Seniors Travel to Chicago

Sep 21st, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

There’s no better way to explore Chicago using the city’s official tourism site than by taking advantage of the multitude of attractions, events, tours, and recreational activities happening throughout the city, every single day. Whether you’re in town for business or vacation travel, you’ll never be bored with so many things to do in Chicago! 

My wife and I enjoy just walking up and down Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile (MM).  We put in bids with Priceline.com for an upscale hotel on the MM for around $75.  We have “scored” each time and enjoy the wonderful ambiance of a five star hotel right in the middle of the city such as The Palmer House and The Wyndam.  Super hotels.  We enjoyed sitting in the lobby of the famed The James and watching people.  What a delight.  Pick out a neat hotel here.  Good luck on your bid. And top restaurants… try one of these. We just loved the Grand Lux on the second story located on the MM and it’s not all that expensive.

The best Magnificent Mile Restaurants:

  • Grand Lux Cafe
  • Bandera
  • Billy Goat Tavern
  • Mike Ditka’s Restaurant
  • Rosebud on Rush
  • Heaven on Seven
  • Wow Bao
  • Lawry’s the Prime Rib
  • The Purple Pig
  • Friends Sushi

Enjoy the Chicago River, the Wrigley Tower, the many upscale stores, the many famous restaurants and of course Water Tower Place. At the pinnacle of Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place is Chicago’s premier shopping destination, featuring the largest number of stores exclusive to Chicago. Its stunning eight-level atrium features Macy’s and American Girl Place and more than 100 stores including Forever 21, adidas Sport Performance Store, Billabong, Tourneau, Sephora, Pandora, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bare Escentuals, Teavana; plus unique dining experiences like Mity Nice Grill, Freshii, and foodlife. It offers a unique, high-energy urban shopping experience you simply won’t find anywhere else in the city. American Girl Place is just awesome, even for us seniors.  If you don’t know about this store, be sure to hit this site.

Hersheys is also a must stop. Hershey’s Chicago at 822 N. Michigan Avenue, knew exactly what they were doing when they picked their location. Situated across from the historic Water Tower and in the heart of Michigan Avenue shopping, it’s the perfect place to offer up as a bribe when dragging junior around from boutique to boutique.  Chocoholics Haven… and it is always packed with people. Don’t miss the Cheesecake Factory at 875 N. Michigan Ave. at the foot of the Hancock Tower.  The menu of the Cheesecake Factory takes the form of a small book (seriously). It’s a slightly manageable 15 pages, making for a rather painful process of deciding what to eat. Entrees run $10-$15, and include everything from double BBQ bacon cheeseburgers and chicken marsala to filet mignon and grilled chicken tostada salad. If none of those items get your mouth a-waterin’, no worries. There are hundreds more items to choose from (15 pages, remember?).  Of course the former Sears Tower is a must climb.  It is now called the Willis Tower.
 
Make your first stop one of the official Visitor Centers, located at Chicago Water Works, 163 E. Pearson St., or the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street.  Pick up helpful brochures and travel maps, or talk with one of their friendly, knowledgeable visitor services representatives to make the most of your visit!  Here’s another site with all you will find helpful in the “Windy City”.

This site map must have just about every possible place to visit in Chicago.  You will spend hours and hours just searching.  With more than 7300 restaurants in Chicago, there’s sure to be one to suit every taste, budget and mood.  Of course on is obligated to try a Chicago-style hot dog and a world famous Chicago Deep Pan Pizza.  A simple search will turn up a plethora of posts on this very topic. All depends on what kind of pizza you are looking for (thin, deep dish, etc), where you are in Chicago and what kind of transportation you have. Suffice it to say that Lou M’s is one of the better places around, along with Uno,  Due (meaning one and two), Gino’s East, Bacino’s, Giordano’s and Home Run Inn, Aurelio’s, Vito & Nick’s, Father & Son, Candlelite, Barnaby’s, and countless others (first group primarily for deep dish/stuffed, second group for thin). Lots of personal opinions on the pizza places on this site.

If you love theater, Chicago is “your kind of town.”  My wife and I enjoy picking up the special Hot Tix tickets the day of the performance at greatly discount prices. Hot Tix Chicago was put together by The League of Chicago Theatres, a not-for-profit service that offers a half-price discount on Chicago theater tickets to shows at participating theaters and venues. The tickets inventory updates constantly throughout the day (current listings available at Hot Tix locations and on their website), so a little bit of luck is involved in terms of getting tickets to your desired play/show. Chicago tourism is synonymous with spectacular theater, gourmet dining, world-class museums and great shopping. If you want to see exciting Broadway shows, enjoy international cuisine, soak up beautiful panoramas and shop ëtil you drop, Chicago is definitely the place for you! Chicago tourism offers something for everyone – young and old.

We love Millenium Park which is right in the midst of all the action.  Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago.  It is bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North and Monroe Street to the South.  Cloud Gate is a magnificent, magical art piece that adds a great deal to Chicago and its people.  First of all, it looks like a timeless, but futuristic object that has magically transported here from some time in the distant future and also labeled “The Bean,” “The Chicago Bean,” “That Big Shiny Thing in Millennium Park.”  It is pretty cool and a must see.

As you can tell, I am having difficulty stopping with all the neat things to see and do in Chicago.  But let’s not bypass Navy Pier . For over 10 years, Navy Pier has been the place where all of Chicagoland and Tourists alike come together to enjoy all the fun and beauty of a day on Lake Michigan. Navy Pier is a tradition, and when you look at all there is to do and experience it’s easy to see why that tradition gets bigger and better every year! 

Lastly tours and cruises are great fun, especially those on the Illinois River and one out into Lake Michigan. Tours and attractions will provide you with a great selection of things to see and do:

  • Tours and Attractions Listings
  • Free Chicago Guides
  • Chicago On Tour
  • Unexpected Tours and Attractions
  • Play at the Pier
  • Get Out and Play
  • Affordable Chicago
  • GLBT Chicago
  • SCVNGR
  • High and Outside
  • Oktoberfest

I will this post with one of my favorite tours… Grey Line. I just love to take their tours in every major city I visit in the US.  You can’t go wrong with Grey Line. Enjoy Chicago.  jeb



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