Details: An architecture-focused weekend in Chicago

May 27, 2011

Want to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Chicago? Here’s what you need to know for the weekend of June 3-5:

GETTING THERE

American Airlines flies nonstop from Reagan National to Chicago O’Hare starting at $425 round trip, about the same price as flying Southwest from Dulles to Chicago Midway. Several airlines fly nonstop to O’Hare from BWI Marshall and Washington Dulles starting at about $440 round trip.

Flying into Milwaukee’s Mitchell is significantly cheaper; AirTran flies nonstop from Reagan starting at $263 and from BWI starting at $254. Downtown Chicago is almost a two-hour drive, depending on traffic. Amtrak’s Hiawatha train runs seven round trips a day (six on Sunday) between Mitchell and Chicago’s Union Station for $22 each way; the trip takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

WHERE TO STAY

Sax Chicago

333 N. Dearborn St.

312-245-0333 or 877-569-3742

www.thompsonhotels.com

As part of the 1960s-era Marina City, anchored by twin towers with semicircular balconies designed by Bertrand Goldberg, the Sax is an architectural destination in its own right. Rooms from $399 on this particular weekend. (The following weekend, June 10-12, rates start at $185 through Hotels.com.)

WHERE TO EAT

Xoco

449 N. Clark St.

312-334-3688

www.xocochicago.com

Rick Bayless’s lively Mexican-street-food-inspired cafe, with fabulous tortas (sandwiches) and caldos (soups), $8-$12.50.

The Purple Pig

500 N. Michigan Ave.

312-464-1744

www.thepurplepigchicago.com

The place’s subtitle says it all: Cheese, swine and wine. Small plates, charcuterie and panini, $4-$17.

WHAT TO DO

Chicago Architecture Foundation

224 S. Michigan Ave.

312-922-3432

caf.architecture.org

More than 85 tours exploring the city’s buildings. Architecture River Cruise: 90 minutes, $35. Elevated Architecture: Chicago’s Loop by Train: two hours, $19 including CTA pass.

INFORMATION

www.explorechicago.org

J.Y.

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