24 Hours in Chicago
Try to be aloof about Chicago, we dare you. The Windy City is big, bold, brassy and easy to love. Choose a scene and Chicago has it in top-flight form: sports, arts and culture, restaurants (low-end to high-brow), museums and parks. And then there’s that fat skyline on Lake Michigan. As Carl Sandburg put it so eloquently: “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” With that, check out what to see, eat and do with 24 hours in Chicago.
619 West Randolph Street
Even if you only have a day in Chicago, make sure Paul Kahan feeds you. Blackbird is his best restaurant in the city with avec and The Publican just behind.
Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago Metro Downtown
9. Wrigley Field
1060 West Addison Street
A sports shrine par excellence, beautiful Wrigley Field is home to the semi-tragic Chicago Cubs and the most knowledgeable fans in baseball.
Where to stay: Majestic Hotel Chicago
8. Steppenwolf Theatre Company
1650 North Halsted Street
Synonymous with theatre not just in Chicago but, indeed, everywhere, Steppenwolf has been a wellspring for actors, directors and playwrights since 1974. Another kind of theatre, of the molecular gastronomy variety, takes place just up the street at Grant Achatz’s Alinea.
Where to stay: Ame Boutique Hotel Chicago
7. Burt’s Place
8541 Ferris Avenue, Morton Grove
Burt Katz is the godfather, or rabbi if you will, of deep dish pizza in Chicago. Burt’s Place is far from the Loop but well worth the pilgrimage.
Where to stay: Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore
6. Museum of Science and Industry
East 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
No other science museum in the western hemisphere tops Chicago’s MSI in Jackson Park. The facility is leviathan and duly covers a cornucopia of topics in vivid fashion.
Where to stay: Affinia Hotel Chicago
5. Hot Doug’s
3324 North California Avenue
For the ultimate, unfussy Chicago food experience, scores of locals and visitors turn to Hot Doug’s. Just go with the classic dog and be done with it.
Where to stay: Sheraton Hotel & Towers Chicago
4. Willis Tower Skydeck
233 S. Wacker Drive
The tallest tower in the United States has a stellar skydeck with free views and vertigo for all.
Where to stay: JW Marriott Hotel Chicago
3. Lincoln Park
A behemoth of a public park, lakefront Lincoln Park is home to gems like the Lincoln Park Zoo, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, Lincoln Park Conservatory and plenty of four season recreation.
Where to stay: W Chicago City Center
2. Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots
7232 South Western Avenue
Fat Johnnie’s is in a dumpy part of town but do not let this sad, generic, charmless strip of fast-food outlets and car dealerships fool you. It happens to be home to some of the best red hots in Second City.
Where to stay: Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
1. Grant Park Museum Campus Chicago
South Lake Shore Drive
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Field Museum of Natural History: three remarkable, world class institutions that compete for your time in the Museum Campus section of Grant Park. The must-see trio is also next to Soldier Field, the holy gridiron home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Where to stay: Best Western Grant Park Hotel Chicago