My husband and I had been to Vegas multiple times. We went this year to celebrate my grandparent's 50th anniversary. I suggested we make the trip a two-parter, we thought of places we both haven't been and that's how we came up with Chicago.
Now, I'm not going to lie, Chicago was never on the very top of my travel list. I always thought it would be neat, but it wasn't a super strong desire. It was a new place for me and for my husband, so I searched and Pinterested for months figuring out what to do, where to eat, where to go and we did maybe about 2 things out of the 40 things I saved. But it was still a good time.
Where We Went
One of the great things about Chicago is that there are so many free things to do. We ventured out to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is a completely. It was a pretty nice sized zoo with plenty of animals to "ooo" and "ahhh" at and take pictures of. Right next the zoo is the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which is like a good sized greenhouse building. We checked out the National Museum of Mexican Art, which was pretty neat and had a traveling Instagram experience while we were there. There are also a handful of beautiful parks to walk around at, including Millennium park where they have the bean and free summer night concerts. We also found ourselves underneath the Chicago bridges at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. And we finished our Saturday with a great fireworks display at Navy Pier that looks off onto Lake Michigan.
Of course, we did things that did cost money. We had to go to the Field Museum to see Sue a.k.a. the worlds most complete T-Rex. That was actually a pretty awesome museum that you can easily spend 3+ hours at. We also took a very relaxing boat ride with a great view of the cityscape. Walking through the miracle mile, you just cannot not want to shop! My husband and I both bought clothes from the Japanese environmentally conscience store that's so unqie, it's called Uniqlo!
Stay and Getting Around
We took the train for mostly everywhere in Chicago. It was quick a convenient. If you're thinking of going to Chicago, we actually used the 3-day pass, which was perfect for us and we were able to use it for the train and the bus, which we did ride a few times.
We used Airbnb for Chicago and ended up finding a pretty nice place in the cute neighborhood of Berwyn. Granted, the night of the fireworks was a pain to get home, as all the buses were so filled and I just wanted to get to the room. Even though I loved the neighborhood we were in and enjoyed getting a feel for how actual Chicago people lived, I would choose to stay int he downtown area if I were to come again. Probably.(if you use this code, you can get $40 off your first Airbnb stay: https://www.airbnb.com/c/amandag3030?currency=USD)
The food in Chicago was excellent! I absolutely did not eat something in Chicago that was gross. We tried Portillos, which is a chain in Chicago with some good Chicago style hotdogs. They also served tamales. Tamales were everywhere. We also tried the famous deep dish pizza at Giordano's. I never tried deep-dish pizza before and it was pretty good! Supper filling, so if you are traveling as a two sum, a small will be just find. On our last night we tried Cindy's Rooftop bar, suggested by one of my friends. The place is on top of a hotel and the menu changes pretty frequently. We had this big trout on top of pinto beans with this green salsa and I know that doesn't sound pleasant, but it was pretty freakin good.