An Overdose of My Kind of Town
June 20, 2006 4:06 PM   Subscribe

[ADVENTUREFILTER] This summer, I'm riding my bike from one end of Chicago to another. I haven't picked which end I'm starting at or ending at, yet. I plan on exploring a fair amount but I was wondering about some interesting points I might want to stop at along the way. This will probably happen more than once this summer, more likely on weekdays than weekends.

I plan on spending serious amounts of time of the South and Northwest side, but cool finds at any location are helpful. Here are some random things I like:

those metal statues of animals that one guy does
occult bookstores
playgrounds built before 1975
petting zoos
factory tours
abandoned buildings/churches
comic books
record stores
little known parks, beaches, and lagoons
german beer
tanks (like the ones at Grand and Campbell or 100th and J)
novelty shops
country/rockabilly/reggae/hookah bars

Also: Where would you say the best place to watch the sun rise/set is?

Google maps links are well appreciated.
posted by elr to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The sunrise - definitely from the lakefront bike path, somewhere south of Oak Street Beach. Or from the steps to the east of Buckingham Fountain.

The sunset is not particularly visible from the city, although you might find an overpass with some kind of view. (Unless of course you want to see it from the Sears Tower or the John Hancock.)

Graveyards of Chicago
, with pictures and history and listings of famous dead people and where they are interred.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:52 PM on June 20, 2006

I would search the Chicago Park District website for interesting parks - I hear there's a really neat one in Ravenswood Manor.

For German beer, you'll probably have to hit Lincoln Square - I recommend the Huettenbar if you can get a seat by the front when they open the windows. Or, of course, there's the Brauhaus (expensive food, but they have boots! Not that you'd want to do one of those if you're biking far afterwards).

I think there's a petting zoo at the Lincoln Park Zoo, though I'm too lazy to go find out for you (but it is, of course, going to be your best bet).

Not sure I'd want to go into abandoned buildings in Chicago...and can't offhand think of places you can just bike by. But there's always plenty of construction of buildings going on, and if you take a bike up Ravenswood Ave, there're a bunch of old-school industrial buildings that can be interesting to look at.

Um, what else? Murals...I see some from the el sometimes, and I KNOW there was a book published in the past couple of years all about Chicago murals - hit one of the libraries here, I'm sure they'll have it (and speaking of libraries, a bike past the Harold Washington should do you some good on your trip - great building).

That's all I got right now. Sorry for not linking - new to the Mac & Safari and haven't figured out how to link now that I apparently have no "link" button when I post. :-)
posted by bibbit at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2006

not the city but ... the illinois michigan canal trail runs from willow springs to starved rock state park. just northeast of downtown joliet, near the jail, there is an outside museum of sorts for the former joliet iron works.
posted by lester at 7:15 PM on June 20, 2006

Uncle Fun!
posted by agregoli at 7:51 AM on June 21, 2006

Occult bookstore... I just came across one of those on a downtown trip. I think that it was in the area of the Belmont station on the Red Line I think... and I can't find the place on Google!

If anyone knows what I'm talking about, feel free to chime in.
posted by zhivota at 8:26 AM on June 21, 2006

Murals: Pilsen, duh. But you knew that, probably. There's the new Art Center in Hyde Park with huge video projections outside, I hear. Also down there is the beloved Seminary Co-op bookstore, but that's not very weird.

Not much of a trek, but on the record store front there's Dusty Groove.

Also, there's Resurrection Cemetary. But ghosts are scary.

Don't forget a patch kit.
posted by ruby.aftermath at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2006

Everyone knows about Lincoln Park Zoo, but there's a small zoo way up on the north side in Indian Boundary Park. I used to love it as a kid.

Also check out the North Park Village Nature Center. This is another gem that only the locals know about.
posted by Joleta at 3:09 PM on June 21, 2006

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