I recently went on a trip to Chicago to visit some architecture on my list and to visit a friend from undergrad! I have been wanting to visit Chicago for a while now and I am so happy I could squeeze in this trip after school ended and before my summer internship. I basically went to see all of the buildings, more importantly the Farnsworth House. If you are not a lover of buildings and architecture, then I’m sorry this blog post is not for you. I am still an architecture student, in grad school now, so I like to share my travels and experiences with buildings and art!
This could be a small guide on how to do Chicago in four days but honestly I didn’t do all the touristy things, so again this may not be for you to follow along but you can just see what I did! I will try to write about the places I ate at so there is some formality of a travel guide.
Day 1: I landed super early in the morning and go to the Hotel. I stayed at the Hotel Julian which ended up upgrading me to a bigger room with a view because I was so nice to the front desk lady! Being nice pays off!
Once I adjusted myself, I went for lunch at Giordano’s, a famous deep dish pizza restaurant. The pizza takes an hour to make and the place is packed 24/7 so get there when you aren’t too hungry, so by the time you get it, you will be starving. I honestly do not like deep dish and the only one I do like is in Washington D.C., sorry Chicago, you guys over do it with the cheese. I’ll stick to my NYC Italian style slice. I spent the rest of the day walking around the city and photographing all of the famous towers by famous architects. For dinner, I ate at a Greek restaurant called the Athenian Room. It was really good and I recommend the gyro!
Day 2: I went to south Chicago to visit the Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright. I only scheduled the outdoor tour since the interior was closed that day. In that neighborhood on the other side is Illinois Institute of Technology where the campus was mostly designed by Mies van der Rohe. I also got to go inside of the OMA McCormick Tribune Center. It was such as interesting building, I kind of wish architecture buildings for students were this cool!
From there, I got an uber to the west side of Chicago to go see another Frank Lloyd Wright building called the Unity Temple. It was not crowded so I actually got to spend time exploring the building and sitting in the chapel area admiring the colors and striated designs. Probably one of my favorite FLW buildings so far.
After a long morning running around, it started to rain so I had lunch in the city at a taco place called Broken English Taco Pub. It was surprisingly very good! The lunch taco special is a very good deal! I went back to the hotel after a filling lunch and took a nap. After resting and letting the rain subside, I took the subway to Greektown to eat at Santorini. All of the Greek restaurants on this side of the city are decorated with statues and painted blue and white with all types of Greek symbols and language. I enjoyed my meal and then walked back to my hotel.
Day 3: I met up with my friend who go to SAIC and she showed me the school museum and that area near Millenium Park. It was really nice to catch up with her, we went to undergrad together so it has been difficult trying to see everyone I know but I’m very thankful I could. This day I took a rest and just ate around the city, I think I had PF Chang’s, I know such a food chain restaurant but I was saving my money for the next day!
Day 4: I ended up renting a car this day and drove it to Plano, Illinois to see the famous Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House. There is an entire debacle over how this house was commissioned and the aftermath of the design and environmental issues it has but it was so beautiful, just perched on beams in the middle of this small prairie by the river. I booked this trip so far in advance just to see this house and I’m so thankful I could see it before any more flooding damage was done to the house. I purchased the $10 photo permit so I can take photos of the interior. I highly recommend doing this because I will not be coming back any time soon so I wanted to capture everything perfectly.
I had lunch in the small town at some diner restaurant then went back to the city before 6pm to eat at Lou Malnati’s, another famous deep dish pizza restaurant. I decided to give it one more try since I am in Chicago and there are different versions. I definitely like this one better than Giordano’s. It still had a lot of cheese but I asked for less this time and there was actually meat on it and the sauce was very good. Again, it takes an hour to cook the pizza so go there early and maybe not starving yet.
Later that night, I went up to the top of the Magnificent Mile tower to have a drink at the bar. It was such a gorgeous view of the city during the sunset! If you are a woman or identify as one, I highly suggest using the restroom at this bar because the view is spectacular!! Sorry boys, there isn’t a view for you, just the women 🙂
Chicago was such a fun city and I loved it so much! The city has so much to offer and the people were nice. It was a good break from New York, but I was definitely happy once I landed back here.
I hope you enjoyed this brief trip and photo lookbook of Chicago! I love documenting my trips on here, this is how my blog originally started out so I like adding to the places I’ve been. It’s like a digital scrapbook for me!