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1st time in Chicago

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Philadelphia, PA
posts: 28
reviews: 45
1st time in Chicago

My husband and I are visiting Chicago for the 1st time for a wedding in late December. The wedding is the 29th. We were planning to fly home the evening of the 30th, but now are considering extending our visit and staying until New Year's Day. The wedding is in Lincoln park.

We found a great rate at the new Thompson Hotel- is this a good location/property? Any suggestions for other locations? We tend to like boutique/luxury hotels rather than the major chains. We are in our early 40s, no kids, tend to plan vacations around food and wine and cultural things.

Also, I notice on other threads that NYE is amateur night in Chicago (like is isn't everywhere else?) but if we do stay through to the 1st we'd like to do something interesting for the 31st. A great dinner with live music- or something unique to Chicago is more our speed. Since I usually work new year's eve at home (in the tourism industry) and am used to behind the scenes access to big events and fireworks I don't want to do anything like that. But it would be nice to enjoy a non-party type NYE event, if there is such a thing. We don't want to leave the city or have to travel far.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

6 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,245
reviews: 88
1. Re: 1st time in Chicago

The Thompson has just soft-opened. It is a perfect location for a few days at NYE. It's bar/restaurant "nico" is scheduled to open in Dec. Have the concierge arrange something for you in the neighborhood. The Thompson may have an opening NYE special. The locations real name is Mariano Park but we call it "the Viagara Triangle". Stay away from Division Street (4 blocks north) that really IS suburban 20-something amateur night.

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 31,052
reviews: 66
2. Re: 1st time in Chicago

You might want head out of the downtown touristy areas and head out to a neighborhood spot for your dinner options. Check the current restaurant scene at www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicagomag.com for ideas. Same two sites are also good for music choices.

Catching a cab on NYE can be daunting. CTA trains and buses are the way to go - http://www.transitchicago.com/

Philadelphia, PA
posts: 28
reviews: 45
3. Re: 1st time in Chicago

Thanks for the advice. from the pictures and description the Thompson seems to be perfect. is it near transit? I'm a city girl- I'd rather train/bus than cab it to save $$. And we're foodies- so great restaurants and interesting eats are a must. I'll bug my friend for NYE ideas but I'm leaning toward just a great meal and a room with a view.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,245
reviews: 88
4. Re: 1st time in Chicago

gogobot.com/mariano-park-chicago-attraction-…

The red line subway has stations at Clark and Division and at Chicago and State St. Mother zthomoson is in between. Michigan Ave is four blocks away

Edited: 10:08 pm, November 17, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,245
reviews: 88
5. Re: 1st time in Chicago

The Thompson is in between. Sorry about spell check.

Edited: 10:10 pm, November 17, 2013
Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 31,052
reviews: 66
6. Re: 1st time in Chicago

Or you can take the #22 Clark bus. Lots of dining options along the way.

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