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3-Hour Tour: Chicago

3-Hour Tour: Chicago


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For most travelers, flight delays and layovers are annoying, but the extra time doesn’t mean you have to confine yourself to the airport’s duty-free shops. It may only be three hours, but consider this your vacation bonus to see Chicago.

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is clean and easy to navigate. Sadly, it’s one of the busiest airports in the country and has a terrible reputation for flight delays. But fortunately, if you have a few hours to kill while waiting for your flight, there are plenty of ways to get a quick taste of the Windy City.

First Hour: Jump aboard the Blue Line "L" train (conveniently located right inside the airport) and head downtown. The train runs 24 hours a day and leaves the station as frequently as once every three minutes during peak travel times. It’ll take about 45 to 50 minutes to get downtown. Get off the train at the Washington stop.

Second Hour: First, the food: With a little more than an hour to kill, start by grabbing a bite at one of the local eateries. Heaven on Seven is a local favorite, with delicious Creole and Cajun specialties like the Louisiana soft-shell crab po’boy sandwich. If you want to save time, stop in for a treat at Do-Rite Donuts and experience some of America’s best donuts. Made in small batches — 36 at a time — throughout the day, Do-Rite Donuts’ delicious flavors include everything from coconut custard to candied maple bacon.

Next, see the sights. Whether you’re walking off a meal or wandering around with a donut in hand, there’s plenty to check out during your short visit downtown. Walk a few blocks east and check out Millennium Park, a modern and inventive downtown oasis with cool features like "Cloud Gate", aka "The Bean," a silver sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor. You can also stroll down State Street and step into one of the many shopping destinations, including Macy’s, H&M, and Nordstrom Rack.

Third Hour: Hop back on the "L" with about an hour to spare to make sure you catch your plane on time. Still hungry? Grab a classic Chicago hot dog (a juicy frank on a poppy seed bun topped with yellow mustard, white onions, sweet relish, tomato slices, dill pickle spears, sport peppers, and celery salt; asking for ketchup is a blasphemous request) at Gold Coast Dogs before the final boarding call — this top-rated local hot dog joint has two outposts inside O’Hare.

Ashley Henshaw is the Chicago Travel City Editor for The Daily Meal.


A Three-Hour Tour

My in-laws have been on my mind and heart lately, and I (Ginger) wanted to share a bit about this wonderful couple. A bit of history first. Darryl and Becky Jordan became missionaries after their children were grown. They spent their first ten years of missionary life in a remote village in Papua New Guinea. After serving faithfully there, they moved to the Philippines where they spent the next ten years working in various roles, from guesthouse manager on two different islands, to mission representatives in the city. After serving at their second guesthouse for a couple years, they were considering retirement, and we asked them to join us in our village, mainly to help oversee the construction of the new church building. They graciously joined us, and it has been a joy to serve together with them for the past few years.

Becky, Ginger, and other ladies preparing Christmas gifts in 2018.

Throughout 2019, they worked hard overseeing the building project, helping with Kids’ Bible Club, baking for youth group, chauffeuring teens in the evening to get them home safely in the dark, hosting a team from the States, and always being a listening ear when anyone just needed to talk.

Darryl and Becky helped us host a team from the Michigan for Sports Bible Camp. Darryl giving Chris suggestions for how to connect the rebar in the new church building.

When it was time for the church dedication, they stepped up another notch when I got sick, and took over for all the holiday activities I had planned and was no longer able to do.

Church dedication in 2019.

In January 2020, I was feeling much better. The church dedication and Christmas program were completed, and it was time for them to take a much-needed and well-deserved rest. They scheduled three separate cruises to line up and take them all over Asia while they rested. Upon boarding their first cruise, Covid hit, and all of their cruises were cancelled. They didn’t crash on a deserted island as the three-hour tour passengers did in the old television show, but they did end up in Singapore, choosing to wait there for the borders of the Philippines to reopen for them. And they have been their ever since!

Darryl and Becky in Singapore for 1 year.


The Senate bill on sex education seeks to standardize the curriculum in Illinois schools, ensuring each grade "has the opportunity to be safe and … have access to age- and developmentally appropriate and medically accurate information," according to the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago.

"We have two choices here," House Majority Leader Greg Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We can either vote to support closing loopholes on the wealthiest of corporations that Gov. Pritzker proposed in his budget. If people don’t want to vote for that new revenue, then we’ll have to go to the cuts."


1893 Chicago World's Fair-Themed 3-Hour Walking History Tour

Grab a few drinks while experiencing incredible architecture, historical stories of turn-of-the-century Chicago, and visual scavenger hunts.

This very special walking tour digs into how and why the 1893 World’s Fair captures imaginations more than any other event in Chicago history. Unlike other World’s Fair tours and Devil in the White City tours, which likely revolve around facts and trivia, you’ll dig deeper on this downtown tour. You'll visits some of the few remaining and spectacular buildings from the time of the World’s Fair, also known as the World's Columbian Exposition. The fairgrounds themselves were south of downtown, but you can best see the impact of the fair in the Loop. Here the architecture and landscape still show the World’s Fair imprint even today, nearly 125 years later. Beyond just looking at buildings from outside, this mostly indoor walking tour sees the beauty of architectural details within. On this fun and insightful walking tour, you’ll venture into beautiful architectural spaces from the era. You will play a few thoughtfully designed games, like visual scavenger hunts. Along with guide commentary, your guide will show you photos and archival materials via shared iPads that illuminate this historic event of the 1893 World's Fair. You will play a few educational games with prizes for the winning team. Plus, you can opt to get drinks (on you) at two stops. You will end in a building from 1893 that has numerous drinking options! You can think of this 2.75-hour long walking tour as being 5% outdoors, 95% indoors, 20% clue-based games and visual scavenger hunts, 10% drinking time, and 100% awesome historical tour time. We know the math doesn’t add up – we hope you get the idea! With just intermittent walks outside, the 1893 World’s Fair Tour makes for a great walking tour in all seasons. This tour makes the World’s Fair’s lasting impact come to life. We hope you’ll join us!Drinks are not included in the cost of this tour. At the tour meeting spot, you are welcome to get a drink at the bar before check-in. To streamline the tour, your order will be taken, along with cash for your second drink at check-in ($6 for beer, $8 for wine, includes gratuity). At the third drink stop, you may independently purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice. One small snack is included. It is vegetarian and gluten-free. If you are dairy-free, or have other allergies, we cannot make substitutions.

What's included

  • Professional tour guide commentary
  • Shared iPads with historic photos
  • One small snack
  • Game prizes and gifts

What's not included

  • Drinks are not included in the cost of this tour. At the tour meeting spot, you are welcome to get a drink at the bar before check-in. To streamline the tour, your order will be taken, along with cash for your second drink at check-in ($6 for beer, $8 for wine, includes gratuity). At the third drink stop, you may independently purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice.
  • Dietary restrictions are not accommodated. One small snack is included. It is vegetarian and gluten-free. If you are dairy-free, or have other allergies, we cannot make substitutions.
  • Tour guide gratuity.

Highlights

  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
  • Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
  • Step back in time on a history tour

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Chicago dinner cruises

Chicago is a city of two waterfronts. Both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River offer stunning views of the city skyline, especially at night when Chicago’s most iconic buildings are all lit up. And there’s no better way to experience these breathtaking vistas than on a dinner cruise. Chicago has plenty of options, from sit-down fine dining to casual buffet style. Dine with skyline views on Chicago’s unforgettable dinner cruises.

Odyssey Chicago River

2.5 hour cruise
3-course plated dinner
Starts at $124.90

Odyssey is the first cruise line in the city to offer dining cruises along the Chicago River with their Odyssey Chicago River cruise. Dinner is served on their state-of-the-art, European-styled, glass-enclosed vessel — think 360-degree views of the surrounding cityscape.

The experience offers an elegant, white tablecloth dinner while you gaze up at Chicago’s incredible architecture. An onboard DJ and dance floor adds to the fun. The single-level vessel includes outdoor decks and a climate-controlled interior for year-round cruising. Docking space on the north side of the Chicago River lands you mere steps from Michigan Avenue and The Magnificent Mile.

Odyssey Lake Michigan

2 – 3 hour cruise
3-course plated dinner
Starts at $114.90

The atmosphere on Odyssey Lake Michigan is magical. You’ll be dining aboard an elegant tri-deck yacht with an outdoor observation deck where you can watch the sun set over the waters of Lake Michigan. During the summer, opt for a fireworks cruise on Wednesday or Saturday evening for an even more unbelievable view.

If you can pull yourself away from the skyline, you can enjoy a freshly prepared, three-course meal. Enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails from the cash bar. For special occasions, you can enhance your meal with add-ons like jumbo shrimp cocktail, a seafood tower, or lobster tail. Just make sure to reserve a window table for the best view.

Tip: The decks are climate-controlled, so cruises depart year-round. Check out Odyssey’s holiday cruises, like an unforgettable New Year’s Eve dinner.

Mystic Blue Dinner Cruises

2 – 3 hour cruise
Dinner buffet
Starts at $79.90

If you’re after a cool and casual vibe, then Mystic Blue is for you. The feel on these lakefront dinner cruises is more of a high-energy party, with comfortable, stylish attire encouraged. Fill up your plate from the seasonal dinner buffet (stocked with veggies, pasta, fish, chicken, dessert, and more), then hit the dance floor helmed by a live DJ spinning the latest hits.

Mystic Blue also offers cocktails, wine, and beer at its cash bar, the option of a guaranteed table for your party size, window tables for the best views, and additional upgrades to customize your experience. Best of all, Mystic Blue’s cabins are climate controlled for year-round cruising.

Tip: In the summer, fireworks are launched off Navy Pier each Wednesday and Saturday evening. Catch a Mystic Blue fireworks cruise to see all the action from the water.

Spirit of Chicago

2.5 – 3 hour cruise
Dinner buffet
Starts at $79.90

A romantic date, a fun night with friends, a birthday, or special occasion. Spirit of Chicago is the perfect dinner destination for any occasion. Over the course of the night, you’ll dine, dance, and see some of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks (like Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, and Willis Tower) from the scenic waters of Lake Michigan.

Everyone in your group will find something at the buffet, which is loaded with freshly prepared dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Plus, there’s loads of onboard entertainment, from a live DJ and dance floor to group games like giant Jenga and shuffleboard. Add extras like drinks from the well-stocked cash bar, a window table, and more. Cruises depart from Navy Pier all year long.


3 Hour Private Tour VIP Boat

Our VIP boat is 36 foot center console with twin 250 HP. engines, this is the largest and most comfortable ride for private dolphin tours in our area. Our 3 hour private dolphin tour will reserve the boat for just your party and the captain. Per Coast Guard regulations the maximum passengers allowed is 6, including infants and children. During our 3 hour tour your captain will take you to the area where we locate dolphins and instruct you how to get in the water and see them up close. For the second portion of the trip we will take you to our snorkeling location where your captain will get in the water with you and show you how to find seashells and sea life. The third portion of the trip is spent anchored along Shell Island where you will have time to walk along the beach. Booking a private trip will allow you to call the shots regarding how you would like to spend your tour time to ensure you spend the time exactly as you desire. We provide all necessary equipment as well as a cooler on the boat stocked with complimentary bottled water, you are also welcome to bring your own beverages and snacks.WE CAN ACCOMMODATE GROUPS LARGER THAN 6 PASSENGERS. PLEASE CALL US FOR AVAILABILITY. 850-960-8107

Cancellation requests made within 24 hours of the tour date/time WILL not receive a refund, and WILL be charged the full amount of the tour


Chicago Premier Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

Spend an exceptional evening cruising the shoreline of Chicago onboard a luxury yacht, admiring the city’s striking architecture as you enjoy a gourmet 3-course dinner. It’s the perfect way to spend a festive evening living it up with friends, family, or that special someone during your time in Chicago.

Make your way to Navy Pier on the evening of your cruise, making sure to dress to impress for this festive evening. As you make your way through this famous entertainment complex, enjoy the bustling mix of pedestrians, street performers, and lakeshore views found at this famous pier.

Then step on board your yacht to begin your unforgettable evening. Receive a personal welcome from the captain and crew as you climb aboard. You’ll also have your picture taken by the ship's photographer to help capture the moment. Then follow your host as you’re whisked to your private table for your meal. The servers will introduce themselves and offer you the chance to decide how you’d like them to pace your meal.

Your evening’s menu consists of a collection of seasonally-selected hors d’oeuvres, entrées, side dishes, and desserts, each of which is freshly created on board the ship each day. See the Itinerary below for full details. Pair your dinner with a drink from the full-service bar, offering a variety of craft beers, unique cocktails, and wine list (at your own expense). Musical entertainment is provided by the onboard DJ, who will keep things lively with a mix that covers everything from classic jazz to more contemporary hits.

When you have a few moments, make sure to explore the ship’s luxurious design and amenities. Ranging from the temperature-controlled dining area to the Observation deck, you’re sure to notice the vessel’s attention to detail and unique art deco interior accents, most of which pay homage to the classic ocean liners of yesteryear. Make sure to also stop by the Captain’s bridge, an area that’s open to all guests for the majority of the cruise.

Chicago Fireworks Dinner Cruise:

In the summer months, upgrade your Chicago Dinner Cruise experience to include a spectacular fireworks display on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and select Thursday's and Fridays. You will observe the show from the decks of the ship and see the magnificent sky lit up at night.


HELLOmynameisHeather

Well, I’m back. It was a beautiful wedding and a delightful visit with Isaac’s family. In between the wedding and the reception, I snuck off with my aunt for a family history tour (what a good sport – I hadn’t spoken with her for years and years, then she got a call from my dad that I was nearby and would like to spend the afternoon with her).

I never knew any of my grandparents and I can barely connect names with faces when it comes to extended family, but oh how I’ve longed for those relationships! In three-hours’ time, my aunt was able to show me the home or business of two sets of great grandparents and one set of great great grandparents. We popped in for visits with 3 of my dad’s cousins (two of which are his ‘double cousins’ – his mom’s older sister married his dad’s older brother!). Oh how I wanted to latch onto their legs and beg to be their granddaughter! We only visited for a few minutes, but I was choked up at parting.

The most emotional part of the day was meeting my grandmother’s sister, Joyce. Currently 96, she was only one year older than my grandmother -- they were very close. I learned that they shared a room in the attic of their home and were the same grade in school -- their grandfather had donated the land for the one-room schoolhouse they attended. My grandparents met in school, and before they married, Joyce and my great uncle double-dated with them.

What a wealth -- my goodness, where has she been all of my life? How come I never realized that she existed? Here was this woman before me who held so much of my family history in her heart – so many of the stories and memories I’ve longed for from a grandparent. I wish we’d met two decades ago and I had grabbed onto her leg back then -- I’m sure she would have said, “Yes, I’ll be your grandmother!” Now, at her age, she’s fading, as are the memories of her time. I’m grateful to have met her and for that momentary glimpse of what my grandmother might have been like if she hadn’t passed four decades too early.

(Click here to read more about each photo -- including one very sheepish memory)

Comments

Well, I’m back. It was a beautiful wedding and a delightful visit with Isaac’s family. In between the wedding and the reception, I snuck off with my aunt for a family history tour (what a good sport – I hadn’t spoken with her for years and years, then she got a call from my dad that I was nearby and would like to spend the afternoon with her).

I never knew any of my grandparents and I can barely connect names with faces when it comes to extended family, but oh how I’ve longed for those relationships! In three-hours’ time, my aunt was able to show me the home or business of two sets of great grandparents and one set of great great grandparents. We popped in for visits with 3 of my dad’s cousins (two of which are his ‘double cousins’ – his mom’s older sister married his dad’s older brother!). Oh how I wanted to latch onto their legs and beg to be their granddaughter! We only visited for a few minutes, but I was choked up at parting.

The most emotional part of the day was meeting my grandmother’s sister, Joyce. Currently 96, she was only one year older than my grandmother -- they were very close. I learned that they shared a room in the attic of their home and were the same grade in school -- their grandfather had donated the land for the one-room schoolhouse they attended. My grandparents met in school, and before they married, Joyce and my great uncle double-dated with them.

What a wealth -- my goodness, where has she been all of my life? How come I never realized that she existed? Here was this woman before me who held so much of my family history in her heart – so many of the stories and memories I’ve longed for from a grandparent. I wish we’d met two decades ago and I had grabbed onto her leg back then -- I’m sure she would have said, “Yes, I’ll be your grandmother!” Now, at her age, she’s fading, as are the memories of her time. I’m grateful to have met her and for that momentary glimpse of what my grandmother might have been like if she hadn’t passed four decades too early.

(Click here to read more about each photo -- including one very sheepish memory)


CHICAGO’S TOP-RATED PROFESSIONALLY GUIDED PIZZA TOURS

Pizza tour was a highlight of our trip. Danny was a great tour guide. The locations gave you a good variety of locally owned pizzerias. We would highly recommend to anyone. If we're back, we'll do it again!

Thoroughly enjoyed Danny's tour on 02/09/2020 (coincidentally enough National Pizza Day). Danny was extremely knowledgeable - both as a pizza connoisseur and as a lifelong Chicagoan. He was engaging with all guests. Would recommend!

Tremendous opportunity to try 4 completely unique types of pizza including traditional deep dish, thin crust, New Haven style, and a dessert pizza! Overall amazing experience and a great way to explore the tastes of Chicago pizza

This tour was fantastic. Lots of pizza to try and each one was different from the other. The cocktails were good too and Danny our guide was very knowledgeable about Chicago and the different types of Pizza.


Watch the video: gilligans island intro (June 2022).


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