How to Spend One Day in Chicago

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Chicago has something for everyone--from world-class museums to stellar shopping--and all corners of the city are easily accessed by public transit. With a number of different events going on throughout Chicago, you will be hard-pressed to find yourself with nothing to do during a visit to the Windy City.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicago city map
  • Chicago transit card
  • Walking shoes
  • The perfect way to begin a day trip in Chicago is to start your day with breakfast in Andersonville at m. Henry. (Take the red line to Bryn Mawr, and walk west to Clark Street.)

  • After getting your fill of Bliss Cakes at m. Henry, check to see if the Cubs are playing. Catching a game at Wrigley Field is a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. (Take the red line to Addison.)

  • If you can't catch a Cubs game, consider checking out one of the many world-class museums in Chicago. Science buffs should visit the venerable Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium or Shedd Aquarium. (The Field, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium are located at the Museum Campus, which is most-easily reached via the Michigan Avenue #146 bus.) If you have a penchant for art, you'll have to clear an hour or two in your schedule to spend some time at the Art Institute (red line to Monroe) or Museum of Contemporary Art (red line to Chicago).

  • Know that a trip to Chicago isn't complete without a shopping trip down the Magnificent Mile--even if just for a little window-shopping. A number of great shops and stores can be found along Michigan Avenue downtown. If small boutiques are your thing, check out the shops along Oak Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood. (Take the red line to Chicago to access the Magnificent Mile.)

  • If shopping isn't your thing, take some time to stroll through Millennium Park. During the winter months you can take advantage of the ice skating rink. During the spring, summer and fall months, Millennium Park hosts a number of concerts and other events at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. One popular event in nearby Grant Park is the Lollapalooza concert held there every August. (To get to Millennium Park, take the red line to Washington.)

  • After a long day of walking around the city, you deserve a chance to sit back and relax. One great place to enjoy both the sunset and the city lights at night is at the Signature Lounge, a bar located on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Tower.(Take the red line to Chicago.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchasing a one-, three- or seven-day Chicago transit pass may be an economical choice if you plan to take advantage of public transit during your visit. These cards provide one rider with unlimited trips on the city bus or trains (el).

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