Top reasons to explore Chicago before hitting Way 66

Chicago before hitting Way 66 is the ultimate road trip destination, both in the US and across the rest of the world. If you’re scheduling to take on the entire thing, I reckon it’s well worth spending some time in Chicago before you get going. Need convincing. Well, read on to get to holds with the city’s appeal!

Chicago Before Hitting Way 66:

Chicago before hitting Way 66
Image by: Flickr

Probably the most apparent reason to dedicate a dollop of your break to Chicago is that it’s where Route 66 starts. So, if you’re driving the whole thing, you’ll be here anyway – at least for a little while. It’s packed with attractions, so it seems silly to do nothing more than arrive, hop in a car, and skedaddle (though I understand the urge to start an epic journey like this immediately!).

Willis Tower:

Willis Tower
Image by: Pexels

Of all Chicago’s attractions, Willis Tower is one of the best-known and, depending on what floats your boat, the most exciting. The tallest building in the western hemisphere, it juts 1,450 ft into the air. The best bits, though, is that there are two ways you can appreciate this severe height.

The first is a visit to the Skydeck, which is at 1,353 ft and on the 99th floor. Head up here and look forward to 360-degree panoramas of the city and far beyond. In fact, on clear days, you can see up to four states from here, which is pretty impressive! The second is the Ledge. This is a bit higher up, on the 103rd floor, and consists of four glass boxes sticking out just over 4 ft from the building. Go into one of these and look down into the city below. It is way down.

Chicago Cultural Center:

Chicago’s also a decent place to soak up a little culture, and one of the best places to do so is the Chicago Cultural Center. The great thing about coming here is you get all the excitement of the sizable itinerary of shows, exhibitions, and lectures, as well as the wonder of the building itself. Taking a building tour is among the absolute highlights of coming here.

These don’t run daily, though, so it pays to plan. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays see them kick off at 13:15 local time from the Randolph Street lobby. Be fast since only the first 20 people there get to go. The piece de resistance is the stained glass Tiffany dome, which is 38 ft in diameter and the largest worldwide. The glass is cut into the shape of fish scales, and at the top of the dome, you can spot the zodiac signs.

Navy Pier:

Navy Pier
Image by: Flickr

One of Chicago’s top attractions, Navy Pier, is the place to go if you’re after pure, unadulterated fun. Home to a 150-high Ferris wheel, IMAX cinema, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. And several museums, this site boasts many free weekly shows. It’s worth remembering a few of the city’s hidden gems are tucked away here, too, like the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. Plus, there’s also a decent selection of rides to keep the Ferris wheel company. These include a carousel, the Wave Swinger (I’ll let you wait and find out what that is for yourself!), and much more. So, don’t forget to leave time to try them.

By Alex B

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