There are some very nice, scenic and awesome bike trails in Chicago Subs. Take a particular one starting at Milwaukee Avenue and Devon Avenue. You can take it all the way to beautiful Botanical Gardens, which would be approximately 18 miles long. The entrance to the Botanical Garden is free. In some places the trail goes along the river and some lakes. If you go later in the afternoon, you will see a lot of animals on the trail: deer, rabbits, opossum, fox and etc. You can also enjoy your lunch break at one of the picnic sites.
chicago is a bike friendly city that even the city government even has a nice bike program for bikers and is so bike friendly that chicago earned the reputation as one of the bike friendly cities in the mainland. currently, chicago has more than 110 miles of on-street bike lanes, more than 30 miles of marked shared lanes, many miles of off-street paths (including the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail), more than 12,000 bike racks, and sheltered, high-capacity, bike parking areas at many CTA rail stations. so if you want to see chicago on a really cheap budget, then rent a bike here for a few days to tour around since there are enough bike parking racks around chicagoland. here is one of the bicylce rental is the website below.
it is fun to walk in chicago except when it is windy (hey it's called the windy city as monicker ok!). There are lots of walking activities in the area like strolling around the huge grant park complex or at the campus museum or at the gold coast in the northern part of chicago and at the milleniumk park plus the various architectural wonders that you would find in the downtown area particularly at the golden mile area of michigan avenue or the historic state street. just bring extra wind breakers and or jackets when walking as sudden wind gustiness just appears from nowhere at times.
If you have a little time at your disposition I suggest the bycicle as a means of transportation. Traffic is a killer, and you can easily avoid it. The city has miles and miles of bike lanes and paths along the lakefront and around it. Plus you can stop whenever you want to take pictures or enjoy a break. Grab a map at any major touristic site or visitor center and start your own adventure. There is plenty to see, and believe me, the physical effort will pay off.
If you don't have your own bike, there are plenty of rental companies with good deals!
There is no better way to get to know a location then to experience it on foot. Since a lot of people from Chicago find walking a good mode of transportation, why not join them? Unless you are going to a far off spot it is easy to navigate the city and the downtown location. The only thing that stopped us from exploring more on foot was the biting cold and wind.
Chicago is a bike friendly city. I use my bicycle as my main form of transportation now. There are bike paths all over the place and many roads have bike lanes now. If you come here and decide to rent a bike, it is worth picking up a Chicagoland bike trail map at a bike store. It's about $7 and I use mine all the time!
Chicago prides itself on having become very accessible for bicycling. Recently, they commemorated the installation ot the 8,000th Bike Rack (somewhere in the city).
This particular rack, across the street from the Art Institute, has attracted a user with peculiar tastes in ornamentation.