April 23, 2012 by travelingsole
Spring Break 2012
Easter Weekend a few of us went to Chicago. My cousins Chris and Denise, me, and two of my brothers, John Mark and Glendon. Chris and Denise are from Illinois and we don’t see much of them so we thought we should take a vacation together to get to know each other a little better. Easter weekend worked because Denise and John Mark were both on spring break. 🙂 Let me tell you, they are cool kids. We had a very fun weekend. Denise and I have a lot more in common then I would have ever imagined. 🙂
How to get to Chicago: Chris and Denise came in via Amtrak. That is the best way if you live close. We had to come in by car. The train schedule was all wrong for us. Flying in is another good option if airfare is reasonable.
Parking in Chicago There are parking garages on every corner but expensive. We paid $30 per 24 hours of parking. We just parked the car for the weekend and walked or took the bus everywhere you went. You can park at the airport for cheaper parking if you are staying long enough to make it worth the time to and from the airport.
Where to stay Definitely downtown. We stayed at the Inn of Chicago off E Ohio St. It’s 1/2 a block from the Magnificent Mile. Michigan Ave/The Magnificent Mile is the heart of Chicago. Restaurants, shopping, bars/clubs (which we didn’t visit), Wrigley Field, Willis Tower, Shed Aquarium and all the other tourist attractions are within walking distance… We spent the entire weekend within a few blocks of Michigan Ave. Willis Tower was the longest walk which is 8 blocks west of Michigan Ave.
Transportation Most used type of transportation was our own two feet. We walked a lot. The best part of the weekend was being able to walk anywhere you wanted to go. My advise is Park the car. In the country a car is handy. In the city especially downtown driving the car is far more expensive and way more hassle.
If walking is not for you, the bus is a wonderful option. $2.25 for one trip, $5.75 for a 24 hour pass, $14.50 for a 3 day pass. Cheap. Easy. And there are lots of buses. You can buy bus passes all over town including on the bus. Then hop on, swipe your pass and ride. Enter at the front of the bus. Pay or swipe right by the driver. Exit the bus by the side doors. If you want the driver to stop between bus stops there is a pull cord to let him know.
There is also the metro/subway or taxi but we didn’t use those modes of transport… no advice there. Sorry.
Where to eat Eating can be expensive. When you go to Chicago you don’t eat at McDonalds. You eat deep dish pizza or at one of the many ethnic restaurants. Food is a highlight of Chicago. Plan on spending $10-15 a plate. If you want to budget more for food the high end restaurants are $15-30 a plate and there are always the $30-100 a plate if you are that crazy. You can also do a Tastebud Tour. We didn’t have time to do it but I’ve heard they are worth it. See future posts for our favorite restaurants.
Tourist attractions that are a must see future posts for this… 🙂 Include places like Sears Tower/Willis Tower, Shed Aquarium… etc.