Welcome to Tauck’s Cruising the Great Lakes: Chicago to Toronto Forum
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Any suggestions on how to best use our time in Chigago on our extra free day before the tour begins?
We are also going on this tour but are arriving the day the tour begins because we live within an hour of Chicago. There are all kinds of opportunities. I know the Art Institute is an excursion choice, but there are many other museums. We especially enjoy the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium. If you are considering the Museum of Science and Industry, check out their website first so you can think about the exhibits you would most like to see - there won't be time for them all. You can tour a submarine, go "underground" to visit a coal mine, or see an incredible dollhouse - as well as hundreds of other exhibits. It is really a fascinating museum. Another possibility is a segway tour that takes you near the lake. You can get great views of the city from Willis Tower. You might also want to check out some of the many shops on Michigan Avenue. We will visit Millennium Park as part of the tour, but it is a really neat place and you might want to go on your own as well. It all depends on what your interests are. Wherever you go, notice the architecture - it is incredible. We look forward to meeting you!
CVC, thanks for your suggestions. See you on the cruise.
I worked in downtown Chicago (the “Loop”) for a number or years. I have not been there for a few years so my suggestions may need a little updating.
I suggest you visit the Art Institute of Chicago as the first stop. There you can view works such as Two Sisters (On the Terrace) [my favorite], Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Paris Street, Rainy Day, and Water Lilies. Then, go to another level to see the American Gothic. One day during the week is free day.
I see that a Chicago River boat tour is on your itinerary as well as a pizza at Giordano’s [also my favorite]. Good choices!
The Shedd Aquarium is part of the Museum Campus. The Museum Campus is a 57-acre museum park that sits near Lake Michigan and surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; and the Field Museum of Natural History. The CTA used to have an express bus to it from State Street to the Museum Campus. I am not sure if that is still the case. Also, I think they still have cruises from it across the harbor to Navy Pier. Navy Pier is a little touristy but it is very popular and has lots of attractions including a new Ferris Wheel. At the very end of the pier, you can view of the Chicago skyline from about 3,330 feet out into Lake Michigan.
The Museum of Science and Industry is a fascinating museum. You can spend the whole day. It is a cab ride about seven miles south on Lake Shore Drive. If it is a rainy day that would be a good choice. Make sure you tour the U-505 German submarine!
You could also check out if there is a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Tickets may be hard to purchase, but if you go the day of the performance maybe some might be available.
And then you could always shop on Michigan Avenue!
Check out all the above attraction’s website. Your concierge or Tauck Director should be able to provide current details. Have fun!
I agree that on a nice day Navy Pier is a great choice for a visit. It has been renovated over the last couple of years. This summer they opened a very large roof top bar area - toward the end of pier. The views are outstanding.
Wrigley Field is a wonderful ballpark to visit, if the Cubs are in town and you like baseball.
...or US Cellular Field for the White Sox. I always check out the local sports teams -- home or abroad -- when I travel. Seems that most of them aren't playing when I'm in their home town, unfortunately. I went to a cricket game (match?) in Abu Dhabi. I know nothing about cricket, but it was a fun experience.
Chicago also has some great theater options -including Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier.