Spectacular 36 Hours in Chicago
Chicago is a vibrant city with the world's finest modern architecture, a thriving music and dining scene as well as its multi-cultural nature. Its picturesque skyline nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan with miles of sandy beaches, beautiful parks, a wealth of sights and trendy neighborhoods to explore - there is plenty to see. Here is the Savvy & Fine take on what to do if you only have 36 hours to spend in this fascinating metropolis.
WALK ALONG THE MAGNIFICENT MILE (MAG MILE)
New York has its 5th Avenue, Paris has its Champs Élysées ... Chicago has its Magnificent Mile with Michigan Avenue.
It is a glittering mile of shopping, food, history, and cool, modern and energetic atmosphere, and of course the bridge with an exceptional view of the river.
TAKE A SELFIE AT THE MILLENNIUM PARK
The Millennium Park is a lively and spectacular gathering spot for the locals and tourists alike. The centerpiece of the park is the visually striking Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a place for concerts in the summer, a perfect place for a picnic or free workouts in the park.
The park is also home to the Cloud Gate, known affectionately as "The Bean," a masterpiece created by Anish Kapoor. With a smooth reflective surface made of highly polished stainless steel plates, the sculpture reflects the skyline of Chicago an is one of the most photographed attractions in Chicago.
TAKE THE FASCINATING ARCHITECTURE RIVER TOUR
Chicago is known for its architecture and the best way to see the stunning skyscrapers is by taking the river cruise. The 1920s-style "Innisfree" with the Chicago Line Cruises sails down the Chicago River, the guide giving a story behind almost each skyscraper, as well as historical events that gave birth to the world's center of modern architecture.
Fun Fact: For more than 40 years, the Chicago River has been dyed green every year to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
ENJOY A GOURMET DINNER
For dinner, the newly opened Margeaux Brasserie by Michael Mina at the Waldorf Astoria hotel offers a classic French dining experience and impeccable service. The food is superb from escargots à la Bordelaise prepared with porcini mushrooms and topped with puffed pastry to baby artichoke salad with fois gras and truffle vinaigrette to arctic char with lentils and sunchoke chips to the sublime duck breast with Michigan cherries and chanterelles. For dessert, try their warm French crullers with orange cardamom served with lemon curd.
VISIT THE NAVY PIER
The Navy Pier is a perfect place to walk and enjoy the shoreline. There are lots of restaurants along the pier and boat rides you can take - a bit of a tourist trap but great for photos.
One of the main attractions of the pier is the Ferris wheel. Fun Fact: The original one (it has been replaced twice) was engineered by George Washington Ferris Jr. when Chicago announced a competition for a centerpiece for its 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Paris had marked its 1889 world's fair with the Eiffel Tower, and Chicago was determined to have something similarly spectacular to boast about. The wheel rose to 264 feet, surpassing the Eiffel Tower, and offering breathtaking views of the fair and the city.
CATCH A GAME AT THE BALLPARK
Catch a game at Wrigley Field, home of the 2016 World Series Champions and baseball’s second oldest ballpark. It is like going back in time with the classic hand-operated scoreboard and the marquee outside the homeplate entrance. We were there to enjoy the Chicago Cubs play the Washington Nationals. Go Nats! They did win.
HAVE CHICAGO'S FAMOUS STEAK
When in Chicago, you gotta have some good steak. Gibson's is Chicago’s most famous steakhouse with its classic and generous cuts like a 48-ounce porterhouse, great outdoor seating, and some premium people-watching.
WHERE TO STAY IN CHICAGO
The Ritz-Carlton is perfectly situated on the Gold Coast and right next to the Hancock Tower, offering magnificent city and lake views. After 18 months and a $100 million renovation, it looks fresh and luxurious with a modern and timeless design. Their Italian restaurant Torali offers delicious breakfast with a great à la carte menu from poached eggs to pancakes.