Chicago – renown for its chilling winds, amazing pizza and for depicting Gotham City in the Batman franchise. 13°C and 16°C were the temperatures for the three days we were here, which would be considered warm and probably shorts weather back home in the U.K. but here, it was freezing – layers were needed!
Scenes from Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) were filmed specifically here and it was cool to see buildings that were reminiscent from other Batman films.
We left New York early on 1 May for Chicago. Despite it only being a short two hour flight, this took up the whole of our day. We got to our hotel around 17:30PM drenched from a sudden downpour and spent our first night in the hotel room chilling out. We ordered a takeaway, which cost $53 (after tax – nothing is cheap in America!) and watched the boxing.
Before arriving in Chicago, we purchased the Official Chicago CityPASS® (very similar to New York’s Sightseeing Pass®). This Pass gives you the option of how many attractions on their list you wish to visit. We chose three – 360 Chicago (not including the Tilt thrill ride), the Big Red Hop-On, Hop-Off bus and the Architectural River Cruise.
On our first day, we walked a short distance into the city centre, grabbed breakfast at Jamba, and then went to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck at the top of the John Hancock building. (Originally, we had intended to book the lookout at the Willis Tower on the other side of the city, but all the times lots had already gone). Nonetheless, the views from 1030 ft were spectacular.
One of the extra activities at 360 Chicago is Tilt, which is sold as Chicago’s ‘highest thrill ride’. According to the official website, this is a ride with an enclosed, glass and steal moveable platform which tilts you outward – giving you downward-facing views over The Magnificent Mile and Chicago’s famous skyline.
However, this in my opinion, was a con and not worth the extra $10 p/p ($9 with the Chicago pass). The ride lasted around one minute and I wouldn’t have described it as ‘thrill-seeking’, especially only to see people walking the street 94 stories below. Photography and videos weren’t permitted whilst on the ride, but Em managed to sneak a pic and a video of our pictures. They were charging $25 a print…
Next on our agenda was the Hop-on Hop-off bus. We really enjoy riding these buses in cities around the world, as the routes give you an excellent flavour of a city. Luckily, we only had to wait a few minutes. We sat on the top deck in order to get the best possible views.
It was only a short distance in when Emily spotted a Nutella cafe, which we couldn’t say no to! I had a Nutella crepe with banana slices and vanilla gelato while Em had a pancake with banana and chopped hazelnuts.
After scoffing our faces with goodness, we walked a couple of blocks to the Millennium Park to take pictures of ‘the bean’ – formally known as Cloud Gate. I won’t lie to you, I’d never heard of it…
A short while later, we got back on the Big Bus to finish the rest of the route.
That evening, we ate Downtown at Giordano’s – one of the few Chicago Italian chains famous for its Deep Dish pizza. All I can say is, WOW – Chicago pizza has NOTHING on Chicago Town pizza back home!
Chicago is a fabulous city, but from a tourist point of view, two days is long enough to see everything there is to see.
On our last day, we went on a 75-minute Architectural River Cruise along the Chicago River. This wouldn’t normally be one of our go-to activities to do, but I particularly enjoyed learning about the history of Chicago.
Afterwards, we walked just over a mile to Navy Pier – apparently Chicago’s most famous attraction…but it was dead. It almost reminded me of walking along one of Blackpool’s piers in our off-season. After walking the perimeter, we stopped off inside at Potbelly to get a bite to eat before walking back to our hotel.
For the rest of the day, we chilled out. Em recorded some more of her Tiktok videos and I wrote my blog.
Next stop, Toronto and Niagara Falls! Follow this link to read about more of our USA adventures.
If you’d like to keep up-to-date with our travels, then you can enter your email to receive notifications of blog updates at the bottom of this article; follow my blog by clicking the link, or drop me a follow on Twitter/Instagram at @AlecW95.
Alternatively, you can follow Emily on her travelling TikTok account at @emstraveladventure.