Chicago

JackBauer44

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Crazy, but I’m traveling for the first time to Chicago for a tournament in October. The tournament is in Lake Forest l, so I’m trying to figure out where to stay and things to do during the evening.

Does Chicago have a train/subway system that would go up to Lake Forest or would it be better to grab a rental car? Good food places? Would love any helpful hints or tips!
 

Conrad13

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I live in the western suburbs so I can help a little. Definitely don't rent a car if you can avoid it. You could pay for plenty of LYft/Uber rides before you get close to the cost of renting and parking. There is a Metra line from Lake Forest into the city that you can take.
What kind of food and activities are you looking for? The food scene is pretty great. The best places to eat and hang out seem to shift over the years, but Chicago has pretty much anything.
Some of the architecture tours are great. I like walking around the lake front in Lincoln Park and the neighborhoods around there are nice. Navy Pier is touristy but has great views of the skyline. If you are looking to get up into a tall building you can spend $40 and wait two hours to go into the Sears (nobody calls it Willis) Tower or you could be a few feet lower in the Signature Room at the Hancock Building for free, and buy a drink and enjoy the views. The Aquarium/Art Institute/Planetarium/Natural History (Field) museums are all close to Millennium Park. Definitely spend a little time at the Bean in Millennium Park. It's touristy, but it's free and fun.
Hopefully there is some baseball going on in October, but you probably couldn't afford the tickets.
 

cusefan88

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I love Stan's Donuts! Also typical but I enjoyed deep dish at Lou Malnati's. Chicago is cool and from my experience be prepared for cold weather. Also if you have time do a river cruise. Fun way to see all the buildings.
 

OttoMets

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I am partial to Au Cheval (yes, I know it's not 2013 anymore, but that place is awesome). And there are half a dozen restaurants within three blocks on West Randolph -- including Girl and the Goat -- that would be fantastic choices. Chicago might not be the best food town in America, but there's no place that's significantly better. The food scene is incredible.
 

Toga

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Architectural boat tour is surprisingly good. Hard pass on Michael Jordan Steakhouse. Bus system was easy.
 

CuseTroop

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You need to track down a charter bus driver named Roscoe. He drove the team bus during the Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend in Chicago a few years ago. He took a very drunk Cusetroop and a few other adventurous folks on an epic tour of the city around 11pm Saturday night.

I'm pretty sure I grabbed a McDonalds cup from a stranger in the hotel lobby, and dumped my redbull vodka into it. Man I miss that weekend

Rosco.jpg
 

NKR1978

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I am partial to Au Cheval (yes, I know it's not 2013 anymore, but that place is awesome
Such a douchy sentence and I can't tell you how much I respect the food snobbery on display.

Girl and the Goat is one of the restaurants I really need to go to.
 

Melancer46

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I'm guessing you already know this, but trying the deep dish pizza should be on the list if you enjoy that kinda thing. It's not my absolute favorite, but Chicago is extremely famous for it. I think Giordano's is probably the most famous (but I'm guessing there are probably places that do it better than them). I've had Giordano's though and it was quite good.

I think there's a pretty strong Greek food scene as well. I have a lot of family that lives in the area but I don't get to visit as much as I'd like.
 

OttoMets

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Such a douchy sentence and I can't tell you how much I respect the food snobbery on display.

Girl and the Goat is one of the restaurants I really need to go to.
That strip on West Randolph just west of the Kennedy Expressway has, by my estimation, a better lineup of restaurants than 99% of American cities.

Girl and the Goat is worth it for sure.
 

JackBauer44

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys! These are great. Looking forward to my trip.
 

Ghost

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I'd concur with Toga, I'm not much of a tour person, but the architectural boat tours are top notch! The American Writers Museum is fantastic, and the Rookery is another one. Tons of great options, just throwing out a couple of the less popular ones that you may not think of. You'll recognize the staircase in The Rookery - lots of people photograph it. All things Frank Lloyd Wright are pretty interesting. Anyway, soooooo many great places to see. Also, I'd say female companionship is overpriced, so I'd save your cash, but if you head some place like Schaumburg you can find some value for your dollar. Finally, the food is great, and others have made suggestions, so I'll leave it at that. Obviously you'll have deep dish, tons to debate on which is the best, so, check the ratings, and go to whatever is convenient, and you'll find out if you like it. :)
 

Conrad13

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I am partial to Au Cheval (yes, I know it's not 2013 anymore, but that place is awesome). And there are half a dozen restaurants within three blocks on West Randolph -- including Girl and the Goat -- that would be fantastic choices. Chicago might not be the best food town in America, but there's no place that's significantly better. The food scene is incredible.
We went to the Girl and the Goat for our anniversary dinner last night and that place completely lived up to the hype. We sat at the chef's counter and watched the staff cook. We tried not to bother them but they were very friendly and answered all of our questions about what they were making. Everything we had was unbelievably good and the atmosphere was not snobby at all. Thanks for the heads up.
 

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