Senior Women's Travel

Take A Walk ...

Sure I love other cities too. New York (I’m a native New Yorker) ; Venice (my adopted 2nd home), Paris (who doesn’t love Paris), London for stimulating theatre But to my prejudiced mind, Chicago trumps all of my favorite cities in a lot of categories.

 
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I LOVE CHICAGO

2016 Date TBD

Sure I love other cities too.
New York (I’m a native New Yorker) ; Venice (my adopted 2nd home), Paris (who doesn’t love Paris), London for stimulating theatre
But to my prejudiced mind, Chicago trumps all of my favorite cities in a lot of categories.

Paris' Most Famous Café

SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURE...

Chicago doesn’t have the centuries old monumental buildings of Venice, Paris or London.

Chicago dazzles with its buildings dating from the 19th century right up to today’s towering skyscrapers that deliver innovative architectural style. There’s more to endear Chicago’s architecture to the world. To me a large part of Chicago’s charm is the history and fascinating stories behind their architectural treasures.

Many of the world’s greatest architects worked here. Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe’s work in the Chicago area is legendary. Add Richardson, Burnham, and Sullivan to that celebrity architect list and you come up with fascinating architecture.

PUBLIC ART… world class collection of public art on display in the Loop. Chicago’s public art is second to none. Picasso, Calder, Chagall, Henry Moore, Miro, Dubuffet, Nevelson works grace the streets of the Loop…

Lake Michigan…18 miles of lakefront for strolling, bicycling, relaxing on one of its beaches. Only a few cities have beaches right in the city.

 

FOOD…delicious and innovative. I was very impressed with the wait staffs familiarity with every part of their restaurant’s menu. They described ingredients and dishes with knowledge and enthusiasm. I also liked twists Chicago chefs gave to some favorites.  Spicy Steak Tartare at Publican garnished with a soft hard-boiled egg, radishes and cucumbers, topped off with a Belgian beer.  The Chicago hot dog embellished with tomatoes, pickles, jalapeno peppers was surprisingly delicious from Wiener Circle.  A perfect guacamole and crispy tortilla chips at Rick Baylis’ Topolobampo; lobster pizza at Blue13. And perhaps the best surprise of an eating week-end, an amazing palate cleanser that bursts in your mouth at Avenues. On the menu, this interlude is called Sudachi togarashi, Japanese inspired.

CHICAGO ITINERARY
4 days, 4 nights (5th day, before you leave for home, we recommend you spend part of your  day at the Museum Campus with several world class museums clustered close together.

Paris' Most Famous Café

Day 1… Wednesday…Arrive in Chicago check into our boutique hotel with a great location close to the Miracle Mile and Oak Beach. Afternoon Art Tour in the Loop, a walking tour focusing on the public art from world renowned artists including Picasso and Henry Moore.

Millennium Park…In July, we visit the Frank Gehry designed Jay Pritzker Pavillion for a rehearsal of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus.

Two other favorites in the Park designed with wit and whimsy:

The Crown Fountain feaures 2 Towers with cascading water that entices kids to romp through the water with giggles and joy. A face on one of the towers (see photo) spits out a stream of water occasionally.

Another show stopper: The Cloud Gate, an elliptical sculpture made of highly polished steel that reflects skyline and people. You have to see this and marvel at its originality.

In October, there are different things to appreciate in Millennium Park.

Chicago Art Institute, end the busy afternoon, with a visit on your own. See what you want at the museum pace you prefer.

Evening…Dinner at Publican, trendy interesting restaurant with what I call the Chicago Vibe.

Day 2…Thursday

Bus Tour… a perfect highlight tour that combines Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House; a few skyscrapers in the Loop with the Rookery, my favorite; a brief Mies van der Rohe overview and drive by President Obama’s house.

Lunch with a view: Enjoy stunning views of Chicago from the John Hancock building’s 95th floor as you relax over casual lunch.

3pm: Glessner House on Prarie Avenue, a unique street that was the home of Chicago scions including Marshall Field, Philip Armour and George Pullman. Henry Hobson Richardson was the architect that designed the fortress like home of John and Frances Glessner around 1885 Tour of the house interiors gives us insight into this tumultuous era of Chicago’s wealthiest.

Evening…early dinner and concert of the renowned Chicago Symphony or a hands-on cooking class with dinner. You choose. The cooking school has an interesting mix of classes: favorite Julia Child recipes or cupcakes or grains plus others. Schedule available when you book your tour.

Paris' Most Famous Café

Friday…

Morning:  Architecture Chicago River Cruise…glide by about 50 of Chicago’s most notable buildings including the Sears Tower and the Merchandise Mart. Excellent narrative. See how Chicago has evolved during what is probably the most popular tourist tour in the city.

Lunch… Chicago’s neighborhoods are a must see. Our first neighborhood jaunt is a Food Tour   to the Gold Coast, Old Town and Lincoln Park.  We will sample some of Chicago’s best tastes. 7 stops including a Jewish deli, Chicago pizza, a Polish bakery and chocolates, enough bites for lunch on-the-go.

Free time to walk the Miracle Mile with a stop a Macy’s (the former Marshall Field’s) to see its famous Tiffany domed atrium and soda fountain and perhaps shop a little.  Free facials on Wednesday and Thursday with a reservation.

Late afternoon…Spa visit and your chance to see the Trump International Hotel & Tower, one of Chicago’s most imposing new buildings with a top spa rating. Enjoy a manicure and pedicure or add to your $100 credit for a facial or massage.

Dinner…at the Peninsula Hotel, in one of its casual restaurants, followed by over-the-top dessert at its lobby Choco Bar, a sumptuous buffet of chocolate treats. As you indulge all your chocoholic fantasies, you’ll be lulled by piano music. A fitting ending to a dessert luxury eating experience.

Saturday....

11:30 am: Another neighborhood stroll: a 4 hour shopping walk that takes us through one of Chicago’s neighborhoods and the chance to see some of its trendiest boutiques. You don’t have to buy to enjoy this insider’s look at the workings of the neighborhood.

Dinner:  An optional Indian Vegetarian Cooking class with Ranjana in her lovely home on the south side of Chicago ($80).  This school gets rave reviews. If you choose not to take the cooking class, dinner on your own at one of our highly recommended restaurants.

Day 5…Leave for home or stay on for more Chicago.


Schedule subject to changes. Events may be moved to different days to reflect better use of our time and/or changes made by tour providers.

Cost: $2500 includes 4 night hotel, single occupancy; no single supplement. 2 lunches (neighborhood food tour and John Hancock),  2 dinners (cooking class & Peninsula Hotel with chocolate dessert buffet); all tours mentioned in itinerary.

Not included: airfare from your home city, airport transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinners not mentioned above, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses. Indian cooking class.

Price confirmed when you book. Hotels in the United States, like airlines, change their rates almost daily.

Minimum number of participants: 6