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The Travel Map -

North Michigan Ave - Chicago

June 25th 2008 00:33
Chicago is referred to as the windy city and it became obvious why as soon as I stepped out of the airport and into the wind that seemed to whistle around head bringing tears to my eyes. Still, it is a fantastic city and well worth a visit.
After checking into our hotel, we decided to visit the John Hancock Building in the heart of the tourist district to get an overview of the city from the observation floor. However, our taxi driver told us instead of paying to go up to the observatory deck, go to the Signature Bar on the 94th floor, and have a drink the view is just as good. The cost of a drink is about the same price as admission to the observation deck but you do get a drink as well. On one side you get a great view of the city, on the other you can see the beachfront along Lake Michigan.

View from John Hancock centre
View from John Hancock building

If you want to say you have visited the world’s second tallest building (tallest up until 2004) you can try the Sears Tower. The Sears tower is expensive and the queues are long, and I do not think the view is as good. The Sears tower is located in Chicago’s financial district - 233 South Wacker Drive. The John Hancock building is located in the heart of the tourist district – 875 North Michigan Avenue.

After visiting the John Hancock building take a stroll along the rest of Michigan Ave, referred to as the ‘Magnificent Mile’ you can spend a whole day just checking out the amazing architecture. Some of the best sights include the the Wrigley Building, Old Water Tower, and Pumping station. There are also great restaurants cafes and entertainment on the street or streets nearby.

Old water tower
Old Water tower

This street is also a shopper’s paradise starting at the corner of Michigan and Chicago Ave walk toward Adams St. You can spend a whole day shopping or browsing without getting bored. Check out the eight storey-shopping complex - Water Tower Place with over 100 stores and eateries.

Chicago is also known for its own unique style pizza that is definitely worth trying. True Chicago pizza is deep-dish style with a buttery crust, a lot of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Many pizza restaurants serve this style of pizza. If this sounds too much for you though, there are plenty of places that offer the standard thin crust variety.

Chicago is a beautiful city full of interesting architecture whether you are viewing it from the John Hancock building or at street level. Visit during the summer months June – August otherwise it can be very cold and windy. The summer months can be hot (up to 32 degrees) but pack a couple of warm things to put on. I was there in August and we had a couple of days of cold winds.

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