Things to see and do in Chicago

JasconiusJasconius sword criminalmad onlineRegistered User regular
edited May 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a big trip to Chicago coming in July and I've never been to the downtown before. I'm going with my girlfriend and I would like to take her out to some cool places, shows, food, etc, but having not been there I am looking for recommendations. I'd like to start booking things in advance.

We'll be staying roughly at the corner of W Ontario ST and N Dearborn ST for about 5-6 days in mid-july... mass transit or foot accessible ideal. Neither of us cares to drive around there in the van we'll be taking.

Any and all recommendations welcome

I'm particularly interested in fine dining and live theater

Jasconius on


  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2013
    Sears Tower Skydeck (no I am not calling it that other name), Science and Industry Museum (not sure if this is downtown enough or not, been awhile since I've been there).

    zerzhul on
  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    Original Uno's for the best pizza you will ever have... and your a block away!! Looks like your in walking distance to Navy Pier and Millennium park which are cool. A baseball game at Wrigley or US. Cellular are nice if your into that.

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  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Girl and the Goat is a great restaurant in the West Loop if you can nab a reservation. If you want to go there you should be trying to make one within the next week or two. It's pretty close to the CTA Green Line station at Clinton, where you're staying is pretty close to a couple Red Line stops. I think you can take the Red to Clark/Lake and transfer to the Green there.

    Blackbird is in about the same vicinity, also excellent. I slightly preferred Girl and the Goat, but Blackbird has some excellent dishes also.

    Avec is supposed to be great too but they don't take reservations so I've never actually been there. If you can go on an off night or off time this might be a good one to visit but I wouldn't expect to get in at prime time on a Saturday without waiting a couple hours.

    The Publican is pretty nice too, I've only been there for brunch so I'm not sure what their dinner menu is like but the Sunday brunch is quite good. That's a little further of a walk, it's about equidistant from the Green Line at Clinton and the Blue Line at Grand.

    Those are all pretty great restaurants, assuming by your saying "fine dining" that you don't mind them being on the spendy side.

    The CTA and Metra public transportation systems are both pretty good, and should be able to get you most of the places you want to go.

    illirica on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Unfortunately the Cubs are not in town the week I am going. My girlfriend doesn't want to go to Cellular because she had a bad experience there

    I def want to go to that museum I hear it's excellent

    and yeah spendy is OK. im not looking to wrack up huge bills every night but I want to hit at least two or three primo places

    I cursory glance at google maps revealed that there are basically 750... thousand restaurants within 3 blocks of the building. So it's hard to sort out

    Jasconius on
  • grouch993grouch993 Registered User regular
    Depending on time and what you like, there is the Adler(?) planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of history, science and industry that was mentioned, the art gallery, the shops up north a bit, Lincoln Park Zoo, all the comedy clubs scattered through downtown.

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  • OSUJumpManOSUJumpMan Registered User regular
    The Second City is a Chicago staple for live comedy shows. I'm not sure if that's quite what you had in mind for live theatre though it is just a few blocks off the Brown line near Lincoln Park.

    Depending on when in July there's also the Taste of Chicago. It's not exactly fine-dining, but it offers a VERY broad view of food in Chicago and gives you a chance to sample some places that might interest you. It's in Millenium Park near the Loop so any El train will get you close. They also have a classier (and pricier) daily event called the Chef-du-jour that might interest you.

    I'll second the Sears Tower Skydeck suggestion (and offer the Hancock Observatory as an alternative). It's not as high, but it's also quite tall offering a great view and the lines are usually waaaaay shorter.

    Architecture boat tours are also really interesting. There are lots of different operators and most either originate at Navy Pier or somewhere near the Loop.

  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    I love the Museum of Science and Industry, but you should really only do it if you drive there. I lived about 2 blocks away for a year, and commuted to the Hyde Park area for many years before that for college, and I cannot at all recommend public transportation there.

    One exception: taking the Metra would be alright. I believe it's the South Shore line. You can get on downtown near Michigan Ave ( near the Art Institute), and take it to 57th. From there the walk to the museum would be totally fine. A little more expensive, and you have to deal with set schedules rather than a train or bus every X minutes, but it's the safest and cleanest way to go to and from Hyde Park without driving.

    I'll make some recommendations of my own in the next couple of days when I'm back home and not typing on a phone.

  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Art museum, Field Museum, Navy Pier, Geno's East for pizza better then Uno's by a mile, Superdawg

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