We flew into Midway
on Thursday morning and took the free hotel shuttle to our hotel, got an early check in and got cleaned up before we headed downtown for the day. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton
near Chicago Midway right on Cicero Avenue but not in the hotel area. It was a nice hotel, with decent rates, we paid $124/night. The shuttle was great and the daytime driver, Jeff, was really friendly and helpful. The shuttle will take you back to the trains at Midway airport where we took the Orange Line to the loop and got off in downtown Chicago at the Roosevelt stop. We bought the CTA 3-day Visitor Pass
ahead of time and was definitely the BEST INVESTMENT! It made transferring easy and I know we saved money. We could ride on any CTA trains and buses using this card for 72 hours from the initial activation - it was great! I definitely recommend getting one of these passes.
Our first stop for the day was Navy Pier
, we made some wrong turns walking there, but got some extra exercise. We finally figure out how to get there and got there in the afternoon. Unfortunately there were a few field trips there and it was crowded with kids. I must say I was a little disappointed in our pier experience. We bought our tickets to the Architectural River Tour
before we headed into the pier. We walked around the pier and had lunch at the Dock Street Cafe
...it was awful. The food was sub-par and the wait staff wasn't helpful or attentive. From there we took a walk through the Smith Stained Glass Museum
, that was pretty cool, but I wouldn't take a trip to the pier specifically for that, it was just a bonus.
From the pier we took the tour, we had bought tickets for the 4:00, but it was windy and chilly on the pier and we didn't want to have to walk around there to kill time before the 4:00 so we checked with the ticket office and they let us hop on with the 3:15 tour. We really enjoyed this part of the trip, we got a great view of the city and some great pictures and learned some history. The tour guide was a little over the top, but informative and fun. The tour is a bit expensive - $23/person, but I thought it was worth it.
From the tour we walked up Magnificent Mile
and stopped in a few shops and headed to the Hancock Observatory
. We bought our tickets $10/person, and headed up the elevator to the 94th floor. This was pretty cool, got a great view of the city. We didn't buy any of the extras, like the photo or audio tour, but it was fun. We got some decent photos even though they were through the windows. We walked around town a little and took the Red Line to Roosevelt and then got back on the Orange Line to Midway where the shuttle picked us up. We were pretty tired so we called over to Applebee's
and got carry out and walked over to pick it up and spent the rest of the night relaxing at the hotel.