After a night over gin and tonics at the infamous Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (known for being Al Capone's gin joint of choice back in the day), we planned the next day to discover the 'must see's' of Chicago. Our route started with walking around museum campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Soldier Field and led us through the city's most popular parks.
While we opted out of actually going inside of any of the museums in order to save money for the weeks of travel ahead, walking around the grounds was an attraction of its own! Growing up a few hours from Chicago I, at some point, had been to most of the attractions here, though was surprised to realize that I couldn't remember really venturing much outside of the buildings! There were plenty of photo ops and sculptures to keep us amused for the morning walk.
After exploring museum campus we had lunch and made our way towards the city. The way from the campus is pretty much straight-up urban parks and green space with sprinklings of statues and gardens that are pretty enough for min-breaks. The most noteworthy is the Buckingham Fountain. I have seen water parks smaller than this fountain. It also makes for a great photo-op with a perfect view of the skyline behind it.
Just when you thought you were impressed with Chicago's inner-city parks, then comes Millennium Park. If you've been in Chicago and haven't been here, you've done something seriously wrong. The size of this park is more condensed, though that's probably a plus for those who don't believe in walking.
Millennium Park is kind of this culturally beautiful, adult playground. A few noteworthy points of interest are the Crown Fountain, Pritzker Pavillion and of course, Cloud Gate. It is also across the street from one of my all-time-favorite art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago (again, we unfortunately didn't make it there this trip to save the money).
While in the park, it is pretty much mandatory to kick off your shoes and splash around in the Crown Fountain while watching the faces change and eventually spit on you. Then there is testing the acoustics of Pritzker Pavillion by yodeling. Remember, part of being a tourist is having no shame.
Up next is how to do this iconic Chicago attraction right!
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