Chicago Guide for the First Timers
For those that aren’t part of the hibernation club, this Chicago guide will help you navigate through its more popular attractions. Chicago’s neighborhoods are always bustling with activities, making it a true winter wonderland. Tourists and locals alike that have an appreciation for sun filled weather can cross paths while walking around Navy Pier, Millennium Park or simply enjoying banana bread pudding at the infamous Magnolia Bakery. It seems like I only visit Chicago when it’s cold – Polar Vortex last year, and a few times this year, coincidently during the lowest temps of the season. Since I hadn’t explored Chicago in tourist mode, I decided to do so on this most recent trip with my parents.
So, one of the greatest things about the city is that everything is within walking distance, leaving room for a plethora of exploration! Check out my adventure grounds below:
My dad’s numero uno priority when visiting any city is locating AND staying in Chinatown (now you know where I get it from). We wandered into quirky makeup stores and dried fruits/dried squid/candy stores. Needless to say, I left with a few goodie bags.
Well, it was disappointing not to see the beautiful surrounding garden in full bloom and water flowing through the fountain since I came during icy temps. This landmark is known as Chicago’s front door and is one of the world’s largest fountains.
Since everything is within walking distance, we headed over to Millennium Park. Here, you will find one of Chicago’s most iconic works of art – Cloud Gate aka The Bean aka the big shiny piece in the middle of the park. The Park is also home to Lurie Garden, home to serene vibes amongst a busy city and Jay Pritzker Pavillion, where music and architect lovers alike can enjoy the sounds and design of this ultra modern amphitheater.
The cold was NOT invigorating for this Miami native. Luckily The Art Institute was right around the corner. Did I mention how everything is next to each other?
The Art Institute of Chicago
Located amid Grant Park, AI of Chicago is one of the biggest in the US. You can easily spend hours exploring galleries among galleries in the museum. Here you will find the famous A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, American Gothic by Grant Wood, Two Sister by Renoir, among others; also home to the largest collection of impressionism in the world.
Willis Tower aka The Sears Tower
One cannot visit Chicago without experiencing the magnificent views from this landmark. Is it worth the price, line, and fear of falling off the building? Absolutely!
This Chicago guide wouldn’t be complete without a little family spot. For a fun and family friendly site, visit the Shedd aquarium.
Before the sun started to set, I headed out to Navy Pier. Built in the early 1900’s, the Pier is one of Chicago’s most recognized landmarks and home to a plethora of year-round festivals.
There is so much more to explore in this Midwestern city. I can’t wait to go back in the summer, when it’s enjoyable to walk everywhere. Last but not least…Sports enthusiast or not, If you get the chance, go to a hockey game! It is truly fun and cannot get any more Chicago than this!
Let’s go Blackhawks!
There will be a Chicago guide for the foodies coming soon! In the meanwhile, enjoy this donut pic as much as I enjoyed eating it.
What other sights will you add to the list that’s not mentioned?