Two Days In Chicago: What To Eat, See, And Do
Whenever you mention Chicago to a group of seasoned travelers, there’s a good chance that you’ll get the same kind of reaction from everyone: “Oh I LOVE Chicago” or “Chicago is one of my favorite cities.” After all, it’s a bustling, Metropolitan city with plenty of heart and history that everyone should experience, even if you only have two days to visit. Here are some of the things you should eat, see and top things to do in Chicago while visiting The Windy City.
See: The Magnificent Mile
Or rather, shop the Magnificent Mile. It is Chicago’s premier commercial district. It is also a vibrant, bustling area that is home to upscale shops, luxe fashion outlets, cool restaurants and posh hotels. Some would even call it one of the greatest avenues of the world.
The Magnificent Mile sits in the heart of Chicago, just parallel to Lake Shore Drive. In addition to shopping, there are several other ways you can experience the mile, including an underground donut tour, a Chicago criminals, mobsters and gangsters tour or a hop-on, hop-off bus trolley tour. And yes, the Magnificent Mile is also home to the largest American Girl retail store in the country, should your 7-year-old daughter ask (or need a hair appointment for her own doll!).
Do: The Chicago Skydeck
If you are looking for a quick thrill, look no further than the Chicago Skydeck experience on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (also known as the former Sears Tower building). The highlight here are the clear observation boxes and views that extend to four states. Needless to say, you will also get some of the best views of the city and a one-of-a-kind experience in the observation box that will make your social media followers jealous. Plus, many would agree that this is the best adventure for the entire family. Even with days with less visibility, there’s a good chance that you will see Lake Michigan Harbor.
Stay: The Intercontinental Chicago
The Intercontinental Chicago is one of the city’s premier hotels and situated in the heart of the Magnificent Mile district. If you are looking to feel what Old Chicago must have once felt like, there’s no other place to stay, as the hotel is almost a century old with a Great Gatsby-like swimming pool that is a can’t miss.
Despite it showing its age here and there, the hotel is very well maintained and updated with a great and friendly staff, large, family-friendly rooms and only minutes away from Chicago’s upscale shopping scene. The Michael Jordan restaurant on the ground floor also has a bacon appetizer with garlic bread and white wine sauce that will leave you with a savory melt-in-your mouth experience.
Eat: Downtown Dogs
There’s a good reason why Downtown Dogs is consistently named one of the Windy City’s best no-frills, counter service hot dogs in the city. For many tourists, it feels and tastes like the authentic city experience they look for in this great little gem off the beaten path. A lot of people would say that it’s better than expected, even when you know what to expect. They’ve got a great variety of hot dogs, including the iconic Double Downtown Dog. The décor, to put it simply, is also to the dogs.
Relax: Millennial Park
You can’t visit the Windy City without a trip to Millennium Park for a good photo op with The Bean and the Crown Fountain. Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago, and one that was originally intended to celebrate the third millennium. The park has free admission and is also home to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, and the Lurie Garden.
Expect to see lots of people take fun selfies at the Cloud Gate (which is also known as The Bean), a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor, and the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park. If you are visiting during the summer months, kids will enjoy cooling off at the Crown Fountain, which is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture. It’s a unique combination of art and function and a gathering spot to cool off as well as see the installation. You’ll have fun just watching kids have fun!