While I have written about all the places I’ve traveled too so far, the one place I’ve neglected is the place where I’ve lived my entire life (up to recently). I never appreciated my city as much as I did after leaving it.
I have traveled to visit family in different places many times, but I have also had them visit me. And with their visits came the age-old question “so what’re we gonna do?” Knowing touristy destinations are just traps to suck the money out of you, we wanted to give them the Chicago experience without breaking the bank.
When you live somewhere, it’s hard to think about what someone who’ not from there would like to see- if I see it everyday, then it doesn’t seem like big deal to me, while to someone who has never seen it, it might be wonderful and new.
The Sears Tower is a great place to visit, cause the view from the Skydeck is amazing. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it would be to go there in the late afternoon. That way, you can see the city during the day, at sunset, and then watch it light up. The Ledge is awesome, letting you look down through the glass floor to the ground from 103 floors over Wacker Drive and the Chicago River.
The places we take every visiting friend or family member include the following:
- Millennium Park (to see the Bean, no doubt)
- The Sears Tower (no, not Willis, never Willis)
- Navy Pier (the ferris wheel is a must)
- The Lincoln Park Zoo (especially if it’s winter, and there’s a zoo lights display)
My friends and I make it a point to go “downtown” every once in a while and just walk around the city, doing whatever we please. This year, that included visiting the new Maggie Daley Park (well, it’s been around for a couple years, but we just discovered it- see, even natives don’t know everything about their cities!) The park was full of children, but I guess we fit right in. We had a blast going down the huge slides, and let our inner child run free.
If you know downtown Chicago, you’ll know that you’ll have no shortage of places to eat. You’ve got your regular fast food joints of course, but then there’s a bunch of quirky diners as well, which are a much greater experience if you ask me. For example, my friends and I wanted to get ice cream one time, and we found a great gelato place, Amorino. A personal favorite, not located in down town, but still in Chicago, is Susie’s (4126 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641). It’s the definition of a hole-in-the-wall place, with a small drive-in and a couple picnic tables. But the fries- AMAZING! and their milkshakes- over 50 flavors! It’s one of my favorite places to go after the beach. Another place we discovered last summer was a place called La Michoacana Premium (3108 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625), where they serve mangoneadas, which are a Mexican dessert made with chamoy sauce, mangos, lime juice, and chili powder. In downtown Evanston, we found an place, Andy’s Frozen Custard (719 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201), that has amazing ice cream!
all pictures taken by me with a GoPro Hero 4, iPhone 6, and Canon T3