Having already seen Sears Tower and doing the river walk one evening at the end of July, I continued along the eastern side of The Loop, as downtown Chicago is called. I was surprised to realize almost the entire eastern third of The Loop is parks until you run into Lake Michigan. The majority of it is taken by Grant Park, which I will get to, but the northern end is called Millennium Park. The funny thing about this park is the fact they missed opening on the park’s namesake by four years, but it was worth it because the park is wonderful. It has many notable features including the monument to the donors, an amphitheater, and fountain (water to play in between two walls with pictures of locals on it), but the best thing was the Cloud Gate (although many people call it The Bean). This highly polished and reflective structure is in fact shaped like a silver bean and the photos you get of the city reflecting off the surface is amazing. Especially at night!!!!!
Grant Park is south of Millennium Park and the main feature in this large park is Buckingham Fountain, which I loved at night with all the lights. Apparently I just missed Lollapalooza, a music festival, as they were cleaning up after it. So, I do not know if it was because of the left over energy from the festival or if it is always a party atmosphere around the fountain, but it was exciting as I watch people take rides in bicycle taxis with lights and music. I also saw a photo shot with a young lady in a dark blue ballroom gown on and people all over just milling around and enjoying themselves.
Although I did not continue any further south, it was 11pm by this point and I got up at 6am for my flight, Soldier Field (home of Da Bears), the aquarium, the Field Museum, and the planetarium all butt up to Grant Park and are worth a visit for sure.