Five reasons to go to Chicago this summer.

Josselyn Cruz, Co-editor and writer

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A beautiful eighty-five degree day. OCCurrence writer Robin Sluzas and I decided to go to downtown Chicago on May 31 to explore a few of the tourist attractions that the area has to offer. It is an exciting time and friends or family can have an awesome experience. As we all know, the Chicago lakefront is the perfect summer backdrop for excursions downtown.  From world-class museums, to our beaches, to incredible food options, Chicago on the lake is where people definitely want to be. We decided to visit the Willis Tower Skydeck and take a ride on the Seadog Extreme that docked at Navy Pier. Seadog Extreme is best described as a cigarette speed boat that seats 110. Basically, we rocketed out onto the lake and did a series of doughnuts at 45 mph.  

Here are the five reasons people should go to Chicago this summer:

Willis Tower – Willis Tower is located at 233 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago. The building is 110 stories tall and it is known for being the second tallest building in North America and twelfth tallest around the world! We traveled in the elevator for 60 seconds to the observation deck on the 103rd floor. Our goal was to stand in and on the infamous ledge, a glass box that is attached to the side of the building and extends four feet outside of the building. Once on the Skydeck we saw a wonderful skyview.  As we went to the 103rd floor, we saw a mix of tourists, local, and international people who would get to see the whole view of Chicago. Once Robin and I got on the ledge, it felt like we were seeing the whole view of Chicago straight down! It was an awesome way to get good pictures of the whole Chicago area.

For general admission, the adult admission of 12 years and up is $25 and youth admission of 3 years through 11 years old is $17.  The Skydeck hours are from March – September, Sunday-Friday, 9am-10pm, Saturday from 8:30 am-12 am. Also, it is also open during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. For more information, go to www.theskydeck.com or www.willistower.com

Seadog Boats –  We decided to take a ride on the Seadog Extreme that docked at Navy Pier. Seadog Extreme is best described as a cigarette speed boat that seats 110. Basically, we rocketed out onto the lake and did a series of doughnuts at 45 mph.  The Seadog boats are an awesome way to get a look around Navy Pier and the Chicagoland area from the water. There are two different types of boats which are Seadog and Seadog Extreme. Seadog is where sightseers can get a view of the Chicago skyline and lakefront. Unlike the Seadog, Extreme Seadog is a high speed ride that  turns 360 degrees and puts on music in order to enjoy the experience. Also, we definitely got wet throughout the ride. Robin got water dumped on her at the beginning of the ride,  and I got wet  close to the end of the ride. It was an awesome experience and I had a blast! Both tours talk about fun Chicago facts throughout the ride. Both Seadog rides are 30 minute ride.

The prices of the lakefront Seadog boat are $27.95 for adults and $20.95 for children. The Extreme Seadog ride prices are $34.95 for adults and $24.95 for children. The Seadog cruises are from March-October. The hours the Seadog boat tours the lake are from 11am-8pm and Extreme Seadog hours are from 11:30am-7:30pm. For more information, go to www.seadogcruises.com.

Water Taxis – Shoreline water taxis will give an awesome way to view the sights around Chicago from the river. They can also take people to their destination from Willis Tower/Union Station to Michigan Avenue to Navy Pier and back again. They also go all the way to the Shedd Aquarium/museum campus. We took the Shoreline Water Taxi during the day.

The prices of the lake taxi and full river route which is from Navy Pier to Willis Tower/Union Station and back again are Monday-Thursday of $8 for adults and $4 for children while Friday-Sunday and holidays are $10 adults and $5 for children. From Michigan Ave. to Navy Pier or Willis Tower/Union Station would be $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information go to www.shorelinesightseeing.com.

A less expensive option are the Wendella line water taxis.  These boats cost $6.00 one way and a one day pass is for $10.00.  The Wendella water taxis serve the people who work downtown (commuters) however,  if anyone is on a budget or bringing the family, Wendella’s water taxi line, while offering less tour options is a quick and easy way to ride on the Chicago River. For more information, go to www.chicagowatertaxi.com

Food Trucks – Food Trucks are a great way to start the summer in Chicago.  We left Willis Tower at about 11:45 in the morning and while we were walking back west to the river to catch the water taxi to Navy Pier, we noticed many food trucks on Wacker Drive already serving lunch to customers. At about 11:30 am there are a variety of food trucks from tacos, barbecue, pizza, and more. If you’re in a hurry, this is a quick and easy way to get a delicious lunch.

Navy Pier – We went to Navy Pier to see the beautiful Chicago River and Lake Michigan. On Navy Pier there is a food court where they have a variety of food such as Lalo’s, Pot Belly, Starbucks and IDOF which is Mediterranean food, just to name a few. The Centennial Wheel is about 200 feet and it gives people to see the view of Chicago and Lake Michigan at the same time. The prices of the Centennial wheel are $18 for adults, $15 for children, and children under 3 is free. If  buying online, saves $2. For more information, go to www.navypier.org