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Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Bristol, United...
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Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

My wife and I are visiting Chicago for the 1st time, from England. We arrive in May, and have 2 nights in the city before heading West.

Is it best to get a Citypass? We want to do as much as possible, especially a tower. Also interested in a boat tour. As its my birthday one evening, is the Signature Room at John Hancock the best for that special evening meal?

Would also like to visit a Blue's bar on the other night. Any suggestions?

Cheers, Roy

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Chicago
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1. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

The British are coming! The British are Coming! We promise not to do to you what our ancestors did to your ancestors. I don't think the city pass is worth it. Just pick a musuem or two based on your interests and go with that. The Signature Room is a fine restaurant, but certainly not the best at all. Go to the bar above for drinks and sweeping views of the city. But then eat elsewhere. Depending on your budget, we have so much so give a clue about what kind of food. The best restaurant in the nation is called Alinea, it's more theatre than a restaurant, but weeks and months reservation in advance is crucial. But write back and say if you want french, italian, dutch, carribean, thai, and a budget, and we'll suggest for you.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

With such limited time definetly buy the city pass. Lines at the Willis Tower ans Shedd Aqarium can be 2 hours. Boat tours are great. I prefer the river over the lake. The Signature Room has amazing views. You can also just go to the bar for a drink. Blues Chicago is not the best blues club but it is downtown and the others are not that much better.

http://chicagovisitor.net/

Geneva, Illinois
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3. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

I agree with DGB, the citypass is much quicker with your limited amount of time. I highly recommend the art institute and the museum of science and industry.

Geneva, Illinois
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4. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Try the Walnut room at Macy's, it is a great restaurant and a great store outside the restaurant

Illinois
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5. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Skip the Signature Room and for "that special evening meal." There are many better dining options here.

www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicaogmag.com are good online dining resources. You can read restaurant reviews and search by area, cuisine, budget etc.

Best blues option downtown - http://www.buddyguy.com/

chicago
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6. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Skip signature room and walnut, many better options

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

I'm with msmejkal: skip both the Signature Room and the Walnut Room for food. There are many many better options. If you'd like, it's fun to have a drink in the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building instead of eating at the Signature Room. Great views, including from the ladies room! Please give us an idea of what kind of food you'd prefer, and budget, and we can make some suggestions for your birthday meal. Chicago is an excellent restaurant city, and we'd like you to have a great meal!

The best boat tour is the one done by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. See http://www.architecture.org/page.aspx?pid=574 for details.

For blues, as noted by previous posters, the ones in the general downtown area are Blues Chicago and Buddy Guy's. There are others on the North Side of town (not far from downtown), but since you have such limited time in Chicago I'd stay downtown. If you'd like to venture north, consider Kingston Mines (www.kingstonmines.com) and B.L.U.E.S. (www.chicagobluesbar.com), which are in the same block. A recent visitor reported in his trip report that his evening at Kingston Mines was his favorite evening of his 11 day trip in the Midwest. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g35805-i32-k505331…

I personally don't think the City Pass is worth it, especially since you only have two days here. You can't see enough of the included attractions in two days to make it pay. $76 is a lot: it might pay if you had a longer visit, and more time. I would only consider the City Pass if your two days in Chicago are weekend days, when the lines will be longer. In that case, it might be worth getting the City Pass just to skip to the head of the line. (Note that you can't skip the line at all covered attractions.) It also depends which attractions you plan to see. For example, while there are often long lines at the Shedd and at the Willis (Sears) Tower, lines are not as much of an issue at the Field Museum, for example. It's your call.

Have a great trip!

Edited: 11 January 2012, 14:32
Tucson, Arizona
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8. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Absolutely agree with Alison on all points. For special meals, really special is see if you can get in at Alinea...but very expensive. Some other expensive recommendations: Charlie Trotters ( last year in business) and L2O. Take a look at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, Sepia, Crofton on Wells, Perennial Virant, Takashi, North Pond, and maybe Everest (not my fave) or MK or Cocco Pazzo.

ZB

Chicago
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9. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

When are you coming, and have you already booked your hotel? I ask only because there are two major international summits in Chicago plus the National Restaurant Association show, and hotels will probably be an issue during those periods.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Brits on tour!! Advice needed!

Some great suggestions. Go to the Signature Lounge at the Hancock for a drink and dine elsewhere. There are so many good restaurants in Chicago that you don't need to go to one for a view and mediocre food. Ditto, The Walnut Room. It's a fancy department store (Macy's) restaurant not quite the calibre - well, nothing near the calibre - of Harrod's Georgian Room. Not the place for a birthday celebration. What cuisine are you looking for? We're happy to suggest the best of the best restaurants and spend your $ for you so you had better keep us informed and reined in. Just to put my 2cents in: for some good, imaginative Midwestern home cooking of the highest quality I'd suggest Perennial Virant. www.perennialchicago.com/ Warriorjan has brought some reality to our answers... there is a lot going on in May and June. You should plan ahead. If you don't already have your hotel accommodations you should at least make some cancelable reservations as soon as possible.