Hello my lovely friends,
About a week ago I went to Chicago for fall break and although I was there for only 3 days, I immediately fell in love with the city life. I did almost every touristy thing you can imagine while visiting Chicago and I made my very own Chicago Bucket-List for y’all! Additionally, this was my first time taking a trip with Barrett the Honors College and I’m extremely grateful to have explored this city with my colleagues. So without further ado, let’s get started into this list! 🙂
Visit The “Bean”
The Chicago’s Cloud Gate in Millennium Park was built with the skyline in mind and it presents a wonderful reflection of the city around. It’s a big icon in Chicago so I recommend going early in the morning or late at night to prevent the masses of crowds during the daytime. Fun fact: It’s cleaned daily and weighs 110 tons!
Sky Deck at Willis Tower
The Willis Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere and at 1,353 feet, you can stand out in one of the ledge glass boxes that can hold up to two elephants! Fun fact: It contains a complete view of the city and even up to four states!
River Cruise Tour
As my pictures couldn’t showcase enough of how beautiful the city is, I recommend taking a river cruise tour to learn more about the architecture history and stories behind some of the infamous buildings. Fun fact: The river was dyed bright blue when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year!
Chicago Hotdog at Al’s Italian Beef
A Chicago-style hotdog includes: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. I stumbled upon Al’s Italian Beef my first day in Chicago and it was absolutely amazing! It was only $5.40 to get a hotdog and delicious crispy fries. I highly recommend getting this signature hotdog at Al’s because its a great deal and you wouldn’t regret it. Fun fact: Taylor Street remains as one of the iconic food destinations in Chicago!
Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano’s
As this was my first time trying a deep dish pizza, Giordano’s is the place to go! I heard Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is similar so either place would be great to try this Chicago signature pizza. However, Giordano’s definitely surpassed my expectations as the sauce was nice and hearty with thick cheese right in the middle. (Try aiming for a small pizza as this is extremely filling.) Also, be sure to wear your comfiest clothes as a food baby will undoubtedly be present after one slice.
Visit the Chicago Theater
I recommend visiting and taking a tour of the Chicago Theater as many famous individuals have performed and played here. You can even see where Al Capone once sat at when he visited the theater back in the 1920’s and 30’s. Additionally, it has a beautiful French Baroque influence within it’s architecture and can make you feel like you’re in Paris for the day. Fun fact: When the theater first opened, male ushers were all required to be a certain height, have a college degree, and come from a good family.
Wrigley Field is one of the oldest ballparks around and has been home to the Chicago Cubs since 1916. This is also where Babe Ruth’s famous Called Shot happened and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was filmed. Fun fact: The “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song became tradition at the Cubs home games being led by Harry Caray.
The John G. Shedd Aquarium
This aquarium is definitely a place to visit as it’s one of the largest aquarium’s in the midwest. If you’ve never seen a beluga in person, then this is your opportunity to see one! They are extremely cute and intelligent animals and were a highlight of my visit at the Shedd Aquarium.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago contains three floors of various artworks and designs. I spent about 4 hours here and if you have an interest in art, then this is your place! I recommend to designate a good amount of time to explore all the exhibits and collections here. Fun fact: In Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” painting, there are 5 different images found behind the man with the guitar. Can you spot them?!
The Alder Planetarium is one of the first planetarium’s in America and includes everything you need to know about astronomy and astrophysics. They even have an Alder After Dark edition that includes full access to the museum and unlimited sky show viewings. Fun fact: It’s one of the best spots to view the skyline from anywhere in Chicago!
Andy’s Jazz Club
As this was my first time attending a jazz club, I was in complete awe because of the crazy talent that all of the performers had while being on-stage. I went on a Sunday night during one of their jam sessions and I highly recommend going at 7:00pm when they begin the show because seating is limited!
Firecakes Donuts are known for their ice cream donut sandwiches and their infamous donuts! I recommend the Vanilla Iced (pictured above) as this is the most award-winning and popular donut. Fun fact: Firecakes was inspired from William Billy Hobbs, a baker in the logging camps who began making his own fried treats with an open fire and a sprinkle of sugar for his workers.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
First off, look how cute their bathroom is! Anything pineapple related, I’m SOLD! Secondly, their ice cream flavors are beyond this world and include seasonal editions such as Pumpkin 5-Spice and Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows. I highly recommend getting their 3 half-scoops to try as many flavors as you can. 🙂 Fun Fact: You can order their ice cream online as well!!
A sushi burrito should be on every foodie lover’s bucket list because of it’s fun aesthetic and loaded deliciousness. I recommend going to Sushi Burrito because they have many variations of sushi-rolls that can also be turned into tacos! What else can anyone want?!
All in all, Chicago treated me very well during my time there and I know I’ll be back in the future. I hope y’all enjoyed my little bucket list review and hopefully it wasn’t too long! Comment below what you’ll want to cross off on your bucket list for Chicago! Is it trying the deep dish pizza? Or possibly the river boat cruise?
Until next time,
Not mentioned but also cool and interesting things to do/visit:
The Field Museum, Navy Pier, Gangster Tour, Magnificent Mile and Lincoln Park Zoo.