3 Things You Must Do in Chicago

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we visited Chicago.  For whatever reason, I had this mental image of a smaller, dirtier New York City.  That preconceived notion could not have been further from reality.  You know what they say when you assume…  ANYWAYS, I found the food scene in Chicago to be fantastic. The city was clean and well maintained with beautiful tulips. The architecture style was different yet cohesive.  We were in town for a beautiful wedding and are so grateful to have shared in the celebration and enjoy beautiful Chicago with lifelong friends. I’ll hit some our Windy City highlights.

The John Hancock Building

The view from the high floors of the John Hancock Building in Chicago was touted as the “Best View in America” by Travel and Leisure magazine.  They have the observatory deck on the 94th floor with 360° views of the city.  The John Hancock Building also features the Tilt attraction. Tilt is definitely NOT my cup of tea but we spoke to several people who loved it.

Our friend, Melissa,  who lives in Chicago gave us the insider tip to go to the 95th floor lounge instead of the 94th floor observatory.  The reason being is that the observatory is $20 per person and the 95th floor lounge gives spectacular views for no admission cost.  Of course they are hoping you buy a drink but at least you are spending your money on something you can consume! Win/Win if you ask me! Here are a few of my unfiltered pictures I took from the top of the John Hancock Building. My tip is the best views are from the ladies bathroom on the 95th 😉

This view of the famous Navy Pier, was taken from the ladies room. LOL  This view of the famous Navy Pier, was taken from the ladies room. LOL Another shot from the ladies restroom.... I tell ya, it's a winner! Another shot from the ladies restroom…. I tell ya, it’s a winner!

Giordano’s Pizza

I have heard people rave time and time again about Chicago deep dish pizza.  I have always considered myself a thin crust kind of girl.  My stomach was stuffed from not only eating my words but also Giordano’s outstanding stuffed deep dish pizza.  This is probably the best pizza I have ever put in my mouth.  It is basically the love child of pizza and lasagna.  We also ate a pretty delicious Greek salad, but you don’t really go to Chicago for the Greek salad so I will leave that one at that. You MUST go.

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

Let me preface this by saying, I am not a connoisseur of architecture in the slightest.  I can tell you that columns are Greek or maybe Roman… but that is about the extent of my knowledge. So when the idea of a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise came up as a suggested activity I rolled with it but didn’t have any major anticipation.  I LOVED THIS CRUISE!!! Our guide was so enthusiastic about architecture that you couldn’t help but be interested in the topic.  I learned so much about Chicago, its history and about the gorgeous building styles.  Plus, its a great way to get on the water and see the city from a different perspective.

 I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the Italian market and restaurants in Eatily as well as the wonderful shopping along the Magnificent Mile! Both are worth the trip if you have time.

What are your favorite things to do in Chicago?

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  • Rizza

    I love to go out in the evenings to walk around and check out the Chicago jazz and blues music scene!

    • Madeleine Raiford-Holland

      I seriously had no idea about the jazz and blues scene!!! Will definitely have to add this to the list for our next visit!

  • Jan

    I felt the same way about Chicago, it was a wonderful surprise. (Of course it may have been the company.😉) And I definitely agree with you about the view from the Ladies bathroom. Sorry guys, it was the best!

    • Madeleine Raiford-Holland

      I think it a lot of it had to do with the company! We will just have to take a trip back so we can finish off our foodie list and add more to it 🙂

  • Ruth Garner

    I loved this! I have only been to Chicago one time but I fell in love with the city as well!

    • Madeleine Raiford-Holland

      Thank you! I am in the same boat, went for the first time and fell in love. Can’t wait to return!

  • Angela Keene

    Bobby’s bike tour is a lot of fun! We went on the neighborhood one.

    • Madeleine Raiford-Holland

      That sounds like so much fun! I will add it to our list for the next time we visit. Thanks for sharing!