Chicago’s Navy Pier – Explore it at Leisure

Penny W-TStarred Page By Penny W-T, 26th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2t245qqv/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Illinois

If you have never visited the ‘Windy City’ then what have you been missing? My visit was to watch my son take part in its world famous Marathon, but we built in extra days so that we could explore all the wonders of the city. We took a whole day to explore the Navy Pier, and really that was not enough time even then !

Impressive Gateway

The Navy Pier is like a little village in its own right, stretching out into Lake Michigan, and with the sun glistening on the water, it is a place you explore slowly. There is a long road stretching from the entrance gateway, (it’s not wooden, so I suppose technically not a ‘boardwalk’ as most seaside piers are known), one side bordered with shops, cafes, restaurants, and the other quayside is lined with exquisite seagoing vessels that made us gasp.

Huge Ferris Wheel

But the first thing that catches your eye as you enter the Navy Pier is the huge Ferris Wheel, located towards the top end of the ‘village’ but dominating the skyline all around the area. I was tempted . . . . . but resisted. As it so happened, when we finally reached that part of the Pier the Ferris wheel was not in operation, but I am sure the views from the top of it must really define the word panoramic.

Lots to see and Do

We worked our way slowly around the boutiques, souvenir shops, display areas and cafes, stopping for ice creams and cold drinks periodically – for the time of year it was a very hot day. We admired the beautiful yachts moored along the quayside, and stared at the curious ‘hearse’ with its black decor and the silver skulls decorating it. The plan was to work our way to the top end of the pier and the magnificent buildings at the end. We knew there was a restaurant there where we could refresh ourselves and recharge the energy for the return walk back to the gate!

Smith Museum of Stained Glass

Then, part way along the Pier we discovered an amazing place – The Smith Stained Glass Museum. Rather an incongruous thing to find on a Navy Pier we thought, but well worth a wander inside. I have to say at this point, that it is awesome. The exhibits are examples of mainly religious windows and panels, in the most outstanding stained glass I have ever seen. (I was later very disappointed to find that my camera, although digital had managed to spoil most of my photographs, but a few that did survive are shown here).

Resting the feet - Feeling the breeze

After spending time admiring all the glass panels, we made our way towards the end of the Pier, passing a very well populated beer garden, and finding a couple of seats in the adjacent cafe.
At this point there was a pleasant breeze hitting the Pier from the Lake, and we could see a small lighthouse just off the coast.
After refreshment we made our way, equally slowly back along the Pier, calling into a few gift shops for postcards and other things to bring home. I think we are going to need another bag to get everything home!

Tags

Chicago, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, Smith Museum, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
26th Jun 2013 (#)

My mother would LOVE to see the stained glass museum. Let's agree not to tell her about it -- tee hee. Nice article!

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author avatar Penny W-T
26th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for your comment Phyle. It was a wonderfule place, and I am so disappointed that so few of my pictures came out clearly.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Jun 2013 (#)

another great page Penny...across the Atlantic indeed and into the interior of America...thank you...

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author avatar Penny W-T
26th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you CNW. I have only been fortunate to make 3 trips to the US, but each was a memorable event, and there will be more of my reminiscences on here.

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author avatar Retired
28th Jun 2013 (#)

I would love to visit that place one day.

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author avatar Penny W-T
28th Jun 2013 (#)

Janet is is well worth a visit
Thank you for visiting my page.

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author avatar Retired
2nd Jul 2013 (#)

You are very Welcome

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author avatar Delicia Powers
28th Jun 2013 (#)

Sounds wonderful Penny...a very busy and beautiful city-thanks-:0)..

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author avatar Penny W-T
28th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Delicia. It was a truly wonderful experience when we visited Chicago.

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author avatar writestuff
23rd Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks for this informative post. Liked the freshness of article-Stain Glass Museum.

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author avatar Penny W-T
13th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you writestuff for taking the time to read the article. I do appreciate feedback from friends on here. I have been ill and not on line for a time but hope to remedy my absence now.

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