My trip to Chicago this weekend was interesting to say the least.
Let me first start with the backstory. I was originally supposed to fly into Chicago on Thursday, but I received a text message from United saying that there was some winter weather coming into Chicago and my flight might be delayed. I then received a text message from my sister (aka my travel buddy) who told me she was changing her flight to Friday. Long story short, I felt peer pressured to change my flight so I did.
And I immediately regretted it. It turned out that my original flight was only two hours and forty-five minutes delayed. So realistically, I still could have made it to Chicago in a timely manner. Next time, I will just listen to my instinct and have it prove me wrong.
So I got to Chicago late Friday morning. I checked into the hotel and immediately freshened up and headed out for a little afternoon out on the town since I was primarily there for the conference. I didn’t do a whole lot, but there were a few things I loved that I thought I would share with you all — hence, an abridged edition.
Take the L
Chicago’s metro system, otherwise known as the “L”, is one of the best ways to get around the city. I was staying in Rosemont, which is very close to O’Hare. When I checked in, I learned that the hotel was in walking distance of a train station. So instead of taking a Lyft, I went for the train instead. It saved me both money and the time that I would waste sitting in traffic. A day pass only cost $10.
Wander around the Art Institute of Chicago
The number one activity I wanted to do while in Chicago was check out the Art Institute. I love art history and was so excited to see that art collection that the museum had. Compared to other museums I’ve been to, it’s a lot less crowded, which makes the experience a lot more enjoyable. I was awestricken by the pieces that I only learned about such as “American Gothic”, anything by Roy Lichtenstein, Monet, and Renoir. 10/10 recommend if you are a museum buff.
Swing by The Bean
Housed in Millennium Park is the famous Chicago Bean. This is probably Chicago’s biggest tourist attraction but definitely not as popular as some of the other ones I’ve been to. What’s cool about the Bean is that it’s reflective so you can see most of the Chicago skyline from it. Millennium Park itself is so close to Lake Michigan, which makes it the perfect scene for the summer. Unfortunately, it was very cold and covered with snow when I was there.
Grab some deep dish pizza & Italian beef
I wish I had some more authentic Chicago foods, but I did have a chance to have some deep dish pizza, polish sausage, and Italian beef. By far my favorite was Italian beef. I am still dreaming of the Italian beef sandwich I had while I was there. What makes it so delicious is seasoned roast beef, simmered and served au jus. The pizza was also delicious too, but unfortunately I only had it once.
Browse the Chicago Architecture Center
The last major attraction I went to while I was there was the Chicago Architecture Center. According to natives, this is a relatively new attraction. If you love architecture, you will love this! It not only highlights Chicago architecture, but other architectural trends around the world such as sustainability. It also had a diorama of the entire city and an interactive exhibit that allowed you to visualize different data points, such as population density. Plus, it’s in the midst of the city so you get to see all of the different buildings up close and personal.
I wish I had more time in Chicago! There were definitely a lot more attractions I wanted to see, but I guess I will just have to visit again.