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hearkat's avatar

What recommendations do you have for someone visiting Chicago for the first time?

Asked by hearkat (20951 points ) March 17th, 2011

My sweetie and I will be in Chicago from April 8–14, 2011… I’ve never been, and he was there for a brief visit years ago.

If you live in the area, are you aware of any special events or festivals happening during that time? I am up for meeting fellow jellies, so I will be posting in the “Meta” section about a potential get-together.

We enjoy art and music – especially jazz. We love food and are rather adventurous (he more than I). We also like architecture and structures.

Yes, I will go through all the similar questions that have been asked previously; but I am hoping to learn about current and upcoming events, so I thought it would be best to ask again with the specific time frame.

Thanks for your input!

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14 Answers

12Oaks's avatar

Well, they do have an Art Museum right outside Grant Park. As for architecture, on the Chicago River in the Loop there is a riverboat ride that details the architecture of the city. Food? Hit Demon Dogs. Go to the top of the Willis Tower (used to be Sears Tower). And, here’s the important one…. thee is a pro team for every sport ou could think of, even ladies football (the lingerie and the NFL-style tackle). There are museums of science, history, space, an aquarium, and let’s not forget Navy Pier. If nice weather, walk the Miracle Mile or the beach front.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Museum of Science and Industry, there are also several jazz clubs.

For dining check this Food Guide If you are adventurous eaters pick a cuisine you have not tried.

12Oaks's avatar

You coming by way of O’Hare or Midway? This is assuming you’re flying.

thorninmud's avatar

For architecture, you could take the “L” out to Oak Park (the near west suburb; green line to Harlem stop) where there are lots of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, including his own home and studio. They’re clustered together within easy walking distance. Visit the home/studio first for information and tour possibilities.

hearkat's avatar

@12Oaks – Yes, we’re flying. I’m not recalling which airport we’re flying in/out of… is it relevant? We’ll be staying in “the loop” as I will be attending a convention, also.

@WestRiverrat – We’ll take a look at the food guide, thanks! We live in New Jersey – right between New York City and Philadelphia, so we’ve tried most cuisines.

@jaytkay – Thanks for the links – very helpful! We’ll look to see who’s playing while we’re there.

@thorninmud – OOOOOooooooooh! Frank Lloyd Wright – awesome!!

12Oaks's avatar

@hearkat I just live a spit outside Chicago, and go by O’Hare and Midway many times a week. Just trying to help with your visit. And here’s something that’s important. If you have a hot dog, I don’t know if you do and what your usual toppings are, but when in Chicago we do NOT put ketchup on a hot dog. Personally, I don’t care, but some get a little weird if you ask for ketchup on your dog. Oh, and if you’re into this sort of thing, go to The Billy Goat Tavern. You may recognize that from the old Saturday Night Live as the “Chee-burger, chee-burger, no Coke, Pepsi” place. Do you plan on renting a car or something and traveling much outside the city? If not, there is more to do in the Loop borders to fill your days. Make sure to visit Millennium Park and check out the Cloud Gate aka. The Bean.

jaytkay's avatar

If you have to be in the suburbs, or away from the Loop rent a car. Otherwise don’t bother.

Cabs and the CTA will get you around in the city faster and cheaper.

kevbo's avatar

As a first-timer, I really enjoyed the architectural tour by river boat and experiencing a deep dish.

Nice to see you around!

jonsblond's avatar

Rush will be playing at the United Center April 12. If you happen to be a Rush fan.

The city will not disappoint when it comes to architecture. Gino’s East for deep dish would be a nice taste of Chicago. great suggestion @kevbo. :)

SuperMouse's avatar

I have always wanted to see The Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago.

thorninmud's avatar

There’s also the Second City comedy theater, where lots of the SNL legends got their start.

jaytkay's avatar

A walk out on Navy Pier or to the Adler Planetarium for the skyline view is free. Watching the sunset over the city is especially recommended. The skyline is stunning at night (and during the day, too).

That’s how people take pictures like this and this

Silence04's avatar

Wicker Park is a must see area, and has a great night life (Really, ask around and check this area out!)... If you like beer, check out bangers and lace. If you love mixed drinks, there is a speak-easy style place called the violet hour and makes some of the best drinks I’ve ever had, but is better for a night cap than an evening starter.
If you want the best burger you have ever had in your life, there is a place called kumas corner, about .5 mile from the belmont blue line stop. (expect to wait an hour for a table, but totally worth it).

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