I had a wonderful time in Chicago last week! While it was a solo trip, I explored as far as my little feet would carry me. Here are a few tips for exploring Chicago in four days!
(Tip 1) Know the hours of operation for desired attractions.
If you’re traveling for work, you should know that many Chicago attractions close around 5 p.m. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way after walking miles to what I wanted to see most – The Art Institute of Chicago. Thankfully, fellow Google training attendees, shared details about extended hours on Thursday evenings.
As a Fine Arts student, an emotional experience was inevitable. I perused through the museum, ranked #1 out of 363 attractions in Chicago on tripadvisor.com, gawking at infamous works from Monet, Cezanne, van Gogh, Degas and Seurat in addition to award winning photography and historical artifacts fantastically preserved.
(Tip 2) There is plenty to see on-foot & free!
Chicago is notorious for breath-taking architecture and family friendly parks; many of which line the glorious Michigan Avenue. “The Magnificent Mile” is a great starting point for any walking tourist. An attraction in itself, Mag Mile guided me from famed restaurants and shopping in downtown Chicago, past the Riverwalk, all the way to Millennium Park.
Millennium Park features famed landmarks such as “The Bean,” the Crown Fountain and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This park is a dream for visitors, a beautiful resting place surrounded by attractions like the Art Institute, John Hancock Building and Cultural Center.
(Tip 3) Know what kind of landmarks you favor.
There is much to love about a destination with this much variety, but to maximize your visit, chose what types of landmarks you favor. Do you crave the sunshine and charm of a waterfront zoo? Is the glamor of sky-high views and luxury retail calling your name? Maybe you find paradise in a sea of Major League fans?
Having lived in Florida for almost 3 years, I was craving some beach-like nature. A week in the big city has it’s selling points, but it turns out I find tranquility in the pure sounds, smells and sights of untouched landscape. After bobbing and weaving past crowds and construction, I made it to the tip of the pier greeted by a beautiful view, seagulls and water breaking against beach.