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Favorite thing: Movies set in Chicago that were actually filmed here:
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Wrigley Field and Dearborn Street where they appear in a parade
Backdraft-I was working in the building (325 N. Wells) where they filmed the conference room scene
Blues Brothers largely filmed in Chicago, they crash through City Hall near the end
Weatherman-lots and lots of scenes shot in Chicago, I think Nicolas Cage's office was on Wacker Drive
When Harry Met Sally I know it made for better cinematography but were they going to New York via Canada?
While You Were Sleeping Sandra Bullock works for the CTA
My Best Friend's Wedding lots and lots of Chicago in this one, a boat ride on the Chicago River, US Cellular Field, Union Station, the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Movies set in Chicago, filmed in other locations
Chicago was ironically one of the ones filmed in Toronto
Union Station was filmed at Union Station in Los Angeles, not at Union Station in Chicago. I don't think the elevated trains scenes were filmed in Chicago either, if you look at the Stockyard scene there are palm trees in it!
Movies set in other cities, filmed in Chicago
Dark Knight has a lot of footage of Chicago which doubles for Gotham City, the Chicago Tribune published a list of movie locations
Batman Begins was also filmed in Chicago, this website has a list of movie locations.
Updated Mar 3, 2013
Favorite thing: Old Town landmark. 1633 N. Cleveland, at the corner with Eugenie. The construction of the church, which served a largely south German congregation, started in the 1850s and was completed in 1869. It survived the great 1871 because of its solid brick construction. Interestingly, with its commanding spire, St. Michael's was technically the tallest building in Chicago from 1869 until 1885, when the original Board of Trade building downtown was opened.
Updated Oct 31, 2012
Favorite thing: 1) Food-Come for the infamous Chicago hot dogs or deep dish pizza or top ranked restaurants like Alinea or Next or celebrity driven restaurants like Frontera Grill and Girl and the Goat. My favorites tend to be mid priced ethnic restaurants out in the neighborhoods but there is something for everyone here.
2) Architecture-Several of the tallest buildings in the world are in Chicago but the architecture I like best are the old buildings with the fabulous detail work. Take the fabulous Architectural River Cruise or one of their neighborhood tours.
3) Museums-Chicago has several top notch museums including the Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Science & Industry, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. There are also many smaller fine museums throughout the city.
4) Summer-best time to visit Chicago, festivals every weekend, free concerts and movies in the parks. Go boating on Lake Michigan or walking/biking/ rollerblading on it's shores or just catch a few rays on it's many beaches.
5) Neighborhoods-Chicago is made up of many distinct interesting neighborhoods. Visitors should spend some time outside of the tourist areas to really get a flavor of the city.
6) Festivals-Chicago has festivals like no other city. From the biggies like the Taste of Chicago, Blues Fest, and the Chicago Air and Water Show to the smaller equally entertaining neighborhood festivals, there is always something going on in Chicago.
7) Theater-Chicago is home to Second City, the Steppenwolf, the Chicago Shakepeare Theater, the Goodman and several theaters that offer comedy productions. Frequently shows will come to Chicago that are Broadway caliber, sometimes as a warm up, sometimes as touring productions.
8) Sports and recreation-Rent a bike for a ride along the lakefront, take a walk through the parks, roller blade, ice skate or join one of the many organized bike rides or runs that occur throughout the summer.
9) Shopping-spend time shopping on the Mag Mile, State Street or boutiques in the neighborhoods.
10) Spectator Sports-Chicago has a major league team for every type of spectator sport-baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer plus several minor league teams.
Updated Aug 15, 2012
Favorite thing: Everyone likes to save a few dollars when traveling, unfortunately for non Illinois residents the budget problems at the Chicago and Illinois levels has made virtually all of the museums pull their free days unless you can prove you live in Illinois
Adler Planetarium, check website for dates, Illinois residents only
Art Institute of Chicago 1st and 2nd Wednesdays of the month, Illinois residents only
Field Museum check website for dates, Illinois residents only
Museum of Science and Industry check website for dates, Illinois residents only
Shedd Aquarium check website for dates, Illinois residents only
Chicago History Museum check website for dates, Illinois residents only
DuSable Museum of African American History every Sunday .Illinois residents only
Museum of Contemporary Art every Tuesday Illinois residents only
Notebaert Nature Museum every Thursday Illinois residents only
But here are a few that non Illinois residents can still enjoy discounts on
Brookfield Zoo Zoo admission is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31
Chicago Children's Museum Free admission for kids 15 and under every first Sunday of the month. Free admission for everyone 5-8 p.m. every Thursday.
National Museum of Mexican Art always free.
Oriental Institute always free
Smart Museum of Art always free
Smith Museum of Stained Glass on Navy Pier always free
Choose Chicago has a nice list of free Museums and Attractions by day but double check as some have changed and the list not updated
Another list of things the are free everyday
Updated Oct 16, 2011
Favorite thing: Chicago's largest public park at 1,208 acres, LINCOLN PARK was named after Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln Park is known for its statuary. Walking through the park you will see many of Chicago's great works of art. There is a famous statue of Abraham Lincoln (Main pic) by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Lincoln Park is also well known for the Lincoln Park Zoo, a free zoo that is open all year round.
Written Jun 24, 2011
Favorite thing: Chicago is a city notorious for traffic even on weekends. The gridlock in Chicago is one of the worst in the country (but not in the world ok! Bangkok and Manila Takes that cake) and the best bet here is to avoid the freeways and just drive at the local roads which you can do via Sat Navi (GPS) ok using the avoid highways option ok (there is that option if you are using magellan or avt but i'm not sure about garmin). Another tip is that never leave Chicago between the hours of 7am and 9:30am or between 3:30pm and 6:30pm on weekdays. If leaving for a day trip for a hike outside the city on a weekday leave at 10am and return at 7pm. It is possible to arrive at the park of choice by noon and there is plenty of daylight to enjoy hours of outdoor activities.
Fondest memory: the horrendous traffic only bested by Bangkok and Manila!!!!!!
Written Nov 5, 2010
Favorite thing: A great way to get an indepth into the sights & history of the city is to have a local guide. Chicago tourism office offers a chicago greeter as a free service. There are a few steps you need to follow to book a chicago greeter. 1) book your accomodation 2) register on the web site 7-10 working days before your arrival 3) check out the neighbourhoods you wish to visit 4) greeters are designed for parties of 6 people or less 5) Only one greeter allowed per tour.
If you are unable to register you can join instagreeter for a 60min walk around the city starting from the cultural center 77 E Randolph street Fri, Sat, Sun 10am - 4pm (first come first serve)
Our guide met us at the Cultural center and provided my friend with a free day transport card as he had forgotten his weekly pass. I wanted to see the terracotta facades on Devon Avenue which even the guide had not really noticed before. This is the predominatly Asian area but he did his homework and found some spectacular architecture. It is a bit of a pity some of the buildings are so run down as in the UK our heritage site throws money into listed buildings. We also visited the Loyola University. Check out Chicago Greeter
Written Sep 4, 2009
Favorite thing: Dabs advised me that there were discount coupons available online from the chicago tourism board which in the end saved us a huge amount of money. I used the 2for1 discount with the city architectural boat tour, a % discount on clothes at the zoo covered the tax and a bit more. A 2for1 evening at Buddy Guys. There is also some discounts for museums so worth investigating and printing off prior to your trip.
These vouchers are valid until 30 April 2010 discount coupons
Updated Sep 2, 2009
Favorite thing: I usually try to give a tip about the city I visit's public facilities. Firstly a word of advice if you ask in a restaurant where are the toilets or the loo's you are likely to get strange looks, American's like to use the term restroom, bathroom or ladies room or indeed the mens room or gents.
A few of the free public restrooms are at Millenium park, the one by the Park Grill are probably the nicest, Navy Pier and the Cultural Centre. I found the facilities to be generally clean although I must admit being a bit bemused at the wide gap under the door. There's me thinking do I wish to be so close to my neighbour? good for passing toilet paper under the gap but not much else. You can use the facilities at most McDonalds although some places have put locks on their doors that can only be opened with a token from the cashier.
Updated Jun 18, 2009
Favorite thing: If you want to Get into all of Chicago's attraction's at a discount price plus avoid waiting in lines, you should buy a Go Chicago Card. It saves you lots of time and money. You also get discounts at lots of stores and restaurants.
Written Feb 24, 2009
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