Chicago in one day

By some strange coincidence, as I am planning a trip to Chicago a forum appears on a site I furtively frequent.

So for a visitor from 46 million feet away, what do you recommend I do in the day (and a half) of free time that I will have? Also, what will the weather be like in late March?

You might get lucky, but the weather is generally still pretty crappy in late March: 30s, 40s, and 50s; drizzle, maybe some snow, and certainly lots of mud. At least you won’t have to be tempted to attend opening day at Wrigley or Sox Park.

You could do a couple of museums superficially, or one really well: The Field, The Shedd Aquarium, the Platerium (all three are within walking distance of each other), the Museum of Science and Industry, or the Art Institute. Pick one based on your tastes.

You could visit some local restaurants and bars, of course. The River North area is littered with world-class dining and drinking establishments. You could shop on North Michigan Avenue, visit the observation deck at the Hancock or the Willis (nee Sears) Tower, or take the architecture boat tour on the River.

There are plenty of neighborhood tours, too, if you have a particular interest in a particular ethnic or otherwise specific neighborhood. You can also pick a guide book and do a self-guided walking tour.

Good cheesy fun: the Untouchables Tour, a black, bullet-ridden school bus whisks you around town to see various gangster landmarks, while costumed guides regale you with amazing tales of our gangland heritage.

There are several “pizza tours” also, which let you sample a variety of the city’s best offerings of various types of pizza. Also, the Chicago Food Planet tour is interesting.

Here is a bog entry with “Ten Perfect Chicago Experiences.” I’ve done just about all of them, and if they sound like your cup of tea, you can bet they will be fun.

Have a great trip! Let us know what you ended up doing, and how you liked it…

I’ve always had a great time in Chicago, whenever I go there. If it were me, and I wanted to make it a day of museums, which again, being me, I’d probably want to do, I’d choose the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute. Since you can’t do all of the Art Institute properly, I recommend the 19th-century French galleries. Seeing Seurat’s A Sunday On Grande Jatte in art books doesn’t do it justice, so you’ll definitely want to see that.

I know the Field is supposed to be about the second-best natural history museum in the country, after the American Natural History Museum in New York, but I didn’t think it had anything over the one in L.A. But this, again, is probably a matter of my tastes; I like Ice Age mammals and mineralogy/gemology, in both of which the L.A. museum has stellar collections.

Is the Berghof still there? The OP could have lunch there between museums.

The restaurant part of The Berghoff is gone, but the pub is still there, serving an abbreviated menu. Fine for lunch between tourist stops. (and I meant *Planetarium *in my previous post, not Platerium)

I thought the Berghoff had been restored as a restaurant? It was closed down several years ago, but then re-opened, unless it’s been closed again.

Anyway, the what to do depends on what you like. There are lots of fun tours, ranging from an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River, segway tours, bus tours. There’s lots of museums, there’s shopping.

Looks like a pretty full menu.

I didn’t know it was back! Good news for sure. Now can we get *Zum Deutchen Eck *and the *Golden Ox *back? Oh, and *Math Igler’s *while we’re at it, with the singing waiters!

Thanks for the info guys. I’m sure I’ll be able to keep myself entertained. Might even get one of these.

How about Schulien’s on Irving Park, which had magicians who would come to your table after dinner and do a little show.

Not to be missed: Smoque BBQ, 3800 N. Pulaski. Just got back from there. Best ribs I have ever had, bar none.

I agree with Mr. Z., but note it’s closed on Mondays. A group of us had planned to try it out a few years ago and after a great series of complex machinations, agreed to meet there for lunch one Monday. No dice. When we did finally get there when it was open, it was well worth the frustration, but not many "Nort side"joints still adhere to that older restaurant custom. This one does.