We're off to the Windy City!

The Hubster and I are now booked for a week long break in Chicago in June. We figure we'll feel right at home in the 'windy' city, plus he is a lifelong Cubs fan with a wish to get to Wrigley Field.

So have you been there, or do you live there (yep that's you EPM), then what's to see there, eating joints not to miss etc..

We have taken previously stated advice in your comments, not booked a car and gone for a hotel just a step off the Magnificent Mile in Downtown. We plan on walking, taking the EL and buses. We love everything, so arts, architecture, museums, outdoors, theatre, being on the water...all attractions would be of interest.

We are very excited, plus I am longing to be in a BIG city again and recharge my 'urban' batteries and I get to meet Expat Mum! And I am already salivating at all the fabulous photographs I can take :-)


DeeBee said...

I've wanted to go to Chicago and see Oprah! lol. Seriously though.

I love the way you called it a break instead of a vacation. So british!?

Polish Punk Chick said...

I. Love. Chicago.

And I'm frankly jealous and bitter that you are taking a trip there and I am not.

You may want a car unless you get a hotel on Michigan Ave (pricey though), then you can just walk everywhere that is worth seeing to tourists. Take a boat tour down the water and have pizza at either Gino's East or Gino's West.

And for the woman who loved my headline, remember that its where most of My Best Friend's Wedding was filmed! Ole!

Kay said...

Yikes, Sarah! How wonderful! You're going to my old stompin' grounds. Chicago does have a terrific mass transit system so we used the trains and buses a lot. There is a lot to see, definitely.
Millenium Park is a must see.
Shedd Aquarium
Field Museum of Natural History
Museum of Science and Industry
Grant Park
Wrigley Field (Check the weather before you go. It can get cold.)
Here's a website that lists some great places:

I'm really excited for you! I can't wait to see your posts. It'll be like going home for me.

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, I'm getting a serious crush on your hubby...I'm a lifelong Cubby fan, too...they can do no wrong...they just have crappy managers! They need Joe Torre to whip them into shape...and you will adore Chicago...visiting, not living lol...
Have fun, enjoy a game and take lots of photos...then blog about it! I'll be here with bells on!

Expat mum said...

Ahem. OK. WHere to start? Actually, there is so much to do I would seriously check out a few web sites. The official one is City of Chicago (dot com) but if you just Google Chicago you'll come up with loads. It really depends what your interests are - art? architecture? etc. You don't really have to plan your trip as there's so much you can just get up and decide on that day.
Definitly won't need a car. I live about a mile from the top of Michigan Ave and use my car once a week I think. The buses are great, as is the El (underground), but you really can walk to many places.

For hotel recommendations I would go to Trip Advisor. You'll find comments and options. Would be happy to help if you have some specific hotels in mind. The other option is to rent a flat, depending on how long you are going to be here, and there are also some great little B&B's, which is cheaper. I think a friend of mine runs a B&B in Old Town, which is fab. I can check for you?

Don't forget to schedule some time for a cocktail meet up :-)

Karen (KayKay) said...

Oh, Chicago is one of my favorite cities. I'm really jealous. Hope you have a wonderful time and can't wait to see the pictures.

Lynne said...

Sounds like you're going to have a great time. You're getting a lot of good recommendations.

The only time I've been to Chicago was years ago when we sat in the airport for a 2-hour layover!

Sherri said...

Sarah, there is so much to do in Chicago and atleast it won't be as cold as now! Enjoy!

Vickie said...

My sister lives in Chicago 'burb of Glenview. I have visited quite a few times and my favorite was Taste of Chicago, but that's in July, I think.
I concur with Kay, Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of National History is fab.

Anonymous said...

Never been to Chicago yet, but my job has allowed me quite a bit of traveling, and I love the photo ops in new cities!

Have fun!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Have a wonderful trip, Sarah.

We have new computers--and have spent most of today getting them all set up. It will probably take another day or two. BUT-they are WONDERFUL--and faster than lightning.

Have a great Sunday.

Gaelyn said...

So much to see in Chi town.
I grew up in the southwest suburbs. Go to any and every museum you might be interested in.
I so look forward to pics.

Silverback said...

My kinda town, Chicago. Loved it.

I'll let others mention the 'serious' places to visit but you HAVE to up Sears Tower (if they still let you) and for a funtastic eating experience, go just a mile due north to Ed Debevik's diner which is like going to the set of Happy Days.

The frenetic staff insult you (in a fun way) and every so often the oldies music is cranked up and about a dozen get up on the long counter and dance to it. Remember when Monica had to do it in Friends ?!!

You'll have a ball in Chicago.

Rhea said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip! I've never been and I want to go...but I was thinking about going in July...when BlogHer has it's annual convention there this year!!

LadyFi said...

Sounds great!

Janet said...

I have never been there, so can't add my twopeneth. But I hope you have a fabulous trip.

Flea said...

Oh what fun! Chicago is a beautiful city! But I could have sworn that Tulsa is the REAL windy city! Hope you have a great time!

expateek said...

Hey, great plan! You must also go to the Art Institute of Chicago, and the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, if you like that kind of art...) Navy Pier is fun too. (You can ride on their version of the London Eye if you like)

And I'll be living in Chicago as well (flying there today, and saying goodbye to Berkshire/Surrey for a while) so let's meet up. So far have had lovely dinners with Pochyemu and Katyboo. It could be super!

Daryl said...

I love Chicago its one my favorite places to visit .. Millennium Park and its amazing gardens and water falls .. there's an architectural boat tour of the city you must do .. Navy Pier is another must do .. and go to the restaurant on the 'beach' over looking Lake Michigan which to me looks like the ocean ... I will get you the name/location its not fancy at all .. very casual but fun ... skip Oprah and make sure you eat one nite at Rick Bayless' http://www.fronterakitchens.com/restaurants/restaurants.html

Oh you will love it

Sassy Britches said...

I won't go into deatils of cool places to go, as everyone else has filled your list. But, I WIL tell you that Sears Tower is a freakin' long line, and you waste a WHOLE lot of time there waiting in various lines. And then you get to the top and you have to have someone in your party IMMEDIATELY get in line to GET BACK ON the elevator (and you switch off staying in the line while the other one looks around). I've never been to the John Hancock building (the other building that looks similar to the Sears Tower and is right there on Michigan Avenue, but I hear the views are fab and probably fewer people??? If you DO decide on Sears Tower, get online in advance for a ticket (there's no specific TIME to go, just a specific day or time period window), so you won't have to wait in ANOTHER line to GET a ticket once you're there.

Also, go to www.transitchicago.com to purchase bus/El visitor pass. Click on Buy Fares & Gifts, then on Transit Cards & Passses. That way you don't have to go to WaterTower Place visitor's center to buy one, or trek around looking for a currency exchange. And it's cheaper than having to use regular moeny every time you want to ride something. There is a convenience fee, but I feel it's worth it not to have to worry about that when you arrive. Plus, I bet you could get them to mail you a transit map too (invaluable). Be sure to program the info number in your cell for qts. once you're there!

I lived there for 2 1/2 years (not making me an expert, of course), but pop me an e-mail if you have qts.!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Thanks for all the great tips and advice everyone

Polish Punk Chick said...

Hit the Shedd Aquarium and the Navy Pier. Go you!!!

Wendy said...

Having lived there in my teen years, I kind of consider myself from there. Wishing I were back there so we could meet in person.

I agree about the John Hancock building.

A great eat for pizza (and an experience you can't get elsewhere) is Giordano's pizza. My favorite is deep dish spinach (which I thought I would hate as a teen, but learned it was a life-long family favorite) and I just got a chance to have a few slices of it during my trip back to DeKalb for a weekend visit (am so green that they have one now, that I actually wrote Giordano's to ask them to bring one to Indy).

Hope you have a blast!