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Old 02-12-2009, 11:44 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,144 times
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Hi, 1st time poster, long term lurker. My wife and I will be traveling to Chicago to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary February 20th. We currently live in Houston and this will be our first real trip to Chicago together. We picked Chicago since we've done New York before and we decided we'd pick another cold weather big city. Living in the south I've always had a desire to experience winter weather in the north.

We will be staying at the Sofitel water tower place. I figured this would be the best place to get good advice on the city. We would like to do some of the typical tourist stuff like mag mile, signature room at the John Hancock Tower (for drinks only) and maybe a museum.

1. How much would a cab ride cost from Ohare to downtown? (we will be getting in around 6pm and would rather cab it instead of the train. Probably take the train back to the airport Sunday)

2. Any night life areas around the Hotel? Looking for a lounge type environment or jazz club.

3. Restaurants? Any recommendations for any good food in the area. Wanna stay away from the PF changs, fogo de chao, cheescake factory chains. Can get that in Houston. Would rather have more local restaurants.

4. Pizza? Would like to try an authentic deep dish pizza. Any ideas?

5. Explore Neighborhoods - We would like to get away from the touristy areas and experience the real chicago. Any areas close to the el (in a safe area) that we can explore.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:18 PM
 
2,329 posts, read 6,305,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
2. Any night life areas around the Hotel? Looking for a lounge type environment or jazz club.
There are lougney places all over. If you want a legit jazz club to see music, you should go to the Jazz Showcase. Its not necessarily in your immediate area, but worth the short trip
J A Z Z S H O W C A S E - C H I C A G O
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:30 PM
 
1,367 posts, read 5,491,690 times
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You will have a great time in Chicago!

For pizza I would suggest Giordano's. I know everyone has their favorite, but this is the place that most people miss when they move away and is local to the area.
Giordano's World Famous Stuffed Pizza (http://www.giordanos.com/main.php - broken link)

I'm not sure about nightlife near the hotel, but I would highly recommend make the trip to the uptown neighborhood one night to go to Green Mill. Great jazz, great drinks! It's NOT in a fancy area, but is safe for a night out and you may have fun seeing a different side of the city.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

Other stuff to check out... I highly recommend going to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory. Even if it's a little cold it's really fun to visit a zoo in the city, and the conservatory is amazing any time of year. If it's snowing, even better, the park will be beautiful! It's right near the lakeshore, you'll get good views of the city and the lake if you want. After the zoo, head over to the North Pond restaurant tucked away in the park!
Welcome To North Pond Restaurant | 2610 N. Cannon Drive Chicago IL 60614 (http://www.northpondrestaurant.com/index.cfm - broken link)
http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/45aa3ed2-7c6f-4461-83b2-29cb991637e6.cfm (broken link)

If you like older architecture and want to check out a different neighborhood, head down to Hyde Park where the University of Chicago is. The campus is gorgeous, there are neighborhood shops and restaurants nearby. There are some bad neighborhoods around it, but Hyde Park is nice. The Museum of Science and Industry is near there and the whole area played a big part in Chicago's history. Also, there's an outdoor ice rink on Midway right by the University if you're into that... much less crowded than the Millenium Park rink.

Hope this helps, have a great trip!
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago
4,681 posts, read 9,601,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Hi, 1st time poster, long term lurker. My wife and I will be traveling to Chicago to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary February 20th. We currently live in Houston and this will be our first real trip to Chicago together. We picked Chicago since we've done New York before and we decided we'd pick another cold weather big city. Living in the south I've always had a desire to experience winter weather in the north.

We will be staying at the Sofitel water tower place. I figured this would be the best place to get good advice on the city. We would like to do some of the typical tourist stuff like mag mile, signature room at the John Hancock Tower (for drinks only) and maybe a museum.

1. How much would a cab ride cost from Ohare to downtown? (we will be getting in around 6pm and would rather cab it instead of the train. Probably take the train back to the airport Sunday)

2. Any night life areas around the Hotel? Looking for a lounge type environment or jazz club.

3. Restaurants? Any recommendations for any good food in the area. Wanna stay away from the PF changs, fogo de chao, cheescake factory chains. Can get that in Houston. Would rather have more local restaurants.

4. Pizza? Would like to try an authentic deep dish pizza. Any ideas?

5. Explore Neighborhoods - We would like to get away from the touristy areas and experience the real chicago. Any areas close to the el (in a safe area) that we can explore.

Thanks for the suggestions.

To be honest with you - I would really recommend switching it up, and taking the train Friday, cabbing it sunday. Friday night heading into the city traffic can be pretty bad. I'd guess you're looking at a $45-50 fare w/o tip, possibly higher.

If you take the train to Clark/Lake, you should be able to grab a cab outside the station no problem, and it will be a 5 min trip to the hotel.

But it's up to you.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:19 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,144 times
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Great thanks for suggestions. Buddy of mine recommended taking the train into the city also, our hotel is 2 blocks away from the Chicago stop on the red line so we'll transfer from the blue line to red line at washington.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Roscoe Village Chicago, IL
308 posts, read 719,267 times
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Default I will try my best....

First off, the Sofitel Hotel...crazy building! I mean that in a good way. I have always seen it and thought it was a cool looking building. It gets bigger as it goes higher.

Anyways, that's also a good spot in terms of being around attractions.

1) Giordanos has the best pizza around. I know that some might argue that it's a little like a chain considering there are a few, but it's delicious. Best deep dish around. Deep dish with sausage is amazing! And it's a short walk from your hotel.

2) All of these areas, in terms of restaurants, are close to the El - Greektown, Chinatown, and with a few blocks to walk, Little Italy. All of them have wonderful restaurants.

3) Wrigleyville is another area I think is awesome (I am a Cubs fan so that helps). But it's cool seeing the stadium, looking inside of it from the hole in the wall off of Sheffield, also some decent restaurants in the area (not just bars and bar food).

4) Also something worth thinking about is checking out a comedy club. I hear Second City is awesome. I have been to Improv Olympic which is right on Belmont not far at all from the El and that is by far my favorite of the comedy clubs.

5) About two blocks from your hotel, just make sure to walk by here...just in case your wife or any family members are not sure what to buy you for a birthday or Christmas.

Bentley Gold Coast -
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Chicago
4,681 posts, read 9,601,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Great thanks for suggestions. Buddy of mine recommended taking the train into the city also, our hotel is 2 blocks away from the Chicago stop on the red line so we'll transfer from the blue line to red line at washington.
All the better. The only reason I didn't suggest that was because I thought you guys were apprehensive about walking/transferring w/luggage.

It's definitely the way to go at that time of night. Getting off the plane to sit in traffic for an hour is never fun. Sitting in traffic while watching the meter's steady rise is even worse.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Roscoe Village Chicago, IL
308 posts, read 719,267 times
Reputation: 190
The train at O'Hare is the blue line so you will have to go to the city and then switch to the red line. It will take about an hour or so, but to be honest, that might be quicker than 6 p.m. rush hour. And a hell of a lot cheaper!
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,585 posts, read 25,696,173 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Great thanks for suggestions. Buddy of mine recommended taking the train into the city also, our hotel is 2 blocks away from the Chicago stop on the red line so we'll transfer from the blue line to red line at washington.
Washington is closed right now (and will be for a long time.) You have to transfer at Jackson.

Maybe you should just get off at Chicago and then take the Chicago bus (or take a cab from there)...
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:43 PM
 
232 posts, read 954,544 times
Reputation: 179
typhoon
2. Any night life areas around the Hotel? Looking for a lounge type environment or jazz club.

Well guess what? Your Hotel just happens to be two blocks from Rush Street, anyone familiar with Chicago, will tell you Rush Street is Chicago's most happening & bustling party strip!!

You're looking for Jazz? Check out, The Back Room, 1007 N Rush St.

This nearly hidden jazz club attracts savvy locals and visitors with nightly shows and an attitude befitting its affluent neighborhood.

Have fun in Chi-Town, the best fun city in America.

Last edited by PacificWest; 02-12-2009 at 09:59 PM..
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