Exploring Chicago: Small Town Girl Meets Big City

Last May I had a wonderful time visiting The Windy City. This is the first time I had been to a big city, before I had been to smaller towns in the states but never a city as big as Chicago.
Technically I had been to Chicago before but only to the train station twice and neither time did I get to see the city this was just a transition city. The biggest advantage to this trip was that I was able to stay six days and take the train both ways. Since my train cost were low, I could afford both a hotel and bed & breakfast for my stay. This way I was able to see both the city and the popular neighborhood of Lincoln Park.
Most of the time I walked wherever I needed to go instead of relying on taxis or the bus.  I only took the bus when I needed to get somewhere that was out of walking distance. There were several things I liked about the city but also a few things that I did not like and that I thought was odd from my small town perspective.

Exploring Chicago: A Small-Town Girl’s Perspective

I was not at all impressed by the Shedd Aquarium. It’s like the city folk must love fish because it seemed the whole first floor was devoted to them. The only animals of interest were the penguins and dolphins in the basement. I had high hopes for this place, especially after my great experience in Charleston Aquarium. I  loved seeing the dolphins but it was overrated and I would not recommend going there.
Another thing I was not thrilled with was the John Hancock building. Sure I got some amazing city views but you get crammed into an elevator with a bunch of strangers. Then you walk around on your own seeing the views that become pretty much similar after awhile. Within like 5-10 minutes you’re done and ready to leave. The gift shop is basically the check-in desk where you pay for your tickets. I felt it could have been a better experience. They could have had a tour guide that would walk you around to the different exhibits or have a representatives at each of the window views to answer questions. Instead,  it was just a open-plan layout with no structure.  One thing that struck me as strange was seeing stores like CVS and Target crammed into a city block! In Michigan the stores have their own parking lots and they are big stores.
I loved the fact that coffee was available wherever I went. In fact, there was a Starbucks like a block from my bed & breakfast. Lincoln park is such a classy neighborhood with its upscale stores and just this quaint neighborhood feel. I would want to live there. My Bed & Breakfast, the Villa D Citta, was an ideal place to stay. I liked how you could walk anywhere you wanted to downtown and how there’s a stretch of waterfront beach area right near the navy pier, hidden away from view.
Another attraction I took part in was the Architecture tour. I do have to say be prepared to walk!  Its a two-hour tour and I was the only one in the group with a camera. I found out lots of facts about the history of Chicago and its buildings that I did not know and I loved it.
Chicago was a great city to visit and I feel as far as big cities go it was pretty easy to navigate and worth the visit, although the lodging was higher than my other trips. Hope you get to travel and enjoy a new experience.
Have you ever been to Chicago? What was your favorite thing to see in the Windy City?
About Me: Full time petsitter who loves to travel a few times a year and see different parts of the country. Entertainment writer at Realityretreat where I give my opinion about the shows I love to watch.

5 thoughts on “Exploring Chicago: Small Town Girl Meets Big City”

  1. I have only been to Chicago once, and I didn’t have the best experience. My friends and I had never been there before and didn’t realize that so much would be shut down the first weekend of November! We loved the food and the nightlife, but found little to do during the day because everything was closed for the winter! LOL!

  2. I feel the same way about the Hancock tower. When we went, we bought one of those city passes, and tbh, they all started feeling like a blur. I do remember walking through the parks and really enjoyed that.

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