Here are the benefits of this itinerary:
- They get to see most of the must-see's in a day.
- They take full advantage of the CTA Day Pass for only $5.75 for unlimited rides. (There's no fear in getting lost now, haha!)
- It benefits me because I can go to work the next day. What they do is take the same route as the previous day, but this time, go inside the museums or spend more time to enjoy the attractions.
- Navy Pier. Start from the south part, of course, to show off the best part of the pier. You get to see the ships and a good view of the city's buildings. When you have reached the tip of the pier (eastern most), walk back through the building. Inside the building is a stained-glass and mosaic museum. Good opportunity to do some souvenir shopping. Get some snack or drinks if necessary.
- Take the blue trolleys or any CTA bus to Michigan Ave. Walk south to Chicago Tribune and Wrigley Field. Cross the bridge and go downstairs to the riverwalk. Stop and rest by the riverwalk. Wave at the people taking the Architecture Cruise and encourage them to do that the next day. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- Walk back upstairs to Michigan Ave and walk north to be part of the shopping tourist crowd. Walk to the Water Tower and upto John Hancock Tower. Tell them that they have the option to go to the Observatory the next day or maybe have some cocktails at the Signature Lounge.
- Walk a few blocks south for Chicago-Style Deep Dish pizza. Options are Gino's East, Giordano's -- all along Superior St. If they are willing to walk further, go to Pizzeria Uno along Ohio.
- Go back to Michigan Ave and take a CTA bus to Millenium Park. Very important to take pictures at the Cloud Gate aka The Bean. Go to Crowne Plaza for the water fountain.
- Cross the street to Madison and take a CTA bus to United Center. Seeing Michael Jordan at the United Center was a special request by my friend from Toronto. On the way across the loop (going West) try to show them the Willis Tower. Tell them that they can go to the Skydeck the next day for some more history and most especially, the clear ledge! If they are interested about Chicago's financial district, show them the CBOT and CME buildings.
- Take the same bus route going back to the loop, then take another going to the Museum Campus. Tell them that this is where they can go back the next day and enjoy the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium. Most likely, the sun has started to set and it's getting dark. The best thing to do (actually, I have never done this before -- twas a happy accident) is hop out of the bus at the stop closest to the Adler Planetarium. Sit by the lake and enjoy the sunset -- great photo-op for photography enthusiasts! I must say this is my favorite part of the day's itinerary.