After leaving Indianapolis, Brad my friend from Australia and I completed our 2 week road trip across the heartland of America which had started in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, crossing into Ohio and Indiana before ending in the “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois (apart from a day trip to Milwaukee). So this is Part 6 of a series of photos of that journey showing cityscapes, famous places and some Man vs. Food meals along the way (score update Man: 6 Food: 1)! Of all the big cities in the US, Chicago is by far my favourite. I had not been there for 12 years and my fond memories of the past were reinforced upon my return!
The most impressive sights in Chicago are hard to miss. Take a walk along the Miracle Mile and Chicago River and just look up at the incredible architecture around you such as the Wrigley Building (built on the profits of chewing gum).
The two jewels in the crown of the Chicago cityscape are the huge Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) which is the tallest building in the United States (108 stories) and the John Hancock Centre which stands at 100 stories tall. Both have observatory levels (103rd floor for the Willis Tower and 94th floor for the Hancock Centre) which offer spectacular views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Try and arrive later in the day so you can transition from daylight to sunset and watch the city light up. Very impressive!
A nice little tip for the John Hancock Centre is to go to the 96th level bar – you get the same great view but do not have to pay the admission fee for the observation deck 2 floors below. Just take a seat, buy a drink (not cheap, but still a lot less than the admission fee) and enjoy the view.
Head just north of the city and take a stroll through Lincoln Park and enjoy the free zoo and gardens. They even have Kangaroos there!
Downtown Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain offer great views of the city and impressive sights on their own. If you like crowds check out the Navy Pier!
There are lots of museums and galleries to visit in Chicago but my favourite is to the south of the city; The Museum of Science and Industry. There are many rare and unique displays including a German World War Two Junkers Ju-87 Stuka diver bomber, which is one of only two complete airframes left in the world (the other is in the RAF Museum in the UK). And one of the most impressive things you will ever see in a museum – U-505 a captured German U-Boat from World War 2.
The hands on “Science Storms” exhibits at The Museum of Science and Industry are excellent too. They even have a Tesla Coil that generates lightning!
In regards to food in Chicago, well you can get anything you like there but you must try an Italian Beef in Little Italy. Head to Al’s #1 and get it dipped (soggy, but delicious). Then for your next meal have a salad to break things up! Once that unfortunate interlude is out-of-the-way, check out a famous Chicago deep dish pizza – try Gino’s East for an original tasty treat, albeit a very filling one (don’t try to eat one by yourself)! While in town also make sure you eat a Chicago Dog . They consist of a beef Frankfurter, white onions, sweet pickle, dill pickle, tomatoes, sport peppers and some celery salt. Yum!
Once you are done eating all that food, take a stroll along Lake Michigan and enjoy the view. Chicago, what a town!