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:
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
333 N. Dearborn St.
312-245-0333 or 877-569-3742
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
449 N. Clark St.
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.
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.
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.