USA trip: Toronto, Detroit, Chicago. Pleas advise.

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deactivated-5e37017cb2ba3

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Hello,

i would greatly appreaciate some tips/advice/recommandations from the giantbomb community for my USA trip end of this month. My girlfriend and i will visit her brother, who is located in Detroit. We are searching for things to eat, things to look at and to do. Doesn´t need to be video game focused.

Right now only the basic points are planed:

-3 days Toronto

-3 days Chicago

-4 days Detroit

-4 days northern Michigan

We plan on driving by car between the cities.

I noted down Dan`s recommendations for Taco Bell from the last Beastcast. That`s all i got. So please help!

Oh, we are from Germany and 29 years old, if that helps.

Thanks

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physicalscience

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Just a tip: Toronto is in Canada, not the United States. But there is a sort of space needle there with a restaurant at the top I think and also Drake is from there.

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BallsLeon

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As far as Detroit a few things I remember growing up outside the downtown area:

  • Buddy's Pizza (Detroit style deep-dish)
  • {Name}'s Coney Island (delicious chili dogs, all similar quality from my experience)
  • HockeyTown is cool IF you're into hockey
  • Henry Ford Museum was always kinda neat

Aside from that, Detroit has change A LOT since I lived there.

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Darth_Navster

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Definitely make sure you've got your passport for the Toronto leg of the trip, but while you're in Hogtown, here's what I recommend:

- The CN tower is definitely worth seeing, but avoid the restaurant at the top. The Steamwhistle brewery nearby is great to grab a drink and for food I would recommend something on nearby Front Street, like Scaddabush Kitchen & Bar

- Casa Loma is a must visit as well. An old manor with secret passageways and the like, it's been in plenty of movies like Scott Pilgrim and X-Men

- Depending on your sports fandom, the Hockey Hall of Fame is worth checking out to get a history lesson of the nation's sport

- Food-wise, Toronto is known for an eclectic mix of international foods. If there's one type of cuisine that I'd say the city does better than most, it's West Indian/Caribbean food. The really good stuff is in the suburbs of Scarborough and Brampton, but if you want to stick to downtown, Bacchus in Parkdale is great.

PM me if you want more suggestions!

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hack1501

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#5  Edited By hack1501

If you are going to Northern Michigan then I would recommend Isle Royal National Park. Even if you are not into nature, if something is labeled a National Park in the U.S., then you can ensure it is beautiful and worth taking in.

https://www.nps.gov/isro/index.htm

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chrispaul92

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While in Chicago if you can afford it and they're in town, maybe try to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley.

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thatbendorf

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#7  Edited By thatbendorf

I usually go to Chicago 2-3 times a year since I only live 2 hours away.

The Lincoln Zoo is free and a nice way to spend a couple hours.

The view at night from the top of the Navy Pier ferris wheel is breathtaking, as are the sights from Willis Tower.

The Magnificent Mile has tons of shopping if you or your significant other are into that. Even just walking around window shopping can be fun.

You definitely need to eat at Giordano's, it has amazing Chicago style pizza!

The Museum of Science and Industry is pretty cool, and Shedd Aquarium is very nice.

Whew, ok I think this post is long enough! But feel free to PM me if you need anymore ideas, or if you have any questions!

Have fun duder!

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ottoman673

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#8  Edited By ottoman673

You can probably shave a day or two off Detroit and come to Grand Rapids if you're into artisan/craft beer or liquor. We were voted Beer City 3 years straight.

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hippie_genocide

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@thatbendorf: Is Giordano's really all that? I feel like half the people I talk to say it's overrated and half say it's amazing.

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andrew2696

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YummyTreeSap

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I think the Kensington Market in Toronto is good as hell.

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physicalscience

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#12  Edited By physicalscience
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Hunkulese

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#13  Edited By Hunkulese

Toronto's an alright place, but pretty meh as a tourist city. The CN Tower is neat, but it's like a 30 minute experience. It's really not worth the potential hassle of crossing the border twice. If you do end up venturing into Canada, maybe try and stay at Niagara Falls for a night. There are much more interesting places to visit on the coast. Pretty much anywhere on the coast is more interesting than Toronto. Washington DC is a great place to visit if you're into museums at all.

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YummyTreeSap

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If he's going to Toronto, Detroit and Chicago, it's unbelievably unhelpful to tell him to go to a much worse city nine hours away or more from any of those three.

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Hunkulese

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#15  Edited By Hunkulese

@yummytreesap: He seems to have lots of time. Why waste it in Toronto? Toronto isn't exactly close to Detroit. As a place to visit, Washington is better in every way than Toronto.

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cyberbloke

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I can only advise on Toronto. My in-laws live there so we visit every year from England.

The CN Tower is a must, and personally I would recommend the restaurant. A reservation gets you free entry to the tower and you get to skip the lines. The restaurant revolves slowly so you get an ever-changing view of Toronto as you eat.

The Ripley's Aquarium next to the CN Tower is worth a visit as is the baseball stadium, which is also nearby.

I attended my sister-in-law's wedding at Casa Loma last year. As a Brit I found it to be a rather cheesy mock castle, nothing like the real thing.

If you haven't been to Niagara Falls I would recommend you make it down there. If you are driving I'd imagine you'll pass it anyway.

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Giantstalker

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Ottawa is honestly way more interesting than Toronto. Go there

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Hadoken101

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Belegorm

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I haven't been there, but when you're in Chicago you should definitely go to Galluping Ghost Arcade, and look up other arcades possibly. Galluping Ghost is supposed to be one of the largest remaining arcades in the country and by all accounts is damn amazing.

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Dray2k

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@physicalscience: A Space Needle that is like 3 times as big as the "known" space needle.

Not even kidding, I went to that place and the tower is enormous. Also Canada in general is well worth a visit if you plan a whole trip just for it alone.

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mtfikhan

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@kingbonesaw: But Why?

Toronto for Food

- Kensington Market: Just go there and find whatever hipster, gourmet burger, frozen yogurt thing you like and go eat it.

- Ozmows on Queen Street, Chicken on the rocks, I go with the spicy one

- Sweet Jesus: Ice cream, near Queen Street

- Paramount: If you are in the mood for Shwarma, these guys are the place to go

- Suko Thai: Best/Greatest Thai Food I have ever had

- Tim Hortons: Duh

Other than that, walk around Dundas Square. Go to the CN Tower, Walk around the harbour( Have a Beavertail)

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Dizzyhippos

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#23  Edited By Dizzyhippos

If you do end up going to Toronto I highly recommend doing the "tourist thing" and going to see Niagara Falls if you have never been before. I live so close to them I am kinda numb to the spectacle myself but everyone I have ever gone there with from out of town always enjoys it. (Note my experience is from the American side I assume the Canadian side is much cleaner.)

If you do get bored in Toronto (and dont mind dealing with the hassle of crossing the border and extra time. You might want to check out Buffalo, depending on when you come there are normally festivals and stuff going on during the summer, plus the food is better then you would expect.

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iammattz

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Will echo the other Toronto comments here to say the best way to experience our wonderful city is eat your way through it. Toronto has top-notch food from just about every culture. If it's your thing, I would definitely suggest making a list of good restaurants to visit and try to cross off as many as you can. There are plenty of good recommendations in this topic so far.

Save for CN Tower and Casa Loma there aren't really many "must-see" tourist attractions here. Walking through areas like Kensington Market, Harbourfront, St. Lawrence Market, Queen West (if you're interested in our take on German food I recommend Otto's Bierhalle - probably the only place I've had a decent schweinshaxe in the city), and downtown in general gives a better feel for the city than anything else. Assuming you're into video games, I'd also recommend trying Get Well one night for games and drinks. Otherwise, the day trip to Niagara Falls is well worth your time.

As for your Northern Michigan leg, you'll probably want to visit Traverse City and/or Mackinaw Island. Be advised though, North America might be a bit chilly at the end of May compared to Germany!

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thatbendorf

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@hippie_genocide: Well I definitely fall into the "it's amazing" camp. With so many different choices and styles of pizza in that town, I can understand why opinions are so split, variety being the spice of life and all. But either way you slice it(puns are fun), it's still a great pie in my opinion!

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archer88

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@mtfikhan: Being Canadian I don't really like travelling around Canada. Toronto has an irritating culture around it with the mentality that the people there are better than everyone even though they are just like every other city in Ontario. You can find the same restaurants and stores all around Ontario for the same prices so there isn't any fun in travelling there.

What a broad sweeping statement. There is so much variety in Canada, how can you not like travelling around the country as a whole? Toronto does have a "We're superior" culture to it, but it's hardly as bad as you make it out to be. Even in places I have visited where this is almost overwhelming, like Vancouver, it still didn't prevent it from being a place worth visiting.

@iammattz said:

Will echo the other Toronto comments here to say the best way to experience our wonderful city is eat your way through it. Toronto has top-notch food from just about every culture. If it's your thing, I would definitely suggest making a list of good restaurants to visit and try to cross off as many as you can. There are plenty of good recommendations in this topic so far.

Save for CN Tower and Casa Loma there aren't really many "must-see" tourist attractions here. Walking through areas like Kensington Market, Harbourfront, St. Lawrence Market, Queen West (if you're interested in our take on German food I recommend Otto's Bierhalle - probably the only place I've had a decent schweinshaxe in the city), and downtown in general gives a better feel for the city than anything else. Assuming you're into video games, I'd also recommend trying Get Well one night for games and drinks. Otherwise, the day trip to Niagara Falls is well worth your time.

A few more attractions to add to the list:

- The Distillery District
- Art Gallery of Ontario
- Royal Ontario Museum
- Hockey Hall of Fame
- Toronto Island and Harbour Water Tours
- St. James Cathedral
- Toronto Islands/Centre Island
- Toronto Zoo

And if you can arrange tickets for a show/game:

- Ed Mirvish Theatre/Princess of Wales Theatre
- Rogers Centre (Skydome)
- Second City Toronto
- Royal Conservatory of Music
- Famous People Players Dinner Theatre
- Roy Thomson Hall

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Big_Denim

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#28  Edited By Big_Denim

@ottoman673: I was gonna say this as well. I'm from Massachusetts, and while our scene is great, I am quite jealous of the craft beer scene in Michigan. @crizi - if you enjoy a good brew, I definitely recommend checking out some of the breweries in Michigan. Founders, Bell's, Jolly Pumpkin, and Dark Horse are top notch breweries that shouldn't be missed. There are probably other good ones I didn't mention that just aren't distributed out to my area of the US.

EDIT: I'd also check out 3 Floyds Brewing on your way to Chicago (only ~35 minutes south of the city).

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Kevin_Cogneto

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#29  Edited By Kevin_Cogneto

@thatbendorf: @hippie_genocide: Giordano's is very dependent on the location. Both of the ones in the Loop are fantastic, as is the one in River North on Rush & Superior. However, the location at Navy Pier is complete dogshit, probably because it's the one that all the tourists flock to. I've been to plenty of locations in the suburbs that were really lousy as well.

@belegorm: The Galloping Ghost is incredibly overrated in my opinion. Yes it has the most arcade cabinets of any arcade in the U.S., but that just means they've crammed five hundred machines into a space too small to fit them, just so they can say they have the most cabinets. It's cramped, it has zero atmosphere, and it's inconveniently located. It's not necessarily a bad arcade, but it certainly doesn't deserve its reputation as some sort of gaming Mecca. For someone in Chicago for only three days, I definitely would not recommend wasting the two-hour round trip from the Loop to Brookfield just to see it.

@crizi: The Chicago museum campus is a great way to spend a day, if you're interested in high-falutin' learning type things. You can hit the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium in an afternoon, and last time I was there admission is still fairly cheap for all three, around $15 per person.

Also if you have any interest in blues at all (or even if not, honestly), set a night aside and hang out at Buddy Guy's Legends. I've never once seen a bad show there, and I've probably been there twenty times. Kingston Mines is a good blues club as well, if you're in the Lincoln Park area.

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thatbendorf

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@kevin_cogneto: I will admit that I have ever only been to the ones in the loop.

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BlastProcessing

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#31  Edited By BlastProcessing

For Toronto I recommend the following:

-Visiting the CN Tower

-Visiting the Ripley's Aquarium (right next to the CN Tower)

-Seeing the Pandas at the Toronto Zoo

-Hockey Hall of Fame

-Royal Ontario Museum

-And if you have time, a Blue Jays game.

There is also a killer video game store on Spadina Ave. called A & C Games that I cannot recommend more.

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physicalscience

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@dray2k: hmm that is interesting, I have never been to Seattle so I just assumed they were the same size or Seattle's was bigger! Also I would agree that Canada is well worth a trip alone. I live across the lake (Syracuse, NY) and take trips up to Montreal a lot and I really, really love that city.

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Ataxia

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There's nothing to do in Toronto. There's the CN tower, but it's so over priced. That's it. Everything else is just standard crap you get in any other city in the world

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@ataxia: I'd like to think the Aga Khan Museum, the ROM, and Hockey Hall of Fame are quite unique, but keep up your Toronto hate boner.

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Zelyre

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#35  Edited By Zelyre

@thatbendorf said:

I usually go to Chicago 2-3 times a year since I only live 2 hours away.

The Lincoln Zoo is free and a nice way to spend a couple hours.

The view at night from the top of the Navy Pier ferris wheel is breathtaking, as are the sights from Willis Tower.

The Magnificent Mile has tons of shopping if you or your significant other are into that. Even just walking around window shopping can be fun.

You definitely need to eat at Giordano's, it has amazing Chicago style pizza!

The Museum of Science and Industry is pretty cool, and Shedd Aquarium is very nice.

Whew, ok I think this post is long enough! But feel free to PM me if you need anymore ideas, or if you have any questions!

Have fun duder!

Lincoln Park Zoo is nice. If you're driving, parking is like... $20. My girlfriend and I have walked from Union Station, to Navy Pier, to the Magnificent Mile, to Lincoln Park zoo and back in one trip. If you're driving, it might make sense to park at the zoo and walk from there...

Parking in downtown is silly.

Navy Pier is neat this time of year. It gets super packed, though. There used to be a pier near there called North Pier (Across the street. I think it's apartments now.) and that's where the Battletech center used to be.

Every Chicagoan has their own favorite pizza place. For us, it's Gino's East. The head chef at Disney's Victoria and Albert's is from the Chicagoland area. When I asked him where his favorite pizza place was, he told us he misses Gino's the most. I've never had luck at Giordano's, but we've only tried the suburban locations.

Speaking of incredibly expensive restaurants, Alinea. If you can manage to get a table there, do it. While the idea of spending close to a grand US on a dinner for two can seem real stupid, you're not going to do this every night.

Speaking of incredibly expensive, the Mag Mile. It's mostly super high end shops.

The MSI is SUPER cool. However, it too, gets super packed. Drive down Lake Shore Drive, I would not take back routes. If you only do one ticketed event, I would do the U505 which was recently moved into an indoor location. As a kid, we'd go on Sundays and it was pretty empty. Now, it's always packed. One day, I'm going to try the members lock in...

The Shedd is cool. However, you need to really buy in to see all of it. It's the most expensive place and entry for me and my girlfriend along with access to everything was over $100.

The Art Institute is great. If you're a student, I believe it's cheaper to become a student member that gets +1 access than it is to buy two regular priced tickets.

The Field Museum is really cool too. The T-Rex at Disney's Animal Kingdom is a copy of Sue at the Field Museum. If any of these museums draw your attention, there's a museum pass that gives you access to a few of them for a discounted price.

I love going to Chinatown. The Phoenix is probably my favorite place for dim sum. You can get there from the water taxi.

Oh yeah, the Chicago Water Taxi. You can get an all day, unlimited ride pass. With this, you get easy access to the Sears Tower (You could call it Willis. People will look at you weird.), Goose Island, Magnificent Mile (Which is then a quick walk to Navy pier), and China Town. And you get to see all the cool buildings from the river.

Hit up Portillo's for lunch. Unfortunately, I don't think it's nearly as good as it used to be. The quality seems to have gone down after it was sold. But, the italian beef, dipped, with sweet and/or hot peppers and a chicago style hot dog are a must.

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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@cyberbloke: Casa Loma is great for the novelty of "Hey this dude built a castle because he wanted a fucking castle."

For Toronto:

Go to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the CN Tower, and the Royal Ontario Museum. Might be cool to see a baseball game down at the stadium formerly known as Skydome (now the Rodger's Centre), depending on when you're gonna be here. We also have an okay zoo. You can see pandas and stuff there.

If you're willing to go a little out of your way, there's some cool spots. Kensington is a cool neighbourhood with a bunch of great food. We also have a good retro-focused games store called A&C Games, down on Spadina and College. Fair warning, though: they tend to be expensive. A day trip to the Toronto Island may be nice too. Theres a terrible amusement park there, but you can walk through that nightmare and just walk/rental bike around the island proper.

EDIT: If you want to see some bands or something you could go to Smiling Buddah. It's an okay bar and there may be a shitty local punk band playing or something. There's also Lee's Palace, which is a little more of a traditional club. Still cool though.

I would take note that you'll be crossing a border going to Chicago and it takes a while. It's not the quick and easy border jump you may be used to as a citizen of the EU, so keep that in your itinerary if you want to make the most of your time in each city, all of which are amazing and have a tonne to see.

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mellotronrules

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#37  Edited By mellotronrules

don't listen to the toronto hate. especially if it's coming from a canadian- love yall, but toronto is rad city. deal with it.

i lived there for 8 years, currently in nyc. i'd move back to the in a flash if it was in the cards. @crizi - you into beer? check out bellwoods brewery. these are two of my favourite bars. you like music? try seeing a concert here or here. you can buy tickets at either of these record stores, which are both worth a visit if that's your thing. sonic boom is kinda fun too (lots of free concerts).

if you like graphic fiction, the beguiling is dope. and if you just want to people watch- trinity bellwoods is a pleasant park to hang out in.

@yummytreesap said:

I think the Kensington Market in Toronto is good as hell.

^this guy gets it. kensington is fly. get a drink at ronnie's (if it's still there, never can tell these days).

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buttle826

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I can back everything that @zelyre and @thatbendorf said about Chicago. I'll add a few things:

It'll probably be too cold, but if it's nice you should go hang at the beach on Lake Michigan. Particularly if you're in the city on a weekday.

I think Giordano's, Gino's East, Pizzaria Uno/Due are totally fine. But if you MUST eat deep dish pizza (and you should at least try it) I actually recommend you go to Pequod's. That's where REAL Chicagoan's eat deep dish.

Try and go to the top of the Willis Tower. I believe it's the second tallest building in North America.

Finally, if you want to go to a barcade, go to Emporium or Headquarters. Don't go all the way out to Galloping Ghosts.

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GROND94

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#39  Edited By GROND94

I'm around your age and have lived in Chicago for last 7 years. Chicago has a little bit of everything, but it does these few things at a world class level, SPORTS, FOOD/DRINK, ARCHITECTURE/NEIGHBORHOODS, and MUSEUMS

SPORTS: Chicago has 2 Baseball teams (Cubs on the North Side, White Sox on the South Side) and Soccer team (Chicago Fire) that should be still playing while you are there. (We also have the Bulls, Blackhawks, and Bears). The Cubs play on the North Side in historic Wrigley Field which sits in the middle of a neighborhood surrounded by bars and restaurants, will be pretty expensive but worth the trip. The White Sox are on the South side, much cheaper and still a great experience to take in MLB baseball. The Chicago Fire are our soccer team and recently signed German national Bastion Schweinstieger (sp?) who I'm sure you're familiar with.

FOOD/DRINK: Instead of arcades, Chicago as several arcade bars. (Headquarters Beercade, Emporium) fun way to drink and play video games. I think any of the deep dish pizza places are worth your time, everyone has their favorites (Giordanos, Gino's East, Pequods, UNO, Lou Malnatis. Get a Chicago Style hot dog and italian beef at just about anywhere. Lots of breweries to check out (Revolution, Half Acre, Lagunitas, Goose Island, tons of smaller ones too.) Depending on how much you are willing to spend there are many world class restaurants along Randolph Street in the West Loop, Steak houses in River North, tons of variety.

ARCHITECTURE/NEIGHBORHOODS: If the weather is nice, take an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River, great and unique way to see and learn about the city. Rent a bike and ride along the lake shore path. Check our Millennium Park where the Bean is, Buckingham Fountain, and Parks and playgrounds. May is the month when many neighborhood streetfests start. This are outdoor festivals in the different neighborhoods around Chicago that has great food, music, and beer. Great way to get away from the tourist spots downtown. Go to the top of the Willis Tower (tallest in the US) or the Hancock building ( If you go up to the top floor bar and restaurant you dont have to pay to get to the top.) Also if you are looking for a taste of home, the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the North Side off of the Brown Line Train is a historic German neighborhood with a small square with German fare and Bars.

MUSEUMS: Any of the museums are worth your time, Art Museum is one of the best in the world, Field Museum for Natural History, MSI for Science, Shedd aquarium, and Addler Planetarium.

One more thing, check out an Improv Show for comedy. Many of the cast members on Saturday Night Live get their start at the Improv spots in Chicago (Second City, IO Theater, Improv Olympics, many smaller ones)

Sorry for the long post but love my city and sharing it with others. Enjoy!

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RenegadeDoppelganger

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Toronto

Some really great suggestions already. Seconding Kensington Market, The Distillery, Art Gallery Ontario, and Royal Ontario Museum (take the subway to the ROM as Museum subway station is a really unique stop!).

If you're looking for things happening in the city during your stay, BlogTO keeps tabs on events happening around the city and is generally a pretty good way to find stuff to see and do.

Things to do

Trinity-Bellwoods Brewery. If you're in Kensington, the sun is out and you're craving some patio drinks, you may be able to snag a outdoor table at this local brewery/pub.

Evergreen Brick Works. Former quarry and brick making industrial area converted into a beautiful public space in a scenic pocket of lush green near downtown. EGBW usually hosts farmers markets, arts, craftspeople, festivals, local events and other stuff. See what's happening when you're in town as it's great opportunity to spend an afternoon outdoors if the weather's nice.

Tilt Arcade Bar. Okay, every city now seems to have a Barcade and tbh many in Toronto are lackluster dives with 2-3 dusty machines. Not Tilt. Tilt has around 25+ machines all on free play with a good variety of 80's classics, late-era 90's, pinball both old and new, even some home consoles. Also there's a bar!

Places to eat

Bannock is a nice, centrally located casual brunch/lunch spot with modern takes on Canadian food. I've never been disappointed with the consistent quality of their dishes.

Saint Lawrence Market. The canadian version of Pike's Place Market in Seattle. It's toronto's largest indoor market with a tantalizing mix of food vendors, farmer's markets, and shopping. Stop by one of the many cafes, restaurants or vendors or buy some really good bread, meats and cheese and make yourself a sandwich!

Photo Opportunities

CN Tower is Toronto's most recognizable skyline feature (and formerly the tallest free standing building in the world). It's also the most cliche tourist attraction in the city but hey, it's hard to compete with the views. Ride the glass elevator, snap some skyline pics on the observation deck, sheepishly peek at the glass floor and then leave and spend the rest of your time elsewhere. Do not spring for the SkyPod (highest observation deck) as the wait to simply get on the elevator can be over an hour.

Toronto Island is a an excellent way to snap a pic of the entire toronto skyline in profile and generally a pretty good way to spend and afternoon, weather permitting. Unfortunately right now due to flooding all Ferry's are currently cancelled. Hopefully by the time you arrive this will have changed but it's a good idea to check the site for updates during your visit (it's also how you buy tickets).

Getting Around

A word on driving in the Downtown Core. Avoid doing it if possible. It's a congested mess and -if you're visiting during in summer- largely under construction. Leave the car at the hotel and use transit as it'll cover 90% of where you'll want to go in the immediate area.

If you do plan on taking public transit to get around the city, get a Presto card. Presto is a pre-paid transit card that you can scan to pay fares on our trains, subways, street cars and busses. Load one up for your stay and simply scan the card to ride. Available at Union Station (Toronto's central transit hub/train station/bus terminal/subway stop).

If you'd rather bike around there's Toronto Bike Share where you can pick up a bike at one of the many stations and ride it to your destination and drop it off at a station nearby. It's $15 CDN for a 3-day pass. Good for a bike trip through some neighbourhoods.

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GROND94

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Try and go to the top of the Willis Tower. I believe it's the second tallest building in North America.

Sears Tower is second "tallest" only to the new world trade building in NYC. However, One World Trade was only given this distinction because its "Spire" on top is considered part of its height, while the antennas on top of the Sears Tower are not. Malarkey! The top floor of the Sears is higher than the top floor of One World Trade. Makes me so irrationally angry :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_the_United_States

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Brackstone

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For Toronto, ideally you'll want to eat a different type of cuisine each day, since that's easily the biggest benefit of the city. The ROM is worth it as far as museums go.

As a slightly more obscure recommendation, if you're interested in Opera at all, definitely check out the Canadian Opera Company, it's one of the best in the world and since you're 29, you should be able to get cheaper tickets. I'd even argue if you're not into opera but mildly curious about trying it at some point (like I was), the COC is the way to go because their surtitles (basically live projected subtitles) make opera a lot more approachable, though of course that wouldn't be as important for you if you attended a German production. They also run some random, free concerts over the summer, so those might be worth checking out.

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kdogg2010

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#44  Edited By kdogg2010

In Detroit you should hit a Tigers game if they are in town and then go to some of the bars around the stadium afterward. There are casinos (Greektown, Motor City) if you are into that and I demand you go to Astoria Bakery in Greektown.

And if the Tigers aren't playing see what's on at the fox theatre. Same area as the stadium so you can do the same stuff

I don't know what you mean by northern Michigan but if you are talking Upper Penisula go across th Mackinac Bridge ( you have to) but stop in Mackinaw City and get fried fish at Scalawags. Then go to Mackinaw Island, you take a ferry and there are no cars on the island. Also drive up to Sault Ste Marie and see the boat locks, Taquaniman Falls and Pictured Rocks in Munising if you are up for a lot of driving. Some of the most beautiful untouched parts of Michigan you will find.

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Kevin_Cogneto

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#45  Edited By Kevin_Cogneto

@zelyre said:

Navy Pier is neat this time of year. It gets super packed, though. There used to be a pier near there called North Pier (Across the street. I think it's apartments now.) and that's where the Battletech center used to be.

Oh man, I absolutely lived at that BattleTech center as a kid, I was so sad when it closed down. I remember we used to go to the shitty VR place across the way from it (which usually featured Dactyl Nightmare or some other barely-functional piece of garbage), and tell them how much better the BattleTech center was from their crappy VR games. We were a bunch of assholes when we were kids.

Anyway if you put a BattleTech pod in front of me today, I bet it'd take less then ten minutes for all the muscle memory to come back. I had a whole system worked out, lasers on the trigger, missiles on the left thumb button, ballistic weapons on the right thumb stick, and I could reassign them on the fly if I lost some weapons systems, to the point where the employees were telling me how impressed they were. I remember near the end they rolled out that Red Planet variant, which I was less good at but was still really fun.

Years later (2003-ish) I stumbled across the BattleTech pods purely by chance at a Dave & Busters, of all places. Apparently they bought the things, but without all the training videos and the atmosphere it wasn't the same. I remember I was the one who had to explain to my friends how all the controls worked, the Dave & Busters employees barely knew the half of what all the buttons did, they thought they were just there for show.

Anyway, my point being I was a pretty big wheel at the BattleTech Center, is all I'm saying. I recommend the OP go back in time and visit the BattleTech center.

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GROND94

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#46  Edited By GROND94

@ltsmash said:
@grond94 said:
@buttle826 said:

Try and go to the top of the Willis Tower. I believe it's the second tallest building in North America.

Sears Tower is second "tallest" only to the new world trade building in NYC. However, One World Trade was only given this distinction because its "Spire" on top is considered part of its height, while the antennas on top of the Sears Tower are not. Malarkey! The top floor of the Sears is higher than the top floor of One World Trade. Makes me so irrationally angry :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_the_United_States

Do you also still say Marshall Fields instead of Macys?

Yes, and I listen to the Superbowl Shuffle on repeat, and I keep voting for a Mayor named Daley while I fly into Meigs Field, and I keep yelling at clouds!

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ht101

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#47  Edited By ht101

I saw a couple of people mention it but the Shedd Aquarium is definitely worth a visit. It's my favorite aquarium I've been to.

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flippyandnod

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Northern Michigan is very rural. If you want to see wilderness you'll love it. If you don't, it'll be 4 days of hell.

You may find it rather difficult to rent a car to cross the border in. Driving a car across the border is easy. It's finding a rental car that you are allowed to take across the border that is harder. Better investigate this before you go. Depending on the rental car company then crossing multiple state lines can be hard too (usually only to adjacent states, at least where the states are large, as around Michigan). If you are borrowing a family car then you should have no problem with any of that, just make sure you are clear when asked that you borrowed the car from family.

If you're really going to drive around, maybe get out to Ann Arbor from Detroit. Go to Zingerman's Deli (like any tourist would) and see the town. It's a nice town. And parking shouldn't be bad during summer.

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Tips on your visit to Canada:

  1. Move through Windsor quickly otherwise you'll end up with a gambling addition
  2. Toronto is a great city if you love condos and pharmacy chains
  3. You'll need a visa so make sure you apply before

Tips on your visit to Detroit:

  1. Have you seen the movie Robocop?
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deactivated-5e37017cb2ba3

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Thanks everybody for your recommendations.