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Old 12-03-2010, 11:52 AM  
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I’ve always enjoyed the architectural tours, but I’m not sure they run year round.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:51 PM  
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Chicago, IL
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If you can stay in the city affordably, I'd do that. That way you can really take some time to explore the neighborhoods which is one of the great things about Chicago. Downtown is great and all, but there's a lot more to the city.

On a related note; there is a Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry right now that is GREAT! And you can find a lot of other great things to do while in Hyde Park. Restaurants, theatre. . . or just walk around and look at all the castles!
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:22 PM  
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I think you should visit the different beaches. They are all very nice! Even in the winter, it is cool to check them out when no one else is there. But dress warm!
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:05 PM  
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Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsjames View Post
I?ve always enjoyed the architectural tours, but I?m not sure they run year round.
I really liked the architectural tour on the river, they actually have 2, (at least the tour company that I used) one that only goes on the river, and a longer one that goes on the lake and the river.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:45 AM  
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Chicago, Illinois
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Are you coming in the winter? If it's the warmer season, the Architecture Boat Tour down the River is amazing, even if you aren't really into that type of stuff. You get a great tour of the city, and the history of all the buildings is really great. I can't recommend it enough.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:49 PM  
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city resident here - please dont stay in the burbs, you will regret the time spent traveling by metra (or the high cab fare if you go that route)

look for hotels on the near north side up into lakeview and lincoln park, instead of the loop only. there is a nicely appointed days inn on clark and diversey that is pretty affordable, especially during the winter season ($75 a night or so). we are sending guests their for our upcoming wedding. check out a google map and find a place near an el line - you can easily get to the loop and most of the museums via the el in just a few minutes.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:55 PM  
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Chicago, IL
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Definitely make sure to try out a place for lunch and dinner, there are just too many places that offer great food where you need to make sure and get in as many meals as possible. You need to check out Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Millenium Park is great. As for the CTA, I would recommend a weekend pass or just buy unlimited daily use pass.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:20 PM  
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Go see Navy Pier and the Field Museam for crying out loud. The Ferris Wheel and the Field Museum is the last things standing from the Chicago World's Fair. A lot of history to be had there.

Also, try to take a boat ride around. It's pretty awesome seeing the shoreline with teh Chicago skyline above it. Just breath-taking.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:14 PM  
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If you are visiting Chicago, stay downtown or close by (O'Hare is 25 minutes on the CTA Blue Line). You are visting the city, you don't want to spend all your time traveling to your destinations.

Magnificent Mile is pretty cool. If you want to tour the buildings and such, the Chicago Park DIstrict has iPod MP# walking tours free on their site. You can google it and they will come up. Nice way to spend an afternoon.

Then, go to the Hancock Building's 95th floor SIgnature Room (enter on the South Side of the Hancock). It's a $$$$$ restaurant, but there is also free lounge/bar that gives you better views than the Sears Tower, and you can have a nice beer to quench your thirst. Never any kids up there either, so that's always a plus.

I highly recommend finding a friend in Chicago who can be your unofficial tour guide. They can tell you what's happening, and help you plan your stay. A couple nice sites to visit prior to coming are Metromix | Your Restaurants, Nightlife & Events Guide and also www.chicagreader.com. They will give you all the haps.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:46 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepfoot View Post
Go see Navy Pier and the Field Museam for crying out loud. The Ferris Wheel and the Field Museum is the last things standing from the Chicago World's Fair. A lot of history to be had there.

Also, try to take a boat ride around. It's pretty awesome seeing the shoreline with teh Chicago skyline above it. Just breath-taking.
The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the original buildings as well. And although modeled after the original Ferris Wheel it is not the original from the Worlds Fair.As a side note for those interested in that part of Chicago's history I highly recommend the book The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. A fascinating story and very well written.
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