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  #1  
Old 01-17-2012, 08:04 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Chicago Tourists

I'm considering a spring trip to Chicago, perhaps Memorial Day.

Looking at visiting the Art Institute, Field Museum and maybe a show at Buddy Guy's club. Are those in reasonable (less than 30 minutes, "safe") walking distance of each other?

Bonus question: Any suggestions for gluten-free dining in that area?
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2012, 08:54 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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The Art Institute and Field Museum are definitely within walking distance of each other. If you cut through the park it's about a 20 minute walk. It look's like Buddy Guy's is halfway between them.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2012, 09:40 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Do you like sushi? Oysy, at 888 S. Michigan, was one of my favourite places to eat when I lived in Chicago.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2012, 01:10 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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I don't know about walking; it might be a bit of a stretch. Certainly easy cab rides from each other.

Gluten free? We don't do that in Chicago. Most of us don't even know what it means. Pizza, Italian Beef, and Steaks, no problem!
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2012, 04:53 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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A follow- up: The main purpose of the visit is the art museum. Most online guides to the city, even the ones for gluten free dining, are arranged by neighborhoods or areas. What is the area with the art museum called?

Looking for other things to "justify" the cost of travel. Timing will be determined by show schedules when Buddy Guy's posts the May and June calendars. June would be good to catch a Stanley Cup Finals game with the Blackhawks and Caps.
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:47 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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The Art Institute is on the east side of "The Loop" (named for the elevated trains that meet up on a looped track over downtown streets). Most dining options in the Loop will be within walking distance of the Art Institute.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:54 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Missed the edit window: If you don't mind walking further, or cabbing it, you could also easily get to River North or Streeterville, which are chock-full of dining options of all varieties.

The Field Museum is kind of off in its own little area with the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium, called the "Museum Campus"; it's basically one end of a large city park (Grant Park) that the museums have been plopped down in. You might try looking at options in the "South Loop" or "Printers' Row", but they'll be a longer walk than the Loop is from the Art Institute, and probably fewer in number as well.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:57 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Thanks. That helps me narrow things down as I use the various websites.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2012, 12:52 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
I'm considering a spring trip to Chicago, perhaps Memorial Day.

Looking at visiting the Art Institute, Field Museum and maybe a show at Buddy Guy's club. Are those in reasonable (less than 30 minutes, "safe") walking distance of each other?
This is exactly what I do EVERY FRICKEN TIME I visit Chicago. There is plenty of parking at the Field, it being so close to where the Bears play. I don't try to walk to the Art Institute, though. There is a bus line that goes straight there, and it's very easy to find.

Music at Legends doesn't start until well after the museums close, and I've never had a problem parking close to Legends. (YMMV.) I'm not the man to ask about gluten-free, but I do believe they serve unbreaded chicken at Legends, so if you want to economize your motion that may be an option.

Have a great time. You've picked some very special places.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2012, 10:50 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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The Chicago Cultural Center (originally the main library) is a few blocks north of the Art Institute. Preston Bradley Hall is topped by a Tiffany dome. The mosaics are also worth looking at.
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2012, 03:46 PM
Cheryl44 Cheryl44 is offline
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Gluten free--there's an ap for that http://glutenfreepassport.com/apps/gluten-free-chicago/
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:06 AM
Atomic Mama Atomic Mama is offline
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If you don't make it to Buddy Guy's, I recommend Rosa's (West Side, NOT walking distance), B.L.U.E.S. & Kingston Mines on Halsted (easy El ride north), or Lee's Unleaded Blues (South Side, NOT walking distance, but one of the last neighborhood blues joints). Best record shop: the Jazz Record Mart!
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2012, 08:30 PM
gardentraveler gardentraveler is offline
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The Art Institute and the Field are my two favorite museums. They're both amazing. I've walked from the Field all the way up Michigan to somewhere past the Tribune Tower. I like walking because there's always something to see and it gives me a feel for the size of the city.

But as others have said, there are buses that are easy to hop onto if you're not interested in walking (or don't have the time).

I'll second the recommendation to go to the Chicago Cultural Center. It's free and a nice place to stop if you're walking up Michigan Avenue from the Art Institute to the Magnificent Mile. Looks like they have free tours if you're interested. The first time I visited they had a really cool art exhibit; definitely check out events there. I'm pretty sure they have free wi-fi there as well.

I'd also recommend taking one of the architectural cruise tours. I think this is the one we've taken. If you're interested in architecture at all and the weather is reasonable, it'll be well worth the time and money.

Have fun. It's a great city to visit.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:08 PM
Cheryl44 Cheryl44 is offline
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These are the real architecture tours http://www.architecture.org/
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:22 PM
beagledave beagledave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
The Art Institute is on the east side of "The Loop" (named for the elevated trains that meet up on a looped track over downtown streets). Most dining options in the Loop will be within walking distance of the Art Institute.
Guess I'll be the pedantic one

The name "Loop" predates the elevated trains.
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:58 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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My first trip to Chicago was Memorial Day weekend in 2008. The museums were PACKED with children on school trips. PACKED. The Shedd, the Field...all stuffed with kids, many clutching information-scavenger-hunt papers. We hit the Navy pier early and by the time we left, there was a sea of school buses parked three deep out in front. We had to walk a good long way to get past them all to get a cab. I have pictures, but I won't bore you with them. So if you'd like time and quiet to contemplate exhibits....Memorial Day is not the optimal time.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2012, 01:22 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittenblue View Post
My first trip to Chicago was Memorial Day weekend in 2008. The museums were PACKED with children on school trips. PACKED. The Shedd, the Field...all stuffed with kids, many clutching information-scavenger-hunt papers. We hit the Navy pier early and by the time we left, there was a sea of school buses parked three deep out in front. We had to walk a good long way to get past them all to get a cab. I have pictures, but I won't bore you with them. So if you'd like time and quiet to contemplate exhibits....Memorial Day is not the optimal time.
I'll second that emotion. I live in the heart of Chicago, and often feel OVERRUN with tourists. Not that I'm complaining, mind you; their money helps to fund our addiction to corrupt politicians. But I do try to avoid tourist attractions during high-tourist-holiday, and I recommend that savvy tourists do the same....
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2012, 11:16 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Went to NYC for Memorial Day but have this planned for Labor Day. Flying into O'Hare, staying in a hotel near the Art Institute.

Thanks again for the tips, welcome any new ones based on the revised timing.
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2012, 02:05 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Are you a baseball fan? The Cubs are even worse than usual this year, but that doesn't mean you should pass up the chance to see a game at beautiful Wrigley Field. I see tickets on StubHub at less than face value for the Friday-to-Sunday Giants series, all day games.

(Don't drive. Walk to the nearest Red Line stop and it'll drop you just outside the right-field corner.)

Last edited by Wheelz; 08-16-2012 at 02:06 PM..
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2012, 10:00 AM
eenerms eenerms is offline
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Buy a CTA (public transport) there are bus lines that go to the museum areas.
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  #21  
Old 08-18-2012, 10:27 AM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Perhaps the Citypass?

I'm buying one for when my out of state friend comes to visit.
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  #22  
Old 08-18-2012, 12:38 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Baseball would be fun but an afternoon game takes a large chunk of time from museums. A city pass worked well in NYC and I've purchased a 3 day CTA pass via Groupon for $5 off.

Any recommendations for Navy Pier. They have fireworks on Saturday evening.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2012, 12:53 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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This may be blasphemy but as a lifelong Chicagoan I find Navy Pier a bore. Thereís a nice atrium garden, if you have kids the Childrenís Museum is very good, and thereís plenty to eat and drink but thereís nothing to really do. Itís nice to see. A walk around the pier is great for taking in the Chicago skyline but frankly Iím bored of the place after about an hour. Itís a nice place to go for events like a play at the Shakespeare Theater or a concert but just hanging out there never held any magic for me. I suppose if youíve never been there itís worth an hour or two to check it out.
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2012, 07:27 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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I agree, actually. Navy Pier is a pretty much a glorified shopping mall. Nice place for a walk, yes, but unless you're getting on a boat or seeing a show... meh.
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2012, 08:47 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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If my wife really wants to see "Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon" then we'll dine at the Navy Pier, see the show, stay for fireworks. Otherwise we'll skip that one.
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  #26  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:27 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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I always enjoy Navy Pier. The people watching is great, the views of the city are breathtaking, the food court is awesome. There is usually some sort of band playing somewhere along the dock. The beer garden is a perfect place to waste an hour or two. Have you checked out the Stained Glass museum? Very interesting stuff.

I wouldn't want to spend all day on the Pier, but I always have a good time when I go there.
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  #27  
Old 08-20-2012, 07:58 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I always enjoy Navy Pier. The people watching is great, the views of the city are breathtaking, the food court is awesome. There is usually some sort of band playing somewhere along the dock. The beer garden is a perfect place to waste an hour or two. Have you checked out the Stained Glass museum? Very interesting stuff.

I wouldn't want to spend all day on the Pier, but I always have a good time when I go there.
I didn't mean to say I hate it, 2 hours there can be fun - but don't plan on making a day of it.
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  #28  
Old 09-03-2012, 04:40 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Thanks for all of the tips. We spent most of Saturday at the Art Institute and most of Sunday between the Field and Shedd. We did the tourist thing with the Hancock Tower on Saturday afternoon and the Willis on Sunday. The Flat Top Grill Stir Fry was close to our hotel and accommodated the gluten restriction. I'm sure we could have done better with one of the steakhouses.
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