It's hard to choose where to go in Chicago, especially if you are on a budget. To see the city skyline from the lake, in the end we opted for one of the Seadog Cruises. The route took half an hour, and cost approximately U.S. $ 40.00 per person. It was great fun. We were in a motor boat, which left the port of North Loop. They explained the skyline including the Field Museum, the Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and the Sears Tower among other things. As the engines started (my son happy with the speed) we saw the South Loop where obviously you can see the John Hancock. We then went past the lighthouse and to the port. Of course, you can have a family photo as you enter the port, in the true spirit of American merchandising. I suggest that you do this kind of tour early on in your visit to Chicago so that you can get your bearings.
Traveling by boat down the Chicago River, this is one of the most eye-drawing skyscrapers. As we explained, is for residential use only. The thing I found really funny is that the first floors arefor parking and cars can be seen perfectly from the outside. I had never seen this system in Spain before.
Chicago Lighthouse (Chicago Harbor Light) is a nineteenth century building that serves as a guide for navigation on Lake Michigan and facilitates the access of vessels to various marinas in the city. It is a large building that can be visited and which has a good view from the end of Navy Pier. The existence of a lighthouse on a lake can be considered strange but it is necessary due to the adverse weather. We saw the waves crashing against the breakwater with a real violence and viewed Lake Michigan with new eyes ... In any case, it is a beautiful lighthouse.
The photos do not do justice to this magnificent skyscraper of Chicago, for me one of the most attractive in the city. It is made of dark marble and a dark green colour that absorbs light and is very difficult to photograph. It is a 30s art-deco style building and originally housed the headquarters of a large conglomerate coal company. Hence the choice of colors. The top is covered with gold leaf, making the building resemble a bottle of champagne. Its rare colors produce a very special reflection that varies by the time of day. It underwent a restoration a few years ago to house the Hard Rock Hotel. It is much more impressive than in the photos.
This large skyscraper located in the heart of Chicago next to the river is one of the architectural jewels of the city and, along with the famous GE Building at the Rockefeller Center in New York, is one of the best examples of Art Deco buildings in the united States. Dating from the end of the 80's, the construction follows the design of classic New York skyscrapers. It houses the regional headquarters of NBC, as well as several offices. From the front it appears to be a slender tower topped by a long antenna, but from the side, you'll see buttresses which give it a much more classical air. Lit up at night, it is a real landmark in the city skyline.
This skyscraper is found just behind the Water Tower and looks like a thin pencil, perfectly accompanying the old monument. Both are stunning in photos ... The 67-floor building is home to the Park Hyatt hotel, as well as apartments. It also houses NoMI, one of the most famous restaurants in Chicago. It is also known as Park Tower, and its address is 800 N Michigan Avenue.
I fell in love with Chicago after walking the Lake Front Trail, this few miles long trail hugs the water front and provides access to the beach as well as amazing cityscape views. We took a stroll in the sun along the windy path, and ended up spending a few hours on the beach. It's a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and gives some great photo opportunities.
I think there is even somewhere to rent an SUP Board close by, would be a great way to explore the waterfront.
If you have the chance, don't miss the AeroBalloon. It's a unique experience. This is a large helium balloon located at Navy Pier with a basket with capacity for 17 passengers. The balloon is anchored to the ground and doesn't move from its spot, but the views of the Chicago skyline and Navy Pier itself you get when you're up are amazing. It's a little pricey ($25 per person), and lasts only 8-10 minutes. Check beforehand to see if it's operational as it is grounded in bad weather.
Chicago Water Taxi is a new and innovative mode of transport: hire a small boat on the Chicago River, from Michigan Avenue to Chinatown, with two stops in La Salle / Clark and Madison Street. Here you can make a connection with the bus or subway. Hop on and off throughout the day for $6, or just take a single trip for $2.
Another of my favorite skyscrapers in Chicago. It measures 195 meters (the Picasso Tower is 157) and gives you a good idea of the landscape of the city. I discovered it when I was traveling by boat, and is a great way to see the city skyline.
Whether it is in the middle of the hot sweaty summer or below Arctic temperatures in a cold Chicago winter, walking down Clark Street in Andersonville is nothing short of enchanting. Whether you are taking the Clark street bus or the Red Line and get off at Berwyn, walking into the neighborhood is like coming into a new world.
On Foster and Clark street there is the Swedish American Museum where you can tour the facility and see the Chicago neighborhood in its past glory or browse through the gift shop with all the books, toys, cookware, decorations, and (during the Holidays) all the activities of Saint Lucia. The neighborhood is decorated with different little bars, some with a Swedish background who serve Glogg. Or if you are a beer connoisseur, go visit Hopleaf (just south of Foster) where they have several micro breweries beers to try and taste. There is the right taste for everyone!
All kinds of shops are up and down the neighborhood with girls trendy clothes, men's upscale clothing, local furniture makers, flower shops, and many restaurants! The summer time is the greatest time to visit. Between the fresh farmers market in the giant metropolis or the festival Midsommer Fest in June. Andersonville is the place to celebrate music, art, food, and the Swedes that once helped to establish Chicago.
If you are in Chicago around March 17th you are in for a real unique experience and it all depends on the location. Chicago has a lot of Irish pride. The southside of Chicago has a parade (famed), the Loop has a parade, Wrigleyville is full of younger people drinkin a bit too much, and Irish pubs all over the city are bursting with bagpipes and dancing. Although the one thing that is unique for Chicago is that we dye our beloved Chicago River green.
The Melas fountain on the river walk is really beautiful. It is a little bit hidden away, but the river walk is a really great way to see a different side of the city. The fountain doesn't have a lot of sentimental meaning or history, but the reason I am suggesting to see it is because if you are visiting on Saint Patrick's Day weekend this is the perfect spot to see the river!
The Chicago River has had it's troubles. It's been severely polluted over the many decades and there has been many acts to clean it up, and one of which was initiated by the Chicago mayor a little over 40 years ago to dye the river water to see where the waste and pollution was coming from....in doing so the river turned a beautiful Irish green. They found that if they added more dye then the whole river would turn that wonderful shade of green and would boost Chicago pride on March 17th each year. It is a silly but very unique event to witness. I do not know of such a thing in any other city and is a must of St. Patricks day in Chicago!
The historic Women's Athletic Club of Chicago is a private club that was founded in 1898 and was the very first athletic club for women in America. It was established as Landmark status in 1991 for its history and brilliant architecture by Philip B. Maher. I was lucky enough to visit it.
If you have the opportunity to visit, PLEASE I urge you to take it. They host receptions, weddings, meetings and events all the time. From the first step of walking into this amazing building, I felt like I was going through time. It felt so elegant and regal! I almost didn't want to touch anything. The elevator had its own operator and it was necessary since it seemed like it was right out of the 1920's! The decor was well kept, but felt like it belonged in the 1930's with men in top hats and women in fur.
It was such a treat to see the inside of this majestic building. Many of Chicago's prestigious belong to this upstanding place. It's historic background and current status save it as a Chicago treasure.
To see the entrance, it looks almost as if it is on Ontario.