Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Moments Frommer's Favorite Oh-So-Chicago
Strolling the Lak efront. Chicagoans use the lakefr ont in ev ery possible
way: for walking, rollerblading, biking, running, swimming, picnicking, and
playing volleyball. Summers on the lakefr ont can get a little cr owded, but
that's part of the fun. E ven in winter, you can see har dy souls out f or a run
while waves crash onto the shoreline. Most activity takes place around Oak
Street Beach and Nor th Avenue Beach.
Sightseeing on the Chicago R iver and Lak e M ichigan. By far the best
way to scope out the cit y is b y taking a boat t our. Getting ont o the wat er
gives you a fr esh perspective on a cit y that g rew up ar ound a lake and a
river. Options include dinner cruises , speedboats, architectural tours, water
taxis, and tall ships . See “Kid-Friendly Tours,” in chapt er 6, f or suggestions.
Cheering the Cubbies. Wrigley Field is not t o be missed . In fact, Chicago-
ans regularly play hooky to hang out in the bleachers on a per fect summer
afternoon. Eat a hot dog . Exercise your lungs during the sing ing of “Take
Me Out t o the Ball G ame.” I' m sur e y ou'll lea ve ag reeing with me that
Wrigley Field is the most charming ballpark in America.
Riding the El . The noisy, dir ty El ( Chicago's elevat ed train), which blocks
sunlight fr om the str eets beneath its tracks , is a quint essential par t of
Chicago. Even if y ou have nowhere in par ticular to go, hop on the El and
ride around the L oop. The Brown Line heading south takes y ou on an up -
close-and-personal view of Chicago's financial center. See “Getting Around,”
below, for more on riding the El . Also see the bo x “Sky Train: Chicago's El”
for more on the hist ory of the trains (p . 62).
“Streeterville”—the legacy of G eorge
Wellington “Cap” Streeter, an eccentric,
bankrupt showman who staked out 200
acres of self-created landfill here about a
century ago after his steamship had run
aground on the shore, and then declared
himself “ governor” of the “D istrict of
Lake Michigan.” True story.
River N orth J ust to the w est of the
Mag Mile's zone of high life and sophis-
tication is an old war ehouse district
called River North. It's also the site of
most chain restaurants that cater to the
kid set. Ov er the past 15 to 20 y ears,
the area has experienced a rebirth as one
of the city 's most vital commer cial dis-
tricts, and today it is filled with many of
the city's hottest restaurants, nightspots,
art galleries, and loft dw ellings. Several
large-scale r esidential loft-conv ersion
developments hav e lately been spr out-
ing on its w
estern and southw estern
The G old Coast Some of Chicago 's
most desirable r eal estate and historic
architecture are found along Lake Shore
Drive, betw een O ak S treet and N orth
Avenue and along the adjacent side
streets. Despite trendy little pockets of
real estate popping up else where, the
moneyed class still prefers to live by the
lake. This r esidential ar ea doesn't offer
much for kids, but it does hav e beauti-
ful scenic str eets for walking. O n the
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