Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fun and Adventure on Chicago's Historic Navy Pier


My husband and I visited Chicago once before and saw many of the city's iconic sights--see all my prior posts about Chicago at this link. This time we wanted new experiences and went to the Navy Pier. The photo above is a view of the pier jutting out into Lake Michigan from the nearby Hancock Building--more about that on a future blog post.

The historic 3,300 foot long Navy Pier was originally designed in 1916 for shipping and recreational purposes, but it has evolved over the years into a premiere entertainment center. It is the Midwest's # 1 tourist destination and attracts over 8 million visitors a year! (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge if clicked on)


We entered through the main entrance located at 600 E Grand Ave in Chicago, Illinois. 


Inside this building there were various shops, restaurants and a greenhouse, and the entrance to the Chicago Children's Museum. 


Outside the building we saw the 150 foot high Ferris Wheel that was modeled after the world's very first Ferris Wheel constructed for the Chicago 1893 World Columbian Exposition, and the "Wave Swinger" that towers forty feet over a pond of water and swings riders fourteen feet in the air!


My husband and I had to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel! We enjoyed the spectacular views of the Chicago waterfront from our gondola car during the one revolution the Ferris Wheel makes.


By this time we worked up an appetite for lunch, and decided to eat at the Billy Goat Tavern and Grill located on the pier.



There is a lot of history revolving around the Billy Goat restaurants, as you can read on these placards inside. (click to enlarge collage)  The staff really does yell out "Cheezeborger" when you order, and they also say "Double Cheezeborger is Better!"


Even so, we opted for the single cheeseburger, and ate it outside on the restaurant's patio, so that we could enjoy the view and the beautiful weather.  It was a very tasty cheeseburger wrapped in its big bun!


Magically, our time on Navy  Pier seemed to have made my husband taller and it made me smaller--smile!


There are many other attractions and entertainment events on the Navy Pier--click here to see a list and event schedule--but two that we were attracted to deserve blog posts of their own.  One was the Richard H. Driehaus Museum of Stained Glass and the other was a Tall Ship Windy schooner ride on Lake Michigan. Come back soon to see both posts!

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26 comments:

Pondside said...

Wow, Pat, you travel! I always enjoy taking these trips with you - and seeing what you've enjoyed!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Loved the Navy Pier...definitely one of my favorite spots in Chicago! We ate Garrett's popcorn and watched the people and the tall ships that were in the harbour. We 'watched' the ferris wheel as well. :)

diane b said...

It sure is an icon of Chicago. We visited it one afternoon but I'm afraid to say that I wasn't impressed but TOH liked it. Maybe I was expecting too much after reading so much about it or maybe I was just tired out by then. You sure look like you had fun there.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, thanks for the nice tour and info on the Navy Pier.. I have never been to Chicago.. I love the views from above, very pretty skyline.. Great post, have a happy day and week ahead!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fun post Pat - from the Ferris Wheel on the Navy Pier to a cheeseburger at Billy Goat Tavern. I was not familiar with the Billy Goat curse, but someone of something has certainly put a curse on the Cubbies :)

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Sam

From the Kitchen said...

So far, I have not taken a ride on the ferris wheel. The fabulous Chicago Shakespeare Theater is on the pier and we have been season ticket holders since it opened. It's modeled after the Old Globe and the lobby has a spectacular view of the skyline across the water. Great photos! I'm enjoying your visit.

Best,
Bonnie

Snap said...

I adore Chicago and have not made it to Navy Pier ... probably because I've always been there in the winter!!!!! Must make a visit in the summer!
ox

The Gathering Place said...

My mouth is watering for a "Cheezeborger" now. I think the food helps make the trip memorable and fun. I have never been to Chicago, but would love to visit.

ellen b. said...

Well I was wondering if you and I are ever at home but then I do see all the photos of you caring for your grands and seeing those great animals in your yard and hiking about in your own area. I always enjoy your travelogues!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

ANYTIME that you can eat a cheeseburger and THEN grow smaller is pure magic :)

Michelle said...

I always enjoy taking trips with you!

Barb said...

Traveling again, Pat? I liked the tour of the Pier. That Ferris Wheel looks mighty high!

Lorrie said...

You visit so many interesting places, Pat. The navy pier sounds like a fun outing.

ladyfi said...

Looks like a lot of fun.

podso said...

I am catching up on your posts and your Chicago visit! I grew up in a Chicago suburb and Navy Pier certainly has changed over the years! I am enjoying your pictures!

carol l mckenna said...

Pat ~ Wonderful photography of the Navy Pier and what fun you are having ~ Great post for OWT ~ thanks,

artmusedog and carol (A Creatie Harbor)

Claudia said...

Paul and I have made a few trips to Chicago and always find our way to the Navy Pier. I had no idea it was the #1 Midwest tourist destination in the Midwest! Love that you had the cheezboogah! And love the photos of the rides. Made me smile with remembering.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

We visited Chicago once and loved it. What a great city!

(I'd like to buy that "magic" mirror.)

Thanks for sharing.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Vee said...

Looks like fun! I'd enjoy the Ferris Wheel, the cheeseborger, and the skinny mirror.

Felicia said...

That looks like a great place to visit. Only one revolution on the ferris wheel....hmmm they could do two.

Linda said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun there! I love going with you on all your trips!! Happy Monday!!

Rajesh said...

Wow! this is fun for all.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

You get around girl, or as my dad would have said, and he said it many times about me "no grass grows under her feet" LOL. oh, dad's ( and mine) last name "Murphy" LOL

Light and Voices said...

It looks like you are enjoying Chicago first the Cubs Park now Navy Pier. Nice job on the photos.
JM, Illinois

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

The Navy pier is most interesting Pat - I enjoyed my trip there with you!
A beautiful stained glass window.
Shane

Roz Corieri Paige said...

What a fun place to go! I'll need to check it out the next time I visit Chicago. Thanks for all of the great travel advice, Pat!
Roz