Ever wonder what to see, hear, or experience in the city of Chicago? I have you covered with the best 5 things to experience for your first time in the city.
1. Riding the train into the city
Driving is rough; I would definitely NOT recommend it for your first time seeing the skyline. As someone who is still new to the whole ordeal, it's probably the most frightening thing you've ever witnessed if you haven't seen traffic before. The train is super relaxing; you don't have to worry about being surrounded by 100 cars, and the train allows you to see all kinds of people and suburbs. But finally, as you reach Union Station, seeing the sprawling city and the urban life is completely worth the 16-dollar round trip.
2. Navy Pier
If you take the train, the walk is a little long, but as someone who has never experienced the hustle and bustle of inner city life, it gives you a minute to calm down and get used to the scenery. The pier not only lets you see the entire city skyline in one moment, but you get to be next to Lake Michigan. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel while you are there — it's not only great for a new Instagram picture, but it's also fun to see the entire city. The lake showcases boats of all kinds, from yachts to sprawling ships, allowing you to see the rich and luxurious at its finest.
3. Magnificent Mile
The mile has the finest stores, from Tiffany & Co. to Burberry — take a walk down Michigan Avenue to get the full experience of luxury. Not only does it have some of the top fashion designers, but it does have your normal run-of-the-mill stores such as Forever 21 and Lush. The shops really out-do themselves with their displays and storefronts, giving you something to write home about.
4. The Signature Lounge at the 96th
If you're afraid of elevators then beware — this elevator takes you 95 stories into the air in 10 seconds. Once you reach the top, you enter a swanky lounge with a restaurant underneath. The restaurant is by reservation only, with a business casual dress code. But if you're willing to pay 10 dollars for a glass of orange juice to look at the entire city of Chicago, then look no further. The lounge showcases a large bar completely surrounded by glass, allowing a panoramic view of the entire city.
5. The Traditional Chicago Food
To top this trip off, you can never beat Portillo's or Giordano's. Traditional Chicago food makes the entire trip worth the cost and trouble. Portillo's cheese fries are to die for, not to mention Giordano's pizza. But you better be ready to wait for a pizza, as they take 45 minutes to make. You can find Portillo's all around the city and into the suburbs, but don't be afraid to try a cake shake. You won't regret it, even if it's not your style — not many people can say they've had a full slice of cake made into a shake for them.
In the end, a trip to the city is pretty much what you make of it; it can either be really expensive or relatively cheap. But just seeing the lights and feelings of the city makes the entire experience, all in one.