Bike Chicago Part 2 – Millennium Park, Speed Boats & Skyscrapers
Our bicycling adventures around Chicago continue and this time we’re taking on some of the windy city’s biggest attractions. Why? Because some touristy things are popular for a good reason!
We’re always on a mission to get away from the crowds and experience a city like a local, but every once in a while it’s extremely worthwhile to go with the crowd. This past summer (August 2014) we spent two incredible weeks urban camping in the middle of the city, utilizing public transportation and cycling to soak in as much as we could.
It’s a beautiful city isn’t it?!? It blows me away how inviting that water looks on a sunny day. We especially liked this artsy city-park pocket of the windy city and it reminded us of how much we love exploring a big city. We get so caught up in our love affair with nature that we sometimes forget to enjoy the amazing human side of art and culture. Plus, there is something wildly energizing about the buzz of a big city.
Why City Bikes?
Within all of our days of exploring Chicago and festival going we only used our car twice. The summer weather was so perfect we had absolutely no desire to be stuck in a car much less traffic, expensive parking lots and so on! The Metra and DIVVY bikes proved to be a great way to get around the city, however we found that we much preferred the bikes because of the beautiful weather and the leisurely pace at wich it allowed us to explore.
Plus, these city bikes are cheap and convenient with no hassle or worry of having to find secure places to park our personal bikes. For a more detailed answer to this question and a few tips on using the DIVVY Bikes, you’ll find that in Bike Chicago Part 1.
The Route and Itinerary
The yellow route is Bike Chicago Part 1 and the green route is Bike Chicago Part 2 and Bike Chicago Part 3.
10 am – Millennium Park has quickly become a Chicago icon with its impressive collection of public art. We stroll through the Cloud Gate (aka “the bean”), Laurie gardens and check out the very modern Jay Pritzker pavilion. It was happenstance we were treated to an “open rehearsal” concert while wondering about, it really made the beauty of the gardens seem almost surreal.
11:30 am – We take a walkabout through the massive collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s overwhelming how much art is housed in this building but what we really found the neatest was walking in the historic entrance and exiting through the new modern wing, its like the ying-and-yang of architecture and yet it totally flows.
2 pm – Soaking up all that art really works up an appetite! We head up to the top floor of the Art Institute to the Terzo Piano for some much needed modern noshing. Literally every item we ordered was fantastic, they were even kind enough to give us a coffee refill in our travel mug to get us through the afternoon “food coma” slump we knew we’d hit!
4 pm – Navy Pier is a family friendly hot spot but we’re here to catch a ride on the Sea Dog for a sunset Architecture Cruise along the river. The speed boat seemed ridiculous at first but the boat was surprisingly quiet on the river while the finish out in the lake made for a unique way to end the tour, especially since we timed it perfectly for sunset 🙂
Have you ever used city bikes or have a favorite bike friendly city? Do you have some Chicago faves we should know about? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below!
Thanks to Choose Chicago for hosting us and helping plan a realistic daily itinerary.
Wow! Loved your video. Makes me want to go. We loved Montreal as a bicycle friendly city. Rented bikes for the day and went down the St Lawrence river and back on the canal. All on bicycle paths.
Did you get a chance to enjoy the pizza ( Lou Malnatti’s ) , popcorn ( Garretts ), and chocolates ( Fannie Mae ) ?
We have one more video to share, but sadly it’s a huge city and we didn’t get to any of the the three you mentioned.
I have been following your blog for several years, enjoying your travels all over our wonderful USA. This was one of the most delightful videos. It made me feel like I was tagging along. Thanks for the experience.
Awe, thanks for being a part of the journey!
Thanks for the fun video! You guys pack a lot into one day, I’m tired just watching 🙂 If you don’t mind sharing, what camera and tripod does Nikki have on crossbody for the latter half of the video? It looks a nice size and weight.
It’s our old setup, our new one is the Sony a6000 with a Gorilla Pod. You’ll find both in our store under the “cameras and computers” section: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/store
Well, that was fun. I haven’t been to Chicago for 40 years. Thanks for the great video, as per usual.
I’m from Chicago and I still visit about once a year. Thanks for the video, looks like you guys had a lot of fun! What a great city, glad u enjoyed it.
Nice article. I just never thought of Chicago as a place I would want to visit because of all the negative news reports. Thanks for pointing out the good!
I’m totally surprised by the negative comments we got on our YouTube channel, we had a wonderful time and felt totally safe. Who knows!!!
Ken and Julie
We stopped in Chicago for a few days on our way back from Montana in July 2016.Stayed at the McCormick Place truck marshaling yard on Moe Street(watched your video).Had a great time visiting the attractions on Divvy bikes.At no time did we feel we had any questions about our safety or security.Thanks for tip on RV parking in Chicago !