Last month when I was in Chicago for BlogHer13, I didn’t have much free time to explore the city. Wednesday through Saturday I was running around like a toddler after eating an entire bag of Oreos. Yes, I’m speaking from firsthand experience. Sunday was the only day I had to spend time sightseeing in Chicago downtown.
This wasn’t my first visit to the Windy City, but there’s so much to see and do, that I never get to everything. Friends, strangers, and family all said: you need to take an architectural river tour! Normally, I’d hop online, do some research, and make a plan to book a tour. Not this trip, things had been hectic all week, so I decided to wing it Sunday.
5 Things I Learned While Sightseeing in Chicago Downtown
I left the Hyatt McCormick Place on foot, and started walking, without a destination in mind. Several blocks into my adventure, I saw a few double decker tour buses drive by, and thought, that might be fun! I asked two young guys walking down the street, if there was a tour bus they would recommend. First lesson, just because you ask a local, doesn’t mean you should trust their opinion.
Check out the Ducks tour, it goes in the lake, river, and through the city, they said. So…I headed to Navy Pier, in search of Ducks!
Can you find the Duck boat in the photo? Lesson number two, there are no Duck tours in Chicago!
I could have taken an architectural river tour, but the clock was ticking, and I would have been racing to the airport to make my flight home. I settled for a Chicago dog at the Navy Pier food court, and continued walking towards downtown.
I was slightly lost when I walked past this 1966 Ford Good Humor ice cream truck. Something you should know about me, I get lost, A LOT, but I often either meet interesting people, or see some really cool things that are off the beaten path….like this truck! Lesson three, when sightseeing in Chicago, don’t just stick to the Magnificent Mile, check out some side streets too!
Eventually, I found my way back to Michigan Avenue, and the river.
I kept walking to The Bean, and stopped for some photos.
When I got to the face fountain, or the Crown Fountain in Millenium Park, my feet were screaming at me! My FitBit said I walked over six miles, in my cowboy boots, while wearing a 30 pound backpack. Actually, the FitBit just said the distance, but the rest is also true. Lesson four: cowboy boots were not made for walking long distances in downtown Chicago!
And finally lesson five, I love Chicago in the summertime. Note to self, in the summertime, not during the winter when snow is falling, and the windchill coming off the river , feels like ice running through my veins.
You can see more of Chicago,including great photos from the John Hancock Building, from a few other Texas bloggers:
What’s your favorite Chicago attraction?