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  • Hanna Rose Tumbusch

Ultimate Chicago Guide - Only 48 Hours Needed

Only have a weekend to get away? No more PTO left, or just enough time to only visit for 48 hours? DO NOT FRET, I have a full itinerary of what we did, where we ate, and where we stayed to make it super easy for you and so that you can fully experience the Windy City with everything it has to offer. Your weekend trip is about to go from 0 to 100, planned, and flight booked just like that.

Let's break it down by day, so you know exactly what you can all get to:


Early in the morning we flew into Midway, took the Orange Line (which is literally only $2.50 one way) to our hotel. The InterContinental is the only hotel in Chicago with a direct entrance opening on to the all-time famous Magnificent Mile. Just check your bags in with the concierge, and they'll be there ready for you when the room is ready! For now, we're off to explore!

Magnificent Mile

If you're as much of a coffee connoisseur as I am, you'll want to just walk up two blocks north of the hotel and checkout Starbuck's Reserve Roastery. This is not just any old Starbucks, this is one of only five that are open across the entire world. You'll only find them in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Milan, and Shanghai. This is a FOUR story Starbucks, with unique coffees to only these five locations. Make sure to give it a try while you're in the city!

Just another short walk from the hotel or Starbucks Reserve Roastery, you will find the most "Instagram-able" brunch spot, Public House. Known for their famous boozy shakes, they're a must when you go. An entire piece of cake, on top of a shake - is there anything more you could dream of? And, your table-tops even serve as our own place to pour your own beer or shots with taps coming straight to your table.

A historical aquarium that has been around for over 90 years, and one of the most diverse aquariums in the world, the Shedd Aquarium is a fun stop for people of all ages. From touching live Sturgeons, to walking under many sharks, it was a definite thrill. Shedd was the first stop with our GO CITY PASS.

If you're looking to book several tourist activities, you will definitely want to get a GO CITY PASS to save you money, and headaches. It's a cheaper pass to visit everything you want in the city, and the #1 reason is because you don't have to wait in those REALLY long lines just to get in - you get to bypass them all.

Resting up, to be ready for a full day on Sunday, we went with Room-Service and it didn't disappoint. Whether you're staying in to avoid the "windy" city, extreme snow, or just to rest from all of the walking across the city - the room-service is delicious. And, the InterContinental is also home to the famous Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, and you won't have to go any further than entering through the hotel lobby.

While you're staying at the InterContinental, you have to take a swim in their Junior Olympic-sized pool, which yes it does get 10 feet deep - that is unheard of for hotels! This 1920's pool holds so much history, and is the perfect way to end the night.


Starting off Sunday bright and early with not only a delicious breakfast spread, but a very affordable one, too. With its red-velvet french toast, very berry french toast, or Nutella crepes, Yolk is just a short 5-10 minute walk from your front door.

Straight from breakfast, we hopped on public transportation to take us where we could get WAY above the city, at the Skydeck. This was our second stop with the GO CITY PASS, and we skipped the half hour long line. At 1,353 feet above the city of Chicago, at the top of the Willis Tower, the Skydeck has stunning views up to 50 miles and four states. It’s home to the famous ledge you see me on below. You’ll see unobstructed views on the 4 foot platform, STRAIGHT DOWN.

We hopped back on the bus, and stepped out in Millennium Park, a nearly 25-acre park packed with attractions. Below I am pictured at the 110 ton Cloud Gate, which is more popularly known as "The Bean" where you can see city views from every angle. During the winter you can ice-skate by The Bean or in the summer you can enjoy the fountains and year-round flower displays.

Less than a five minute walk from The Bean, you can use your GO CITY pass to explore The Art Institute Chicago. Loaded with historical artifacts ranging all recorded periods of human history and regions, this is one of the oldest art centers in the United States. And, not to mention, it is rated one of the best museums in the entire world by Trip Advisor.

When Forbes names the Chef of Siena Tavern "one of the most talented Chefs in the world", you naturally need to try it yourself. From the pasta in a jar (poured out in front of you) to the Bombolini dessert, which are holeless Italian doughnuts where you choose to infuse raspberry, chocolate, or caramel fillings; this certainly topped off our weekend of tasty food.

Last, but certainly not least, if you want to continue with the spectacular views you see above you will want to check out the Signature Room in the same building as 360 Chicago. You can enjoy drinks, or even dinner, 95 floors above the city - unobstructed views during the day or with the city lights at night.

To book your GO CITY PASS for your visit, save nearly 50%, and skip long ticket lines click HERE. There are endless options of where you can go with the pass.

To book a room at the InterContinental Hotel, to be in the heart of the Windy City and right on Magnificent Mile click HERE.

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