Our route traverses south to north, so it’s eminently doable, walkable and bike rideable. You’ll find Chicago lovable with 24 hours in our Midwestern Shangri-la. When you get tired, hop on the CTA. If you’d like to delve into just one of the city’s distinctive neighborhood’s for a day, check this out.
300 to 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
No doubt, the best view of Chicago’s unrivaled skyline is from the Museum Campus, a 57-acre hunk of harmonious park land that is home to the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. This is where you snap the pics that you’ll share on Facebook and Instagram. Of course, if you have longer than a day, you might want to duck into one of these world class museums, depending upon your inclination – underwater world, the vast universe or a document of life forms on the planet. There’s also the arena where the south side lovable losers toss around a football – Soldier Field.
The song, “Simply the Best,” could have been written with this venerable institution in mind. Don’t say you’re not a big art fan because with over 300,000 pieces, there’s plenty for everyone to drop some jaw. Kids loves the arms, armor and the Thorne Miniature Rooms; the Asian art spans five millennia; the photography collection launched in 1949, when Georgia O’Keeffe donated Alfred Stieglitz’ work; and everyone drifts into a dreamy state gazing at the incredible Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. You can actually eat art at on-site Terzo Piano with a kitchen helmed by award-winning chef Tony Mantuano.
100 South to 800 North Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
You’re already on Boul Mich so take an easy saunter down the Magnificent Mile, crossing the Chicago River, eyeballing the Neo Gothic Tribune Building and trying to resist entering any of the many retail establishments that line the street from Bulgari and Cartier to chic apparel shops and art galleries. No doubt, you’re next to famished by now and every kind of victual is offered right on or just off of Michigan Avenue. Locals and tourists like the people watching on the expansive patio at Howell’s and Hood, and Park Grill, gateway to Millennium Park, takes the title for the city’s largest alfresco dining venue. The Purple Pig never disappoints for “cheese, swine and wine” and if there’s a mess of you touring today, just get to foodlife in Water Tower Place for choices among 14 distinctive kitchens.
The Hancock Observatory
875 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
You got an ideal linear view of the city’s skyline from the Museum Campus, so now a bird’s eye view is on the menu from what’s affectionately know as the top of the ‘cock. What used to be the Hancock Observatory now offers 360-degree scenes of the city, Lake Michigan and a couple of other states on a clear day. TILT, the first observatory of its kind on the planet, affords eight people at a time a distinctive, downward facing look at Chicago from 1,000 feet up in the air.
500-5700 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
After maneuvering through miles of humans, it’s time for some pastoral Chicago scenery through expansive Lincoln Park. The Lincoln Park Zoo is still free, as is entry to the serene and dreamy Lincoln Park Conservatory, an extra nice respite if you’re visiting during inclement weather. There are beaches, an archery range, playgrounds, a nature museum, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, a rowing canal and just so much of a spectacular oasis in an already glorious city. Of course, you can change your flight and keep going north tomorrow to see Old Town Wrigley Field, Wicker Park, Bucktown and eventually a realtor because you’ll want to live here.
Related: Best Art Walks In Chicago
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.