My Favorite Chicago Places: The Bean & the Field Museum


One of my favorite things about living in the suburbs of Chicago is being able to hop in the train and head downtown for the day. Once you get off the Metra, you're in downtown Chicago and within a walk, a tax, a bus, or an L ride away from almost anywhere you could ever want to go.

Because we're cheap, my friends and I usually forego the taxis and the buses in favor of walking unless we're going to Wrigley or to visit a friend who lives really far north. When I was visiting last month, Alison, Sarah, and I went downtown and walked all the way to the Field Museum--over 4 miles from the train station and back! Overall we estimated that we walked over 5 miles that day.

I don't even know how many times I've taken the train ride from Wheaton into downtown; and every single time we walk out of the train station, turn left, and head toward the lake.

It's about a 25-minute walk to Millennium Park (depending on how fast you're walking), and then, every time, we take the touristy Bean picture. Because it's awesome.

Psst: Remember when I got engaged at the Bean? 

Okay, so anyway, you're on Michigan Ave at this point and can either go left or right. If you go right (when you're facing Michigan Ave), you will head up Michigan Ave to the Magnificent Mile. If you know what you're doing, you should hit up the Ghirardelli Chocolate store and get a free sample; then, head to the giant Barnes & Noble that's 4 stories tall. You can even take a carriage ride, which Jordan and I did after we got engaged.

Go left, and you'll see the Art Institute of Chicago. Two iconic lion statues stand guard outside, and if a sports team is doing well (the odds are good that at least one of them will be winning something), you might see something like this:

Then, if you're suuuuper adventurous and are wearing comfy shoes (<-- very important), you can head to the Shed Aquarium or the Field Museum, which are located off the lake. First, though (if you're walking), you will pass through Grant Park (where I once went to a free John Mayer concert) and see Buckingham Fountain while also getting a money shot of the gorgeousness that is the Chicago skyscrapers, including the Sears Tower. You might also see some guys playing street chess. If you're lucky.

Excuse me while I rock my OKC Thunder shirt in Chicagoland.

Once you FINALLY get to the Field Museum, you get to see Sue: the largest, most complete, and best preserved T-Rex on the planet.

Once, a few Christmases ago, my family came downtown and had to take refuge inside the Field Museum because the wind whipping off the lake was crazy cold about about to freeze us all to death. 

But my visit in June was perfect weather. Perfect, I tell you! There are no words.

Okay, I guess there is one word: love.

Have I convinced you yet that Chicago is the greatest place on the planet?
Allison said...

I just love that fun you have special memories tied to it too. I agree Chicago is an awesome place to visit!!!!

Kate said...

Part 3? I must read all the parts! Pete and I went to Chicago last summer and we're going back soon. We fell in love with the city! We did not get to see the Bean or the Art Institute, which is on our list for this visit! Also, I totally have a friend who grew up in Wheaton! Know any Wegners? :)

Anyway, here's my post on last year's trip, in case you're interested at all!

Tracy said...

I remember going to the Field Museum on field trips from where I lived in Wisconsin. Love love love that place.

Kelsea said...

I visited Chicago with three friends during spring break one year in college and loved it! We took TONS of pictures by the bean! haha I'd love to go back and take more time wondering around the city. These are great pictures!

Charity said...

I would absolutely love to visit Chicago, I really want some Chicago style pizza. I have been wanting to compare theirs and ours for some time now. And how romantic that you got engaged at the bean.

The Word of A Nerd

Anonymous said...

Chicago is definitely on my list. I actually bookmarked this so I can find it again when I actually make the trip someday. -Lauren

Unknown said...

I live in the Chicago suburbs too! Walking everywhere is definitely recommended—it gets you so familiar with the city and it's exercise so you can go out later ;)

Michelle @ Mishfish13

Anonymous said...

I really want to see the bean, that dino at the field museum, and all those tall buildings!


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