24 hours in Chicago, the Windy City

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Photo of 24 hours in Chicago, the Windy City by Saini Krishnamurthy
Photo of 24 hours in Chicago, the Windy City 1/2 by Saini Krishnamurthy
Photo of 24 hours in Chicago, the Windy City 2/2 by Saini Krishnamurthy
Do not miss the massive arc of water that the Centennial Fountain shoots a across the Chicago River!

Along with a bunch of determined office goers, I trundled into Chicago's Union Station. It was 8.30 am. I only had a day to spend in Chicago, so I wanted to start off nice and early. I stepped out of the station and was greeted by a heavily overcast sky, bridges that were used as streets, and the bustling movement of people and vehicles.

An overcast m

Photo of Willis Tower, South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

After a quick coffee and an ATM run, I stepped into the most famous building in town - Willis Tower (previously known as Sears Tower). I was headed to the SkyDeck, a precariously perched glass box on the 103rd floor of the tower!

I bought my ticket (general entry costs $24), and made my way to the elevator for a very quick ride to the top.

Hello from 1,353 feet.

Photo of Skydeck Chicago, South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

After a thrilling experience watching Chicago from every possible angle (and trying to get the full value of the entry fees), I finally headed out. It was drizzling as I walked to my next stop: Millenium Park. As soon as I reached the park, the sun finally decided to end the battle with the clouds, and came out shining victorious. I quickly looked at the map of the Park. It had 4 key attractions: the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, and the Lurie Garden.

First stop was Cloud Gate, to see the infamous Chicago Bean in person. The Bean is super reflective, and different angles showcase parts of Chicago. Standing underneath the Bean is a trippy experience, because the concave strcuture that warps and multiplies reflections. It cost $23 million to construct!

Underneath the Chicago Bean

Photo of Cloud Gate, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

The Chicago Bean reflecting the skyline

Photo of Cloud Gate, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

After staring at the Bean from every angle possible, and obliging strangers who wanted to be clicked in front of it, I walked over to the beautiful open air auditorium in the park.

The Pavilion is covered by curving plates of stainless steel, giving it a unique look. A beautiful ochestra was playing a free-for-all concert as I walked in. I sat for sometime, listening to them, and giving a break to my legs.

Photo of Jay Pritzker Pavilion, East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

Next stop was the historic Navy Pier. Although it was a little far, I decided to walk to the Pier, as the road was quite scenic, with views of the Chicago skyline, and the waters. I booked a ticket for the boat cruise on the Chicago River and Michigan Lake (the ticket costs $35). As the cruise was not due to start for an hour, I quickly grabbed a burrito bowl at a nearby TexMex restaurant.

The boat cruise had a young and peppy guide who was studying at Michigan University. She spoke about the history of Chicago, took us through the main buildings of the city. We also got to experience cruising on one of the Great Lakes of the USA, Lake Michigan. I do wish I had a cap or hat, as it was quite sunny!

Do not miss the massive arc of water that the Centennial Fountain shoots a across the Chicago River!

Photo of Centennial Fountain, Oak Avenue, Evanston, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

Cruising on Lake Michigan

Photo of Lake Michigan, United States by Saini Krishnamurthy

Looking back at Chicago from the waters

Photo of Lake Michigan, United States by Saini Krishnamurthy

The cruise was super fun, and I had to go back soon. I decided to quickly stop by for some highly recommended hot chocolate at Xoco.

Hot Chocolate!

Photo of XOCO, North Clark Street, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

Prettiest Avocado Toast I have ever eaten

Photo of XOCO, North Clark Street, Chicago, IL, USA by Saini Krishnamurthy

And that's a wrap on the Windy City! I want to go back again to explore the rest of it.

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