Named after the full-of-hot-air politicians in the past, the Windy city is undoubtedly one of the best weekend destinations in the US, from the incredible array of world class restaurants, the fascinating Field Museum, the green and leafy Lincoln Park, to the endless designers stores and enormous shopping malls.
Here are few ideas for how to spend a weekend in Chicago:
Have breakfast at Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen
Both a celebrity haunt and a favorite for the regular locals, Manny’s is the best place to have breakfast in Chicago. It may very well look like a old rundown taxi rank coffee shop but this is certainly part of the appeal with Manny’s and strangely, one of the reasons it does so well. Expect huge corned beef sandwiches, pastrami on rye and hearty soups.
Take a photo with the Bean aka Cloud Gate
On a summers afternoon on weekends, this unusual sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor can feel like the centre piece of a major concert. Abstract art at its best, Cloud Gate is situated on AT & T Plaza in Millennium park right at the foot of some towering skyscrapers. It’s not just an unusual site, the reflections and trick photography opportunities make it one of the great free things to do in Chicago.
Visit the Zoo in Lincoln Park
Few cities around the world can claim to have a free Zoo in a luscious leafy park like Lincoln. Located a short bus or train ride from the city centre, Lincoln Park is a spacious green haven in the city suburbs of Chicago. One of the most amazing attractions at the Zoo are the giant polar bears, which you can view from side windows around the enclosure which can almost feel as though you are in there with them.
Have lunch at the top of the Hancock
The John Hancock is arguably the most recognizable sigh in Chicago and not only can you reach the top for amazing views, but you can also have lunch in a world class restaurant while you are up there. A reservation is required during holidays or peak times and prices can be a little high so make sure to have restaurant discounts with you before you go.
Watch the Chicago Cubs or even just visit Wrigley Field
If you are lucky enough to visit during the baseball season and manage to get your hands on a ticket, make sure to take in a game at Wrigley Field. Alternatively, it is possible to take a guided tour of the historic stadium which is not only a great chance to get an insiders view to the home of Chicago baseball, but also a way of finding out about an integral part of this city.
Have dinner at Alinea
Okay it may be the most famous restaurant in Chicago, but when you have restaurant discounts and the experience is this good, it’s hard to ignore. Alinea is akin to walking into an art gallery where everything is edible, the chefs make an art out of cooking, literally and food has never tasted so good. Do yourself a favor and try this sublime eatery out at least once in your lifetime.
Catch a sunset at Navy Pier
What better way to end a weekend in Chicago than to watch the sun go down at Navy Pier. Although it is admittedly a little more spectacular to watch the sun rise in the east, this happens pretty early in the morning, and we are assuming you will want to check out Chicago’s notoriously fun nightlife, for which you need only enter the nearest downtown bar, and you will know all about it.