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Going to Chicago....what to do, see, stay, etc.

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Hey all,  I'll be in Chicago from Nov. 13 to 16 (leaving at lunchtime) for a last minute work conference.  I'll be staying at the Drake Hotel and will be tied up in meetings there until 4:30 or so. My only time to do much of anything during daylight hours will be the day I arrive (the 13th.)  I've been to Chicago a couple times and have been to many of the big attractions, and spent some time in Wicker Park and Oak Park. This time, the only things I know I want to do are take a quick look at the Tiffany dome in the Cultural Center, see the wooden block alley, maybe take another quick spin through the art museum to see some things I missed.  I also want to go to Chicago Music Exchange and see what kind of goodies I can bring home.  Some record shopping would be fun, if anything is open later than 7-ish and is easy to get to.  I'll look into the Wicker Park recommendations.


Anyone have dining recommendations near the Drake Hotel, or in the area near the art museum, Chicago Music Exchange, or record stores?  Any type of food ideas welcome, although I don't eat huge quantities, and I'll be alone for most meals.


Any concerts during that time that I should check out?  I like pretty much everything that uses guitars/drums/piano/etc. 


What time does it get dark this time of year? 


General nighttime sightseeing ideas?


Is Wizard of Oz Park worth seeing?  



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Ditka's on Chestnut has a great burger - if you like burgers - they are suppose to have a great pork chop, but I have never had it.

There are a bunch of steak house near the Drake, too. 


If you are into great church architecture, Holy Name Cathedral is a 10 minute walk or so from the Drake.  


The Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago is minutes away from the Drake, too. Not nearly as big as the Art Institute, but the typically have some cool exhibits going on. 

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Daylight savings time ends this weekend, so when you're in town, it will be dark by 5:30ish.  Oz Park (if you're talking about the one in the Lincoln Park/De Paul area is not worth the trip. The best source for local concerts is The Chicago Reader's website.  If you like blues, Kingston Mines and Buddy Guy's Legends always have good live music.  For people who have not spent a lot of time in Chicago, if the weather is decent, I always recommend the Architectural Boat Cruise down the Chicago River. The river walk is also nice.   Enjoy your visit.

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Hey all! 

Used to post/read here a long time ago - adulting can curb ones free time! Finally heading into Chicago this weekend for the first time. Staying at the River Hotel on West Wacker and looking for some recs...if possible. We're celebrating our engagement and looking for some good things to do. Already looking at the Architecture Cruise for Sunday but other than that wide open to ideas - just really hanging with no plans. 


Thanks in advance for any tips!



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lots of meat products there, haha. if i were going i would make a pilgrimage to Buddy Guy's Legends blues club. Buddy is a national treasure & he's getting up there in age. he was 1 of the last of the blues guys to come out of the cotton fields down south & migrate to chicago. IMHO 1 of the greatest guitar players ever. i've seen him several times & he is always great. i got to hang out & have a drink with him once. nice man. i'm told he pops into the club unannounced, so its not just a situation where they are using his name. he actually at least partially owns it. looks like there could be some good cajun eating there too!



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I'll be heading up on Tuesday morning.  That'll be the only day that I have free time during daylight hours, so, weather permitting, I'm planning on walking from the Drake Hotel to the area around Millennium Park via the Magnificent Mile.  I want to see the Tiffany dome in the Chicago Cultural Center, and the mosaic ceiling (also Tiffany) inside the Macy's/Marshall Field building.  Next to that is the Picasso sculpture.  My wife tells me we saw that last time we were there, but I must have been experiencing sensory overload, because I don't remember it.  I also plan to stop in and see what I can find at Reckless Records (I know it's their smaller shop, but I prefer small record stores to big ones), and I want to get a photo of the sign where Route 66 begins, since we had a fun Route 66 experience a few years ago.


Wednesday after my work obligations wrap up I plan to go to Chicago Music Exchange and experience a wonderland of guitar and drum equipment.  Maybe find something to eat around there.  Any suggestions on that?  Google maps doesn't look all that promising for dining in that area, but that may be misleading.


On Thursday night I'll probably go to the Art Institute since it's open until 8 that night.  It was being renovated last time I was there and I didn't get to see some crucial parts of their collection, so I'm hoping to fill in as many of those gaps as I can.


I don't think I'll take in any night life or shows this time, or explore the neighborhoods. I just won't have enough day time to venture out very far, unfortunately.  And as a solo traveler who will have to get up early each day, I don't want to run myself ragged.

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if you like burgers, beer, and metal - def do a stop at Kuma's Corner. place was awesome.

Au Cheval is pretty great for burgers too.  Love Kuma's and was shocked they closed the store in Lakeview.  

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