A Day in Chicago
Chicago is a fantastic city to visit. If you only have 24 hours in Chicago to spent, we want you to make the most of it. Here are compiled a list of things to do and things to bring on your next trip to Chicago to enjoy the city. The people here are friendly, the food is delicious, and the architecture is fantastic. Of course, we recommend you spend as much time as you can enjoy the wonderful things that Chicago has to offer, but if you only have ONE day and really just want to experience the best of the best. Check out our Chicago Visitors Guide, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Chicago attractions.
Here are the things that you should bring with you when visiting Chicago:
Cash, an I.D., your phone
A refillable water bottle
Some healthy snacks to chop on like an apple or carrots.
COMFORTABLE walking shoes. (Don’t worry- Chicago won’t judge your sneakers.)
Layers- Chicago’s weather can be tricky. Check out the weather before your day hear and be prepared.
Now, here are the things that you can do and enjoy during your 24 hours visit in Chicago.
Breakfast in Chicago
It is a must that you start the day with some food, so you can easily accomplish this full day of Chicago fun! There are so many delicious breakfast-food places in the city. Our advice: find a place near your hotel or near your next activity so that you don’t waste time commuting. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it will give you a lot of energy for your walking trip in the City of Chicago.
Some of the restaurants that you can visit are:
ETA Restaurant + Bar
Batter & Berries
Stan's Donuts and Coffee
Elaine's Coffee Call
You can also visit this blog “Lincoln Park’s Favorites Breakfast Locale” for the complete list of the best restaurants to have breakfast in Lincoln Park and nearby neighborhood.
Visit Cultural Center Chicago
Cultural Center is across the street at Washington and Michigan. Most days it is open by 9am, on Sundays and Holidays they open at 10am and it’s free. At the bottom level, there is a visitor’s center with maps galore. You can use your smart phone as your map, we recommend you pick a folding map up here. This is also a great time to explore! Admission is free, you don’t need to pay anything. Check out the second floor to see a giant, beautiful glass Tiffany dome.
Millenium Park and Loop os the best place to do a side-trip. Taking a walking tour early on is always a great idea to better get to know a city, to meet a local guide and possibly some other nice travelers, and to gain some general orientation of Chicago. You will see the Chicago Theatre, Marshall Field’s, the Picasso, and the Sears Tower (aka Willis Tower). While learning the history of Chicago you will gaze up at the magnificent buildings and appreciate the architectural genius that is in Chicago’s concrete landscape. The tour ends at Millennium Park the famous sculpture “Cloudgate” (aka “The Bean”).
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Lunch! Lunch! Lunch!
After walking and traveling for the whole morning, I know that your stomach is already looking for food. We recommend heading over to Al’s Beef at 234 Wabash Ave. for a quick bite to eat. They have Chicago style hot dogs. The best hot dogs that is all beef dog, mustard, tomatoes, onions, relish, pickle, hot peppers, celery salt, a poppy seed bun, and remember, NO KETCHUP and Italian Beef Sandwiches. Although we call them Italian, this sandwich is certainly NOT from Italy.
Now, after recharging its time to continue the best day of your life.
If you are into Arts, one of the best place visit is the Art Institute and in a very short walk is Millennium Park at Michigan and Adams. It has the second largest collection of impressionistic art. Let’s leave the Chicago Loop and head north to see one of Chicago’s oldest buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1871: the Water Tower and Pumping Station – a real Chicago gem at Michigan and Chicago Streets. The Water Tower now hosts a series of rotating free exhibits and the Pumping Station is now the Looking Glass Theater. It’s free to visit and open daily except Holidays.
And if you are looking for Snack…
Eat the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
You can’t come to Chicago without trying the famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Our favorites are Pizzeria Uno’s at Wabash and Ohio and Gino’s East at Michigan and Superior. According to the Chicago Tribune newspaper, Uno’s is the original deep dish pizza. They have the best pizza in town and believe me, you will not forget the taste of this pizza.
Hancock Building and the Signature Lounge
If you want to get a bird’s eye perspective of Chicago, head to the Hancock building, 4th tallest building in Chicago at Michigan and Chestnut. We do recommend you visit the Observation Deck, it’s worth the ticket price and you can take great photos and enjoy the view. If you want to save yourself the admission fee though and instead spend the money on a cocktail or two instead, ride the elevator up to the 96th floor to the Signature Lounge.The Signature Lounge is a great place for cocktails and/or dessert. The food is wonderful but the view is unbeatable. Sip your cocktail while looking at the Sears Tower a.k.a Willis Tower. Even though the line to get into the bar can be long the wait is worth it. Also, attention ladies: use the ladies’ bathroom to enjoy the splendid views from the top.
After the whole day of traveling, it’s now time to PARTY!!!
Enjoy Chicago Improv OR Blues
For your last night, head to a Blues Club or venture down to an Improv Theatre. There are options for both that are only a few train stops away or just go ahead and treat yourself to a cab since you are only here for a day. For improv, one option is to head to the Second City at Wells and North Ave to see a late night show. Second City is famous for training some of the best comedians like Tina Fey, Mike Myers, and the Belushi Brothers. The closest Blues club would be Buddy Guys Legends at Wabash and Balbo. Either choice is a perfect end to a Chicago visit, especially because Chicago is known for the blues and improv.
While enjoying the City of Chicago, you will also discover amazing facts about the city. To guide you, you can read this article 20 Amazing Facts about Chicago. Enjoy and have fun!