Heading to Chicago but short on time? Check out the following itinerary for your one day in Chicago to ensure you get the most from your trip to the Windy City.
9am – Start your morning with a stroll through Millennium Park. Originally designed to celebrate the millennium, but it wasn’t opened until 2004. Wandering through these grounds however, one may argue the wait was worth it. Be sure to check out the iconic Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) for some unique, reflective views of the city and surrounds.
10am – There is no better way to see the remarkable buildings of Chicago than from the river. Find your sea legs and jump on an architectural boat cruise. There is plenty to discover with most tours offering an insight into Chicago life and its history. Tours leave frequently from Navy Pier and various points along the river.
12pm – Once you disembark from your cruise ,wander over to Navy Pier. It sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is Chicago’s most popular tourist attraction. While you’re here, be sure to have a classic Chicago hot dog. They’re like nothing you’ve ever tasted!
2pm – Chicago is known for its skyscrapers, so why not check out the view from above. The Willis tower (formerly the Sears tower) stands at 1,451 feet (442m) tall and offers the highest vantage point in the city. However, if you’d like to soak in the views with a drink or even lunch, head on over to the John Hancock Center and up to the 95th floor.
4pm – After lunch, do a spot of shopping along The Magnificent Mile. Situated on Michigan Avenue and running from the Chicago River to Oak Street, this is Chicago’s largest shopping district. The Magnificent Mile is home to all big name and luxury brands and one could easily spend an entire day (and a lot of money) here.
7pm – No visit to Chicago would be complete without at least sampling the famous deep dish pizza. This monstrosity of a pizza and is served at many establishments, but nothing will beat the original. Pizzeria Uno was the birth place of the Chicago deep dish pizza and is still the best around. Be warned, the pizzas are huge.
9pm – For those who aren’t yet exhausted and want to dance off some of that Pizza, head to North Halstead Street. This is the center of Chicago’s fun and vibrant Gay and Lesbian scene. There are many bars and clubs here where you can dance the night away or sit and enjoy a quiet beverage with friends.
Of course there is so much more to see and do in Chicago so ideally, spend a little more time in this amazing city. You won’t be disappointed.
Written by Joel Mein for The Essential Destination