Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tips From A Local - Chicago

              Sweet Home Chicago

Melanie - The author of this post and a Chicago native.
I was born and raised in Chicago. While I live in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area now, my heart is still in Chicago. If you're lucky enough to spend some time there, here are some things you must do.

Sights to See
Millennium Park (free!) It has beautiful views and hosts many free events and concerts throughout the year. You can even picnic there (food & alcohol allowed). Check the website for the current events schedule.

Lincoln Park Zoo (free!)

Beautiful Lake Michigan - Rent a bike and ride along the shore or walk along it for free!

Food to Eat
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (in my personal order of preference):
(1) Giordano's (2) Lou Malnati's (3) Gino's East

Weiner Circle for a Chicago style hot dog (no ketchup!) and a side of attitude.

View of Chicago from Sears Tower
Neighborhoods to Visit
Lincoln Park (posh shopping and dining), Wicker Park (hipster central), Wrigleyville (home to the Chicago Cubs and plenty of pubs).  Be sure to visit the Magnificent Mile for world-class shopping or you can window shop for free. "Explore Chicago's" website is fantastic and tells you the major attractions, tours, dining, and shopping found within each neighborhood.  For a free guided neighborhood tour, visit this link to sign up for one of Chicago's volunteer greeters to be your tour guide!

Rides to Take
Chicago has a fantastic public transportation system that connects the airports to the city center, which is called "the Loop." Use the "L" to get all around the city. You can get an unlimited ride card for 1, 3, or 7 days. The unlimited cards are well worth the money (and will save you a lot compared to taxi fare)!


  1. I grew up in "the region" and I think my favorite spot was the Navy Pier! Thanks!

  2. In the fall, winter, and spring, subtract 10 degrees due to the wind chill. There's a reason it's called "The Windy City." It's a beautiful city, especially along Lake Michigan, but it gets cold!!

  3. For some of the best views of the city at night, go to the top of the Hancock Tower. While you can enjoy fine dining (and a pricey bill!) at the Signature Room restaurant on the 95th floor, you can enjoy the very same view for the price of a cocktail at the Signature Lounge. It is just one floor up from the fancier confines of the Signature Room and is well worth the price of your drink!

    1. Great advice, Ed. Fun way to enjoy a fancy evening and great view, for less!