Last Memorial Day weekend, I made my way to Chicago. What was planned as a full day in The Windy City ended up been 24 hours in Chicago sightseeing and treating ourselves to very delicious and indulgent meals. There are so many things to do in the third largest city of the United States that my 24 hours there didn’t make it any justice, so I shall be back. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you my 24 hours in Chicago to hopefully inspire your own itinerary when visiting The Second City!
We arrived on Memorial Day at Union Station from Round Lake and decided to walk from there to Millennium Park where the famous art Sculpture, The Bean, is. This park is so beautiful! We loved seeing the interactive fountain designed for people to play in the water. When we finally made it to The Bean, after a shopping detour, we sat down at one of the picnic tables to enjoy a lunch we had packed, the sun, people watching and finally taking pictures in front of the mirrored sculpture.
After all the walking, sightseeing, and that impromptu shopping stop, we were ready for dinner, and by dinner, I mean Stuffed Crust Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza at Giordano’s. The pizza takes 45 minutes to be ready, so we happily waited with an Italian Margarita and spontaneously booking a hotel room. Spoiler alert! The pizza was delicious and it took every inch of will power in me to not devour the entire thing. (PS: You can buy a frozen pie to take home with you!) We scored a great hotel deal through Hotwire, and stayed at the Best Western Grant Park, where we got upgraded to a park facing room and enjoyed a pretty epic view of the city, park, sunset and sunrise.
The next day we were on a mission to see as much as possible before heading back to Round Lake. We took a walk to the Chicago Cultural Center, a beautiful building where you can admire rotating art exhibits, plus the amazing architecture, all for free. We also caught a pianist playing live for visitors in one of the rooms!
After we were done, we ordered a Lyft ride to head to the Lincoln Park Zoo. We didn’t get to see everything as we got caught up under a rainstorm (lesson learned: always travel with an umbrella!) and the zoo closes at 5pm. So, after running around under the rain, we ordered another Lyft ride to end our Chicago visit with ‘The Slayer’ burger at Kuma Too, a restaurant we got inspired to try after a wine infused night spent watching Guy Fieri on ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’.
There’s a pretty long list of things I would have liked to see and do in The Windy City. However, for an impromptu 24 hours in Chicago on a budget, I’d say this was a pretty successful and fun trip. I shall be back, Chicago! Read my research post on things to do in Chicago and be sure to share any Chicago stories with me on a comment.
Looking for more things to do in Chicago? Check out this list of the 30 best things to do in Chicago suggested by local Airbnb hosts.