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IMO, the Sears / Willis tower was worth the time and cost. Great view on a clear day. Wrigley Field is amazing if you can get tickets. I thought that Navy Pier was overrated. Honestly I had a really good time just walking around downtown looking at all the buildings and such. There is a nice park on the lake downtown, can't remember its name but they have some art pieces on display there. Your best bet for getting around is just to leave the car at the hotel and either walk or take the train to get around. You used to be able to get a visitors pass that was good for a few days fairly cheap that would give you unlimited access to trains and buses.

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Depends on what you like.


Lots of cool neighborhoods to see with great architecture.


Wrigley and the surrounding area is fun.


We did a boat tour which was a cool way to see the city from the lake.




My favorite pizza place is Giordanno's. Deep dish. Plenty of locations.

Another great pizza place is the Oven Grinder. It sits below the sidewalk and reportedly was a hideout for Capone during the St Valentine's Day Massacre across the street.

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I loved Lou Malnati's too. Chicago is my favorite city. Lots of theatre if you like that stuff (I do). The John Hancock building is in an area of good restaurants (Cheesecake Factory and Mike Ditka's), beautiful church across the street, and the hershey factory where you smell the chocolate about a half mile away. DO NOT GO to the Chicago Chophouse. It is about 70 dollars a piece, small, unisexual bathrooms, weak salads, and steaks that are not that much better than Outback. I would strongly recommend avoiding the Chophouse. If you love starbucks, there is one on every other block. Trolley is a fun way to travel even if cabs are faster. Navy Pier is fun to do at night if there is jazz music going on. Aquarium is also fun.

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Field Museum is awesome.


If you enjoy fine art, one of the most enjoyable Saturday afternoons I've ever spent was the time I spent walking through the museum at the Chicago Art Institute with my headphones in, and my iPod rolling through classical music. One of the world's finest art museums, and easily one of the top 3 art museums you can get to without having to cross an ocean.


I took a river tour on the Chicago River once. It was extremely cool...not many places where you can take a 2 hour long ride down a river and never even leave the middle of a huge metropolis. You're in a boat looking directly up 60 and 70 story skyscrapers. There are a few different tours offered around town. I took the Chicago River Bridges Tour. Highly recommend.


If you like blues (I'm a blues GEEK) go check out Kingston Mines. It's been a Chicago Blues mecca since the 60s. The first time I went, it was a random Thursday night. Got there right after dinner. 30 minutes later, in walks Eric Clapton, and he asked the guy on stage if he would mind him sitting in. It was awesome. I don't think we left until like 2am.


If you can swing it, The Second City comedy shows are awesome. The Laugh Factory is also in Chi-town and regularly has some of the best comedians around the country.


There are also about 3 dozen different theaters around town if that's something you enjoy, and the Blue Man Group has a nightly show at the Briar Street Theatre.


Also, you're in Chicago...go get yourself a Chicago-style hotdog, an Italian beef sandwich, and some Chicago deep dish. You haven't truly experienced Chicago if you don't try at least two of the three.

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Chicago has GREAT EATS, both downtown, but has was mentioned, out in the neighborhoods. Really, you could take the EL, get off randomly, and 3 cool eateries within 100 yards of the train.


That said, my must-eat Chicago establishments:


1. Smoque BBQ

2. GT Fish and Oyster

3. Sepia

4. Edzo's (in Evanston near Northwestern, can I count that?)

5. Gibson's Steakhouse


I've never been to either of the joints that HB mentioned, but his opinion in restaurants is usually pretty good. The above 5 though are all strong, you wouldn't be disappointed with any of them.

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