In my opinion Chicago is probably the nicest U.S city I have visited, often comparing it to New York City but without the hustle and bustle. Residents of Chicago seem a little more approachable and a little bit more conscious of work-life balance.
I was fortunate to visit Chicago on my one-year wedding anniversary which happened to be the same day of the Chicago Blackhawk Stanley Cup parade. Our taxi driver had to drop us off a few blocks away from our hotel, The Hard Rock Hotel on North Michigan and Wacker because all the streets were shut down. The hotel is the perfect homebase to explore all things Chicago. Very trendy in its décor this well-kept hotel is a block from the water and at the tip of the Magnificent Mile and attached the best steakhouse Morton’s.
Stanley Cup Parade
So what else is there to do in Chicago? Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious things to do:
Hop-on-Hop-off Tour – For $30 per day, this double decker bus will take you to all of Chicago’s hotspots. This is a great way to get around and learn about Chicago’s history.
Segway Tour – If you are a bit more daring try a Segway tour through the city. You follow your guide around Chicago while getting a history lesson.
Shedd Aquarium – I’m the first to admit that this didn’t excite me when I included it in my itinerary but I will be the first to admit how wrong I was. This was probably one of the highlights of my trip. The dolphin show was incredible and the 4-D auditorium is amazing! It’s a great place to visit if you have kids or visiting Chicago with a friend.
Howling Moon – If you’re looking for an entertaing night I can not stress how much fun you will have at the Howling Moon. This dueling piano bar plays the best oldies and top 40 while the packed house sings along.
Magnificent Mile – The obvious highlight of Chicago. The Mile has an array of shopping both affordable and not affordable. Just walking up and down N. Michigan Ave. is fun!
Morton’s – I touched up on the fact that this steakhouse is attached to the Hard Rock, but besides that – the steak and service is unbelievable. I was hear on my one-year anniversary and the staff went as far as taking a photo of my husband and I, printed it on a card and individually signed with the staff’s best wishes. Great service isn’t even the word.
Mike Ditka’s – I’m not one for bar food. But this was a great place to stop and have lunch. The portions are good and the food is very tasty. You don’t have to like sports to enjoy the atmosphere.
Some places that I found to be a little overrated:
Millenium Park – across from the Hard Rock, if you have 15-20 minutes to spare, take a stroll through the park. It’s nice, but it’s a park. There isn’t too much that impressed me here.
Navy Pier – I probably was expecting more, but I found the pier to be a little boring. There isn’t much to do other than walk on a pier and go on a few rides. Honestly, if I didn’t see it I would have been ok.
Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza – everyone talks about Chicago’s deep dish pizza and say that Giordano’s is the place to go. I will be honest, I really didn’t think it was that good and it was very overpriced. There are plenty of other places that I’m sure make a better pizza.
Chicago is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. There are tons of things to do whether you’re a single traveler or travelling with a family. It’s a great city and I highly recommend it.
Until next time……