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One Day In Chicago

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Chicago in 24 hours is tough but not impossible. Though the city offers visitors enough to see, taste, and do to fill at least a week, if you're cramped for time, you can still squeeze in quintessential Chicago and the top city icons by sticking to the Loop (Downtown) and Lakefront areas. And if you're really ambitious, there are a couple of places worth checking out away from the tourist path too...

Good for
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

5 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

5 Places

Doughnut Vault

Restaurants

Millennium Park

Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas

Lakefront Trail

Biking Trails, Hiking Trails

The Magnificent Mile

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Garfield Park Conservatory

Historic Sites, Gardens

TawannaCB's City Tips

  • Dining in Chicago can be expensive. For those on a budget, delis and pizza spots are the most reasonably-priced options.
  • Chicago is relatively easy to get around. Taking a cab is the fastest option (it's standard to tip 15% of the fare).
  • For a more affordable option, take public transportation. Hop on the 'L' (elevated train) or the bus — one-day unlimited passes are available.
  • If you're visiting Chi-Town during the late fall and winter months, dress for brisk and cold weather — hats, scarves, gloves, and a warm outer layer.
  • Save
    Doughnut Vault
    Restaurants (American, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Doughnut Vault offers some of the largest doughnuts you'll ever see in your life! This is a great place in which to start off your day and grab a quick doughnut and cup of coffee to go. Prices are higher that usual here, with flavors like chestnut glazed and peanut butter jelly to savor, and doughnuts the size of burgers — but these aren't your average doughnuts!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Get here by 9.30am — flavors go fast and once they sell out, they close for the day.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 5,981 restaurants in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Yum! 16/10/2017
    • Mmmm! Best Doughnuts in Chicago 13/10/2017
    • Doughnut Vault
    Address:
    401 N Franklin St.
    Chicago, IL 60654-4902
    Phone:
    +1 312-285-2830
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$3
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    08:00 - 14:00
    Sat - Sun
    09:30 - 14:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Millennium Park
    Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    One of Chicago's largest green spaces, Millennium Park is filled with public art and offers free events and activities, including ice-skating during the winter. You can't visit here without stopping off at the 'Bean' — more formally known as 'Cloud Gate' — for a photo or two. It's a massive stainless steel structure and a true Chicago icon.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hungry/thirsty/cold? Visit the Park Grill restaurant for good eats and warm drinks.
    • While you're in the area, walk over to Lurie Garden and enjoy a lush escape from the concrete.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 662 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A stroll in the park 23/10/2017
    • A Beautiful Park, Love the Bean 22/10/2017
    • Millennium Park
    Address:
    201 East Randolph Street
    Between Michigan Avenue & Columbus Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60601-6530
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-1168
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Lakefront Trail
    Biking Trails, Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    The Lakefront Trail is one of the best locations in the city to take in Chicago’s picturesque skyline and architecture. Runners, bikers, and walkers populate the trail in search of fitness or just a leisurely time outdoors. Enjoy firework displays, boats cruising along the lakefront or some interesting people-watching as you stroll along the water.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Rent a bike and take your time riding the trail while exploring your surroundings.
    • Wear comfortable shoes on the trail and be sure to watch your step in some areas.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 662 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hard to beat the beauty 22/10/2017
    • WALK, BIKE. A GREAT WAY TO SEE THE WATERFRONT AND GET SOME EXERCISE. 20/10/2017
    • Lakefront Trail
    Address:
    540 N Lake Shore Dr
    Chicago, IL 60611-3414
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-7529
    Other:
  • Save
    The Magnificent Mile
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Michigan Avenue is the retail heartbeat of Chicago, with The Magnificent Mile stretch being its historic center. Here you can experience shopping, dining, and entertainment all in one place. It's also a good place to get in some local people-watching!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Michigan Avenue North is where you'll find all the shopping; Michigan Avenue South is great for checking out historic Chicago skyscrapers.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 662 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Magnificent! 22/10/2017
    • Beautiful walk to see all the fancy shops in town 22/10/2017
    • The Magnificent Mile
    Address:
    North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Phone:
    +1 312-642-3570
    Other:
  • Save
    Garfield Park Conservatory
    Historic Sites, Gardens
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    One of serveral free things to do in Chicago, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a peaceful detour from the more touristy attractions in town. There are several rooms to visit — many with varying climates to accommodate the plants — plus a neat mix of art, sculptures, gardens, colorful tropical plants, and an indoor lake to explore.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Visit during the winter or summer to get a much-needed break from the weather outside. There's at least one room in the Conservatory that will have a climate to your liking!
    • You'll need to take a car, cab, or 'L' to get there if you're staying downtown.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 662 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see in Chicago 22/10/2017
    • Wow! 08/10/2017
    • Garfield Park Conservatory
    Address:
    300 N Central Park Ave
    Chicago, IL 60624-1996
    Phone:
    +1 312-746-5100
    Hours:
    Wed
    09:00 - 20:00
    Thu - Tue
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
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