48 Hours: Explore Chicago
You guys. Chicago is stunning. I fell in love the second I got into the city. Although many of the boutique hotels we wanted to stay at were sold out, we were still downtown in a great location. This was perfect because we only had 2 full days! We walked EVERYWHERE. It's the best way to take everything in and see things you wouldn't normally see. One day, my Health App tracked 17.6 miles! It doesn't help that we were there in September so the weather was fantastic. (A little late to the blog game... I know.)
Here are a few of my highlights, although there were so many more!
We did the Architectural Boat Tour -- a must do. We snagged our tickets on GroupOn and it ended up costing $27 for 2! It lasted about an hour and a half. It was so relaxing and super interesting to learn the history of every building! Not to mention, the absolutely stunning views. I would recommend either going in the morning or early afternoon if you can. I can't seem to find the exact tour we did, as there are a few, but definitely keep your eyes on GroupOn/EventBrite.
Another highlight was The Shedd Aquarium! Be sure to buy your tickets online and head there early! We got there at 9am when they opened, and we were finishing up and everyone started to come in! They have a cute little cafe with decent treats and a GORGEOUS view to relax while you're there. (Third photo!)
The aquarium is absolutely stunning. We spent our entire morning, although I could have spent more time there! We did the dolphin show, as well as walked through every exhibit. Everyone was so knowledgable. They have two gift shops with fantastic items. Not your typical gift shops! I ended up shipping home a great Thomas Paul plate set for my kitchen and some cute glass sea creature ornaments.
There is a bicycle station, Divvy, close by the aquarium and we were thinking about renting after our visit. (http://divvybikes.com.) Although we ended up not renting (unprepared with tons of bags...) this would be a fun way to take in the city along the waterfront path! They do have little baskets in the front for your belongings. I will definitely rent them on my next visit! The paths and sidewalks are abundant, it's so easy to get around.
And of course, the shopping is fantastic. We wandered around during the days and walked into all of the shops. If you can, stay close to Magnificent Mile. Maybe a bit touristy, but definitely a must see. One of the best Nordstrom Racks I have been to! Although I may skip the Saks Off Fifth Downtown. :)
Last but not least, Millennium Park. It is stunning, and you need a photo with the giant bean sculpture. As for the food, yes, look forward to a separate post for that! We had fantastic meals all around (including deep dish pizza of course!)