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Texas Melanie

Going to Chicago: Where Do You Recommend to Stay/What to See

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:wave:

My husband and I are going to Chicago with our 10 year old in March.

I would love to hear from you about where you recommend us to stay and see during our time there. I have been to Chicago a couple of times but I would love to have input into places that I might have overlooked.

Thank you!

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Hey there MissMelanie...I don't know your budget but my favorite place to stay is the Palmer House Hilton. This is a hotel built by Mr. Palmer right after the great Chicago fire of 1872 and has been expanded on and rebuilt several times since. I love this place!!! I have never been to a hotel which can compare, especially the lobby and lounge area, it is magnificent! Since you are going off season (way off season :D ) you can get a nice room for about $150 a night and it is well worth it. You will be in the heart of everything and will not need a rental car as mass transit is cheap and everywhere in the city. Places to see are the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), Shed Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Opera House, Navy Pier, Art Museum, Grant Park, Soldier Field, and mush more. Of course I have to mention the food. I tell you, I have been all over the world and the best food anywhere, period is in Chicago. New York, Paris, Bombay, just do not compare to all the flavors Chicago has to offer or the quality. Check out Shaw's Crab House for a real treat. If you like Italian there is a very small restaurant on the south side (24th & Western) called Il Vincinato, probably the greatest Italian food on the planet and all the cooks are straight off the boat. This is a mom & pop joint so don't expect a fancy place, it is old world, prices about $12 - $18 per person for dinner, lunch is cheaper.

Anyway, I think that will give you a general idea. If you need more, or you are on a budget or have a specific location in mind let me know and I can provide more info.

Happy day B)

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The W Lakeshore 5 Star and has incredible views, just make sure you ask for a room with a view overlooking Lake Michigan. Stayed there many times and the Whiskey Bar is amazing, small but packed all the time...

The Peninsula, 5 Star and amazing service, but get ready for a high rate, but elegant. A Little more stuffy than the W. Stayed there twice with business as a friend worked there.

Things to do:

Out on the ledge of the Sears Tower Skydeck or the Hancock Observatory.

Andy’s Jazz Club, The Back Room and Joe’s Be Bop Café & Jazz Emporium.-great Clubs

Pizzeria Uno & Edwardos Pizza (great deep dish pizza)!!!

Great Romantic Restaurants: Geja's Cafe, Everest & Henri

For your 10 year old: FAO Schwartz (where Tom Hanks was on the piano on the floor for the movie Big..fun place.

The Navy Pier is family fun as well.

Hope this is enough to get you started. Have fun:-)

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We were there last summer and got a great deal at the Club Quarters on E Wacker. Nice size room with a fridge and microwave, and free bottled water.

Love the Architecture Foundation tours. We took the boat tour several years ago. Last time, we took the FLW Oak Park tour.

Food - loved Pizzeria Due (accros from Pizzeria Uno). Any of the Rick Bayless places are wonderful. Last time we went to Topolobompo, time before to Frontero Grill. The food is miraculous! This past time, we also ate at the Purple Pig and The Publican - both fantastic! There was also a really great breakfast place - I'll try to find the name for you. For food recommendations, I usually to to Chowhound.

Have a great time!!

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Hey there MissMelanie...I don't know your budget but my favorite place to stay is the Palmer House Hilton. This is a hotel built by Mr. Palmer right after the great Chicago fire of 1872 and has been expanded on and rebuilt several times since. I love this place!!! I have never been to a hotel which can compare, especially the lobby and lounge area, it is magnificent! Since you are going off season (way off season :D ) you can get a nice room for about $150 a night and it is well worth it. You will be in the heart of everything and will not need a rental car as mass transit is cheap and everywhere in the city. Places to see are the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), Shed Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Opera House, Navy Pier, Art Museum, Grant Park, Soldier Field, and mush more. Of course I have to mention the food. I tell you, I have been all over the world and the best food anywhere, period is in Chicago. New York, Paris, Bombay, just do not compare to all the flavors Chicago has to offer or the quality. Check out Shaw's Crab House for a real treat. If you like Italian there is a very small restaurant on the south side (24th & Western) called Il Vincinato, probably the greatest Italian food on the planet and all the cooks are straight off the boat. This is a mom & pop joint so don't expect a fancy place, it is old world, prices about $12 - $18 per person for dinner, lunch is cheaper.

Anyway, I think that will give you a general idea. If you need more, or you are on a budget or have a specific location in mind let me know and I can provide more info.

Happy day B)

I agree, the palmer house is fantastic! Really beautiful hotel.

I have friends who go to Columbia College Chicago, and visit them often. Here it what I love about Chicago:

The John Hancock tower. The Signature Room at the 95th is a fancy type of bar with the best skyline of Chicago, especially at night. Definitely can be pricey if you purchase more than one drink, but it's really worth it. http://www.signatureroom.com/Home/

If the weather is nice in March, Chicago has really nice Botanical Garden. http://www.chicagobotanic.org/

There is also navy pier, millennium park, Grant Park, etc.

Chicago's chinatown is kind of overrated if you ask me, just the same old you'll find in any city. The architecture is quite beautiful though.

Transit is really clean(well, cleaner than NYC!) and punctual. That goes with the whole city actually, very clean and people want to keep it that way. Try to avoid a cab if you can, very expensive when transit it way less.

Of course there is the Shopping downtown and whatnot. Other neighborhoods such as Wicker Park, and ukrainian village have a ton of vintage boutiques, indie bookstores, vinyl shops. Something a bit more eccentric if youre into that.

Giordano's in the loop has some serious delish pizza! There are pretty much good eats anywhere in the city. Ranging from any price. www.yelp.com can help with that.

Also! if you're interested in the history of chicago pizza. http://www.chicagopizzatours.com/ i've heard really awesome things about it!

Hope this helps! :)

Edited by wrongeragurl

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Sweet home Chicago. I lived there for more than 30 years. I Just left it for my new love Florida. Suddenly I don't mind winter anymore haha.

Food wise

Pizza - Chicago is known for deep dish Giordano's , Gino's East or Malnati's is the way to go but, I do encourage you to try the thin crust too

Beef Sandwich is a must

Hot Dogs? - A word of caution no old school Chicagoan's anywhere for any reason ever puts ketchup/catsup on a hot dog. That's the most wrong thing you can do in all of eating as far as Chicagoan's are concerned. In fact some places don't even have it in their restaurants. Not even for the fries. They'll send you to McDonald's who will happily charge you for the packets lol.

Tourist wise

Navy Pier

Lincoln Park Zoo.. free zoo right there in the middle of the city.

Millennium Park

And the museums have free days.. those are good to check out too.

Shopping

Plan to spend a little but, there's Bloomingdale's

Water Tower Place

Macy's

Do go see the Sears Tower ..to me it will always be Sears and I don't care if Willis bought it or not lol.

John Hancock is good too

Have fun and enjoy your trip!

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Al's Italian beef is in the downtown area, highly recomended. Relatively close to Lincoln Park Zoo are a couple blues clubs on Halsted, check them out for some good music. Also, Hot Dougs, which is further northwest of downtown has a bunch of nontraditional sausages besides the traditional chicago hot dog.

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:thanku:

Thank you for all of your suggestions. We are exciting about the trip and it looks like we will eat very well. :banana:

LedZeppfan77, what museum?

Please, let me know of anything else I shouldn't miss while we are there. I am going to do some research into the gangster past, i.e. where Capone lived, famous speakeasys, etc...

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:thanku:

Thank you for all of your suggestions. We are exciting about the trip and it looks like we will eat very well. :banana:

LedZeppfan77, what museum?

Please, let me know of anything else I shouldn't miss while we are there. I am going to do some research into the gangster past, i.e. where Capone lived, famous speakeasys, etc...

"Sue", the world's largest and most complete Tyrannasaurus Rex, is at the Field Museum of Natural History, south of Grant Park. The Art Institute of Chicago is also a must-see...it has Seurat's great "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte".

I also hope you took note of Andy's Jazz Club that Deborah mentioned above, Melanie. ;)

I know the old Zeppelin haunt, Chicago Stadium is gone...replaced by the United Center. But what about The Ambassador Hotel, their base for the midwest dates on their tours?

Edited by Strider

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The Ambassador East has been reincarnated as the PUBLIC Chicago.

Thanks for the info. I went to their website and the hotel has been completely remodeled so it no longer looks the same from the 70's. Plus, they charge an arm and a leg.

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We came, we saw, we ate pizza.

My husband, son and I had a great time in Chicago. We stayed at the Palmer House hotel and loved it. We visited the Art Institute, Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, which had a brand spanking new exhibit for the show Mythbusters, which my son loves. We shopped and ate our way through the city and I discovered that I dislike taking the bus.(I am waaaaaaay to impatient for that mode of transportation). I made my way over to Michigan Avenue as much as I could to indulge in shopping, which is ironic since I rarely ever do that at home, indulged in Giordano's pizza - twice!-, an ice cream fantasy at Ghiradelli(?) chocolate shop with a warm brownie sundae(shared with my son-since I didn't want to have to pay for an extra seat for my ass) and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful architecture in the Windy City.

post-17244-0-68742800-1332367172.jpg

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Glad to hear you had a good time. You certainly picked a week with freakishly hot weather!

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Glad to hear you had a good time. You certainly picked a week with freakishly hot weather!

Thank you. It was warm but very pleasant and actually a bit cooler than here in Texas.

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