanuts!

  4. #4
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    If you want some delish and inexpensive Thai food try Star of Siam, on Illinois bw Wabash and State. It's right off Michigan Ave. There's a really good Spanish tapas place called Cafe Iberico on LaSalle at Chicago Ave. Also if the weather is nice the Terrace Rooftop might be open at the Conrad Hotel, right off Michigan Ave (behind Nordstrom). It's a nice place to have lunch, up high and outside with a yummy menu.

    The Museum of Science and Industry is south of downtown, in Hyde Park, take the Metra or the bus... a taxi will be like $20.

  5. #5

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    I'm staying at the Sheraton Four Towers on the Magnificent Mile. I have an upgraded room with a "comfy bed."

    I don't know if I can afford to eat anywhere near the Magnificent Mile. It's way too expensive. Staying there is bad enough.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  6. #6

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    Cubs game and a blues club!
    Creating drama!

  7. #7

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    I second the recommendation of taking a bus to the Museum of Science and Industry. While everything else is not far from where you're staying, that museum is. Check out the CTA site to find out which buses to take and where to catch them.

    Another thing you might try is a Wendella Boat tour. They have three kinds, one is an architectural tour along the Chicago River (all the downtown buildings, fantastic history), one is the Chicago River and Lake tour, which starts in the river, goes through the locks and out to Lake Michigan for a fantastic view of our beautiful skyline, and the third is Chicago at Sunset. Those tours start up again in March, and the best thing is that all the tours depart and return to the Chicago River right by Michigan Avenue, so you should be able to walk there.

    For pizza, Unos or Gino's East.

    Enjoy your trip, and please let us know how it goes!
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
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  8. #8
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    Matry, I live here. I can help. Let me know your interests and tastes. Can meet up with you too.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    Matry, I live here. I can help. Let me know your interests and tastes. Can meet up with you too.
    Same here! A Chi-town meet-up is a must!

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    I'm all about the Chi-town meet-up! And I have to second the architectural boat tour - I take out of towners on it and it's always a hit. BTW, end of April/beginning of May in Chicago will probably still be chilly (that is, if this winter ever decides to actually winter. Still no real snow yet this season ). Bring your layers if you want to walk around outside!

  11. #11
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    I loved Chicago when I went in January 2009. There are tours with the Chicago Architecture Foundation:

    http://www.architecture.org/page.aspx?pid=592

    and if you can manage it, see a Broadway show at one of the city's spectacular theatres:

    http://broadwayinchicago.com/

  12. #12
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    I did the architectural boat tour when I was in Chicago and thought it was fabulous. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable. We also did the on/off tour bus for a day which is well worth it. Great way to get to know the city. You can stop wherever you want and just wait for the next bus to come by. But if you can only do one .. do the architecture cruise!

  13. #13

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    If you are at all interested in architecture, the boat tour is fabulous. You can't go wrong with the Museum of Science and Industry. If you were from somewhere other than New Orleans, I'd recommend the Shedd Aquarium, but you have a really good one at home too.

    I prefer Italian beef sandwiches to hot dogs, and http://www.alsbeef.com/ rules.

    Navy Pier is kind of blah; it's mostly just crap stores and a ferris wheel, but there is a small stained-glass museum that's a neat way to spend about an hour.

    Lincoln Park Zoo is easy to get to from Michigan Avenue, and it's a nice zoo, on the small scale but definitely worth more than you pay (it's free).
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

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    I'm going to use some of the info in this thread as well, as I plan on visiting Chicago this summer. I've never been and I've always wanted to go. I'm hoping I can see either the Cubs or White Sox play a game as well.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefanie View Post
    I'm hoping I can see either the Cubs or White Sox play a game as well.
    In this town, asking people which team to see will give you a split vote.

    CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS!!!
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
    ~DC

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kruss View Post
    In this town, asking people which team to see will give you a split vote.

    CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS CUBS!!!
    I prefer to see the Cubs, mainly because of the stadium.

  17. #17
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    Kind of a dumb question, but where are the Polish neighborhoods? My guidebook mentions Ukrainian Village, but there is nothing written about where you can find a good Polish deli/restaurant/etc.

    Matryeshka, I am sorry for highjacking your thread.
    Last edited by Stefanie; 01-09-2012 at 07:37 PM.

  18. #18

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    Matry: I would have added the Art Institute to the "must see" list, but since you are tied up with the conference during the day and leaving Thursday a.m., I guess that is out (Thursday is the one day they are open past 5:00). Still, lots of other things to see so have fun and enjoy your visit to the Windy City!

  19. #19
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    See The Bean! It's also near an ice rink - though I'd assume it's closed by the spring.
    Last edited by vesperholly; 01-09-2012 at 08:44 PM.

  20. #20
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    I attended a convention in Chicago a couple of years ago and enjoyed many of the sights and tours mentioned here. I second the following:

    Architecture Tour
    Field Museum
    Art Institute
    Cubs Game
    Museum of Science and Industry
    Willits Tower (aka the Sears Tower)

    I was not impressed with the Navy Pier at all - except for the Smith Museum of Stained Glass - that was good.

    You might take a look at the City Pass program. They have booklets that, depending on what you can see, can make it slightly chaeper - but also get you priority entry.

    I'm not a fan of the deep dish, but Gino's East is generally cool on the inside. I do however, love the Chicago Dog, so get one of those.

    If you are interested in good cocktails, there are some fine places. The Violet Hour, The Drawing Room, Aviary to name a few.

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