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Women Tell Women About Chicago

Frank Lloyd Wright, and bookstores...

Girls will love this guy's designs. Located only nine miles west of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the quiet suburb of Oak Park, Illinois is a treasure trove of American design. Here, architectural giant, Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built numerous homes as well as his own studio and an entire school of architectural thought – the Prairie Style. Born of his love for Midwestern prairies, and Japanese and Native American design, Wright created structures that featured clean horizontal lines, broad overhangs, natural wood, plaster, brick and stone, leaded art glass, and colors taken directly from nature, during a career that spanned seven decades. Tours scheduled throughout the year give visitors an intimate look at the genius of this American icon. Website:
Lisa, Kansas, USA

Chicago has wonderful bookstores for academics - especially in the Hyde Park area. The CTS Bookstore has a great selection of new books covering many academic areas, and has many publications not widely available in the US. Powell's on 57th Street is an excellent stop selling used academic books.
Sue, San Francisco, USA

Walk, shop, eat, drink, Chicago...

For a great day on a budget take a walk around downtown Chicago. Be sure to visit the Marshall Field's flagship store on State Street. Frangos are the best candy in the world and it's on sale here. You can lunch at the Walnut Room, but be prepared for a wait. For faster seating, try the Cafe on 7 which has roomy tables with excellent large window views of State Street. It's basicaaly a food court, but upscale. Food is good, generous portions and reasonable prices. Wander the gourmet foods department and the new "green store." Leave Field's and head for Michigan Avenue for windowshopping galore. The shops are beautiful and welcoming. Water Tower Place houses many floors of stores including a Sharper Image and a Chicago Souvenir store (another Field's is located here, but the prices are a bit higher than State Street). Keep walking to the Drake Hotel and stop for a big splurge tea or just walk around to see how the very rich live. If you continue north and cross over to Rush you'll find Doolin's a great Irish pub. You can walk back to State Street or take a cab back to your car/the train (about 6 blocks west of State Street). This is a fun, walking adventure.
Phyllis, St. Louis, USA

Historic Bloomingdales and more...

A sightseeing must is the architectural river cruise; we went on the 'First Lady' and had a wonderful and knowledgable guide. About $25, it was the highlight of the trip for me ( Good places to eat: Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill offers gourmet Mexican food --the best I've ever eaten ( and Maggiano's in Little Italy serving excellent Italian food in a charming atmosphere ( Don't miss going into Bloomingdale's Home Store. If you appreciate architecture, it is the former Medinah Shriners' Temple and the new owners kept embellishments/infra and outer structure such as the gold interior dome, stained glass windows and the two original onion domes atop the roof (600 N Wabash Ave ). For Blues & Jazz I recommend Sweet Home Blue Chicago, two locations -- 736 North CLark St and 536 No Clark St.

If you take the Number 1 bus along the waterfront (I believe it is $1.50), you can travel from one end of the waterfront right to the other end and return for another $1.50. This trip offers a great view of the water and all the properties along the way. P.S. I did it by accident and the bus driver did not charge me for the return trip!
Margaret, Canada

I love Chicago and have lived there in the past and visited many times over. My favorite unique thing to do is to attend a show by the Neo-Futurists. They perform shows every weekend called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. They're an ensemble cast of truly original actors who attempt to perform 30 shows in 60 minutes all with a ton of audience participation. Some call them a quirkier Second City with a similar sketch comedy/drama feel to the ensemble. It's a truly awesome experience where even the price of the ticket depends upon a roll of the dice upon entrance (betweeen $8-13 depending upon what you roll!) And, I believe that if the show sells out, the audience gets free pizza. Highly recommended for a truly Chicago experience. Website:
Rebecca, Washington, USA

Flowers, bling, and summer dorms ...

The Chicago Botanic Garden was the highlight of my trip to Chicago. It's actually 26 different gardens on nearly 400 acres. Strolling from the English walled garden through prairie, waterfall, sensory and Japanese gardens, and into the most artistically arranged fruit and vegetable garden I've ever seen made for a most memorable day. Website: http://
Elizabeth, USA

A terrific bargain shopping area for inexpensive bling bling would be near Clark and Wilson. You can pick up knock off Kate Spade, Coach, Prada. I went crazy the first time I shopped there. However, for the real, authentic fancy stuff nothing beats the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue).
Nancy, USA

The University of Chicago has rooms for $15.00. They are very small and a bit of a train ride away from city center, but for the price, it's definitely worth it. Information: International House, 1414 East 59th St, Chicago IL 60605, Tel: 312-327-5350, Email:
Lauren, Florida, USA

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