A Quiet Walk in the Windy City

Is there such a thing as a “quiet” walk when you’re downtown Chicago? One of my favorite things to do when I find myself with a few minutes and want to get outside when I’m in Chicago on business that you may want to try, is to wander down Michigan Avenue to the Chicago River. When you get to the northeast corner of the bridge (the end closest to the Tribune Tower) you’ll see some stairs. As you walk down the winding staircase the sounds of the city just start to melt away and you’ll find yourself on a lovely walking path that follows right along the shore of the river. If you have time, follow along about 3/4 of a mile toward the lake(east)and you’ll come across the back entrance of Lizzie McNeill’s – a great little Irish Pub you can stop into for a quick drink or sandwich if you want to. Also, in warm weather, Lizzie McNeill’s provides outdoor seating right on the river where you’ll be sitting next to the lovely, cascading Centennial Fountain which is located near the spot where the city reversed the flow of the Chicago River back in 1900. From Memorial Day to Labor Day a water cannon shoots a huge arc of water across the river for 10 minutes at the top of every hour beginning at 10 a.m., (except the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.). It’s quite a sight to see!

Magnificent Mile

Staying downtown Chicago for work? One of my favorite things to do when I’m in the Windy City and find a spare moment or two is to walk down Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile.” I love to wander into the three story, sports-themed NikeTown, or the open, airy Apple Store (one of just a few flagship, stand alone locations in the country). You don’t even have to go into any of the shops to enjoy this walk – the window shopping at the more than 450 upscale department stores and boutiques such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Sax Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Coach, and Ralph Lauren is awesome. Take in the atmosphere of this gorgeous, bustling street, melt into the crowd of beautiful people and forget all about work – for a little while anyway.

Go to http://www.themagnificentmile.com/ to see where it is, get a list of shops and restaurants, see what’s happening/special events, etc.

A Fave Mag Mile Activity:
If I have time, I love to take the elevator up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building for a cocktail or soda (open 11am – 12:30 weekdays/1:30am weekends) It’s free to ride up the elevators that are dedicated to the restaurant and worth every penny of the slightly elevated price of your drink to enjoy it in front of floor to ceiling windows getting a bird’s-eye view of the city.
(Note: The building is located at 875 North Michigan Avenue – However, the elvator to get to the restaurant/bar is located on the south side of the building) http://www.signatureroom.com/