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6 days in Chicago

Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
1 review
6 days in Chicago

Husband and I will be in Chicago for 6 days at the end of May. We are staying downtown (palmer House). We are seniors, fairly active and want to see as much as we can. Here's the tentative plan. Art Institute, Navy pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Cultural Center, Grant Park, Millennium Park, CAF tour, Willis Tower, Museum of Science and Industry, Cubs game. Is this too much to do?(sounds like a lot to me!) Would a tour of some kind be a better way to get around? We plan to use Uber or a taxi as well. Any suggestions on how to best arrange our time? Thank you for any suggestions.

12 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,827 posts
172 reviews
1. Re: 6 days in Chicago

You've identified 9 sites/ activities that you plan to do over "6" days -- maybe closer to "4" or "5" days depending on whether you are including your dates of arrival and departure, and how much time you will have on those days. On average, each of the activities that you have identified will likely occupy 1/2 day -- some more (like MSI) and some are easily combined into 1/2 day together, like Grant Park, Millenium Park and the Cultural Center. So, no, this seems like a feasible plan for people who describe themselves as "fairly active."

I am not a "tour" kind of person, so would rarely choose a tour over exploring independently. And, your location at the Palmer House makes it very easy to explore on your own. The Art Institute, Cultural Center, Millenium Park, Grant Park, Willis Tower, and dock for the CAF River Cruise (which I assume is the CAF tour you are taking) are all easily reached on foot from your hotel. The best way to get to Wrigley Field, especially on a game day when the car traffic near the ballpark is very congested, is to take the Red Line of the El, which you can pick up on State St., by the Palmer House. You will probably want to take an Uber or cab to the MSI, Navy Pier is not far from the dock for the CAF cruise; depending on the time of the cruise, you could visit NP before or after.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,134 posts
284 reviews
2. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Google Maps will be your friend... it will give you point-to-point public transportation/walking directions. Use it now to get a sense of where your desired activities are... then you can plan out better which to group together.

If you're going to the Cubs game, make sure to get tickets from a reputable source... either directly from the team or from StubHub.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
18,421 posts
140 reviews
3. Re: 6 days in Chicago

The only thing on your list that will take the majority of a day is The Museum of Science and Industry which is 7 miles south of downtown and, IMHO, not easy to reach on city transit. The Lincoln Park Zoo is an easy bus ride away. The concierge at The Palmer House can give specific directions or you can do it yourself using Google Maps.

Chicago
Level Contributor
8,884 posts
81 reviews
4. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Grant Park is right next to Millennium Park and the Art Institute is inside Millenium Park. And the Cultural Center is right across the street from Millenium Park and your hotel is a 5 minute walk to Millenium Park. So you are good for all that. The zoo should be on your way to Wrigley Field...it’s a small zoo, maybe an hour or so to get through unless you want to introduce yourself to ever animal. MSI is far, and it’s big, so planon spending pretty much an entire day down there. I would also pack a snack lunch to bring to the museum as there is nowhere close to eat outside the museum and the cafeteria gets super crowded at lunch time.

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57,444 posts
67 reviews
5. Re: 6 days in Chicago

If you’re going to the MSI on/after Memorial Day = https://www.transitchicago.com/bus/10/ = direct bus.

Check the calendar at www.choosechicago.com for special events going on here during your visit.

Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
1 review
6. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and an idea of "the lay of the land". Your suggestions will be put to good use as my planning continues. Chicago has been on my bucket list a long time and we are so excited to visit. Up next .. places to eat! We want to stay fairly close to the Palmer House and we're not fancy eaters, just tasty and moderately priced! Any favorites? Again, thank you all so much for your ideas..

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57,444 posts
67 reviews
7. Re: 6 days in Chicago

https://www.revivalfoodhall.com/

You can plug your hotel into Google Maps and do restaurant searches.

Why are you limiting yourselves to options near your hotel? Head out and explore wonderful neighborhood dining spots.

Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
1 review
8. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Good point! Guess we can take a cab anywhere. We are open to suggestions, and would appreciate some good options...Thanks in advance.

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57,444 posts
67 reviews
9. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Check out www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicagomag.com for the current dining scene. Both sites have restaurant search tools.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4,321 posts
82 reviews
10. Re: 6 days in Chicago

Vicki H,

" tasty and moderately priced" doesn't give us much to go on to recommend something specific. "Moderately priced" might mean something different in Chicago (especially downtown Chicago) than Clearwater. So if you could narrow things down a bit by providing cuisines and a price range that would help...

Also scroll through a few pages of threads on this forum...where to eat is not an uncommon question. There are also a couple of "Top Questions" dealing with food and drink on the right hand side of the forum (full website only, not phone app).

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