Chicago

Recommended Things To Do – The Imperial Suite at the Chicago Hilton, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Shedd Aquarium. All three of these places are in the middle of downtown Chicago, right off of Lake Michigan. They are walk-able from each other, but you might want to grab a cab for convenience.

My Adventures – I’ve spent many days in Chicago. It has been a great city for my business, and it’s also been a ton of fun to visit for concerts and recreation. Here are some of my favorite Chicago destinations.

Chicago Hilton – The Chicago Hilton is by far my favorite hotel to stay in. On my last stay I found myself living in one of the two Imperial Suites for several days.

The Imperial Suite that I stayed in was about 2,000 square feet and had two bedrooms – each with a private bathroom, a living room, kitchen, and dining area. This spacious suite made a stressful business trip much less stressful. It’s big enough and comfortable enough that you feel like you are staying in your home away from home. And the view of Lake Michigan from the living room area is AMAZING! I recommend the Chicago Hilton and I highly recommend the Imperial Suite, if you can swing it.

The Magic Cabaret – On one of my trips I decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the local Chicago magic scene. For those of you that don’t know much about magic history, Chicago has a wonderful history that is full of magic shops, magic shows, magic bars, and more.

I bought tickets to see the Magic Cabaret which stars Joe Diamond and David Parr. What a fun show! Joe and David treat magic with great respect and their show was full of theatrical flair and mind-bending  illusions. If you enjoy experiencing great magic, you owe it to yourself to drop in and see their show.

Magic Inc. – Magic Inc is the oldest continuously run magic shop in North America. Being a magician, I just had to drop in earlier in the day, before I went to see the Magic Cabaret, and see the place. It’s really a very nice magic shop with tons of tricks, books, videos, and other magic accessories.

If you are a magician, you owe it to yourself to stop in and buy a few things that are on your wish list. If you are not a magician, but you love watching great magic, you should also stop in and ask the demonstrators to show you something cool – you can thank me later.

The Bean – Well, what is there to say about the Bean? Honestly, I can’t think of much. I had heard that you  had to go down to Millennium Park and check out the Bean, so I did. And that picture is proof.

The Bean’s real name is “Cloud Gate” and it’s actually hollow inside. I stopped by Millennium Park to check it out and I was there long enough to snap a few photos and take a look around the Park before I headed over to…

Art Institute of Chicago – In a word…Wow! You could easily spend an entire day walking around the Art Institute and seeing all the masterpieces. I found myself both awed and inspired as I viewed beautiful paintings, drawings, sculptures and more by incredible artists. Spending the day there made me think about my own creative endeavors and how I can create better and more artistic experiences for my audiences.

Hot Doug’s Sausage Superstore – One day a couple of years ago I had just left the airport in my rental car and I tuned into local sports radio. The hosts of the show were going absolutely ballistic that chef Doug Sohn had just announced that he was going to close his much-loved Hot Doug’s Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium.

These guys on the radio were losing their minds that “Hot Doug” had decided not to sell his extremely popular store, just to close it up after years of business. I guess people have a hard time understanding that creators don’t always want to see their “babies” get changed by someone else down the line.

Anyway, I decided that I had to stop in this Chicago staple and enjoy some gourmet sausages. Holy smokes, those dogs were good. I wish I could tell you to drop in and grab a couple on your next trip, but Doug was true to his word and closed up shop at the end of the year.

The Field Museum & Shedd Aquarium – The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are right next to each other on the banks of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. Each of these are world-class. I spent half a day wandering around each place and thoroughly enjoyed myself. If you enjoy museums and aquariums, you will love visiting one or both of these.

United Center (U2 Innocence + Experience Tour) – During the Chicago Bull’s heyday I so badly wanted to go to Chicago and go to the United Center to see Michael Jordan (and team) play.

Years later, I finally made it to the United Center. I didn’t see the Bulls play, but I did get to see my favorite band – U2 on their Innocence + Experience Tour.  The venue was great, as was the concert. Now I just need to make it back to see a basketball game sometime!

Soldier Field (U2 360° Tour) – So it appears that either A) I don’t go to Chicago to go to sporting events, or B) I go to way too many U2 concerts!

My first time at Soldier Field wasn’t to see the Chicago Bears play, it was to see U2 for the very first time on their 360° tour. Walking up to Soldier Field is awe-inspiring. The architecture is really impressive and knowing that you are walking into the home of the Bears is really, really cool.

I am happy to report that seeing U2 for the first time here was amazing. I’ve since seen them quite a few more times.

Chicago is always a wonderful city to explore with something for everyone. I hope you find it as much fun as I have.

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