The classic American Bar at the centre of Chicago's "Viagra Triangle". Big windows so you can watch (in summer at least) the parade of expensive cars and expensive people, while the bar itself is a curving, dark mahogany glory. Always busy, often with live piano jazz, get that inner glow with the perfect martini, then tuck into the greatest steak on earth. Absolute heaven!
Located in the heart of Chicago and parallel to the famous Michigan Avenue is such an impressive creation that is not to be missed when you are travelling in Chicago.
The remarkable and exciting architectural structure that is Millennium Park offers free concerts, exhibitions and tours for all of Chicago and boasts an amazing location for any event to be seen. Experiences that will not be forgotten as you sit and watch the concerts and plays in awe of the buildings and backdrop around you.
It is a lively place, flaunting stunning scenery and is a fantastic spectacle that represents Chicago at its best, promoting the varied culture found within the city as well as the clean, friendly and unique atmosphere. Millennium Park offers in my opinion the best setting for any theatrical play or concert to be held.
We did one of these 90-minute boat tours in August 2010 and it was fascinating. The tour guide was excellent; informative and entertaining, and it's a great way to see the city. There is a great range of beautiful buildings to see and it's also quite a nice way to spend (part of) a sunny day!
Usually, alot of limousine companies in Chicago offering airport transportation, charge more to tourists or visitors from other countries, but I had a great experience with Chicago Limo Service. They charge what their rate is their drivers guide you to really interesting tourist spots.
It's a bit out of the way, being down by Grant's Park but the Blackstone is a lovely boutique hotel - it steps you back in time (founded in 1910) but has a really modern interior. Bright stripy carpets and massive chandeliers. Our room had a great view over the lake and the gym was a welcome air-con relief from jogging in the overpowering humidity.
Downstairs there was a gorgeous tapas restaurant which served an amazing fig and prosciutto salad - perfect after all those deep pan Chicago pizzas.
It is biggest of two Goose Island pubs in Chicago and is the only place - apart from main brewery site at 1800 West Fulton St - where the beer is brewed.
Goose Island is Chicago's only "craft beer" i.e. microbrewery and has been going since 1988.
They do brewery tours at N. Clybourn site on Sunday afternoons at $3 for a tour, full beer tastings and a souvenir glass to take away! Its ideal to have a leisurely lunch there (the food is also great, esp. the burgers) followed by the tour.
Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub/Brewery
1800 North Clybourn
Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Other towns nearby which are especially interesting include Riverside (winding streets, interesting home architecture), Oak Park (many Frank Lloyd Wright and other interesting homes), Evanston (home of Northwestern University) and the North Shore in general (take a drive up Sheridan Road after you do the Outer Drive northbound trip in Chicago).
The Hyde Park area (used to be an independent town a hundred or so years ago) is an urban village with the University of Chicago as a hub and, incidentally, near Obamaville. Especially see the Rockefeller Chapel, a lovely Gothic building with a magnificent organ and a bell tower that has free summer concerts. On their website you can check out events held there, too.
Hyde Park has a number of bookstores - the most interesting to me are the Seminary Coop Bookstore at 5757 South University (new books and other locations) and Powell & O’Gara’s, 1501 East 57th Street (used books to get lost in).
For general information on restaurants, events, bars, shows see:
- Chicago Magazine (a mostly medium-to-upscale monthly)
- Chicago Reader (a free edgier Friday weekly)
- Chowhound’s Chicago Board (individual reviews and comments, but generally on target)
- WTTW Public TV’s Check Please (see restaurant list)
You can eat well and with a lot of ethnic variety in Chicago. There are too many good restaurants of all kinds and nationalities to name here. If it were up to me, I’d buy a copy of Chicago Magazine, check out Chowhound (which, by the way covers other areas in the US) and check out WTTW’s Check Please site if I was interested in eating well and interestingly (and I am).
Chicago, my home town!
The highlights from my point of view, in no particular order:
Lake Michigan (including the Outer Drive and the many parks along it), ethnic foods and neighbourhoods, Hyde Park (yeah, yeah, we stole the name) and University of Chicago area, music of all kinds, architecture.
For many area and architecture tours, including the very popular Chicago River Cruise (seasonal, of course – brrrr!), and for architecture information, see the Chicago Architecture Foundation which has an office at 224 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s downtown (not technically in Chicago’s famous Loop which is defined by the elevated train tracks downtown). They are in the Santa Fe building; while in the downtown area see the Rookery (in both it and the Santa Fe building be sure to see the lobby areas inside), Monadnock Building, Carson Pirie, Scott Building.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation 'tour' pages will give you plenty of ideas for visits and their tours are high quality and reasonably priced.
University of Chicago: Situated around the Hyde Park area, this is a beautifully constructed university by industrialist John D. Rockerfeller
Capital Grille and Chicago Chop House really have to be experienced! Try the dry aged beef...
Chicago's best tap beer selection. No pretension. Great neighborhood. You won't be sorry.
1949 N. Hoyne at Armitage, one block west of Damen.
Take the blue line from downtown, get off at Western, walk north to Armitage, turn east a couple of blocks to the Map Room.
Visit the bar on the penultimate floor of the Hancock Tower - there's no entry fee. You can have a beer and sandwich whilst enjoying the views, which in my opinion are better than those from Sears - and it's not too expensive either.
On the way out ladies must go and powder their noses for the most spectacular views ever from a skyscraper bathroom.
Hotel Sax Chicago is the most awesome new hotel in the city. It is just off Michigan Avenue and attached to the House of Blues. It has unbelievable technology including the Studio Experience by Microsoft. It's a game room for adults and it's amazing. The only problem is that you may not want to leave the hotel to see the fabulous city of Chicago because the hotel is so much fun. Next time you travel to Chicago, check rates for Hotel Sax and go there if you can. You won't be disappointed.
333 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610
This restaurant situated on the Chicago River serves great sushi and modern Japanese cuisine. It’s very smart and tends to attract a rather beautiful crowd. You can choose between the red room or the green room, depending on what mood you’re in; or there’s also a wonderful river-front patio.
If you need a morning swim to pep you up, then you should book into the Intercontinental, which has one of the largest swimming pools you’ll find in a hotel – it’s junior Olympic size and heated (a leftover from when this used to be an athletics club).
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