a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles
I have a 6 hour layover at Union Station arriving in the late afternoon. what can I visit during that time that is in walking distance from the train station. I enjoy muesums, art, history. Thank you
The Sear's Tower (or whatever it's called this week) is jusst across from the station, but best check the time/queue as it takes a while to get up to the viewing level.
Walk to Millennium Park and the "bean" sculpture. You can also take a look at the old Public Library with its marble walls and Tiffany dome.
I've never traveled by Amtrak so I'm presuming that your luggage either stays on the train or gets transferred? If that's the case, then I'll give you a few options. If the weather is nice and you want to tour some of Chicago's public art, this is a good overview of the public art in the loop, there's a Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Calder all within a blocks of one another.
Another option would be to head to the Art Institute, if you truly have 6 hours the train arrives without delays), you could easily visit for 3 hours and have enough time to get there and back. You could even walk there from Union Station if the weather is nice, it's about a mile between the two and easily see some of the major outdoor art as well.
Millennium Park has a couple of interesting things to see art wise, there's Cloud Gate (the bean) which has a really cool reflective nature to it, it's fun to photograph the skyline in it's reflection. There is also the Gehry designed Pritzker Pavilion and the Crown Fountain which features photographs of real people that rotate, in the warmer months the water is running. All of these are shown on the link I gave you above.
Ha ha, the Sears Tower is now called the Willis Tower but Chicagoans still refer to it as the Sears Tower. You can go all the way up and now they have a glass ledge you can stand on. I haven't been there since they added that but I understand queues can be quite long. And of course if visibility is bad then it's a waste of money.
The old library is on the corner of Randolph & Michigan, it's now known as the Cultural Center. It's a truly stunning building, if you enter from the Washington Street entrance and walk up the stairs, you can see it's Tiffany dome, I believe the largest ever made.
If you walk over to Marshall Field's, alright it's Macy's now, and wander into the cosmetics section near Clinique, look up and you'll see the beautiful Tiffany mosaic.
A couple more blocks, next to the Oriental Theater on Randolph, if you need a snack for the rest of your journey, there is a Garrett's popcorn. Grab some napkins if you get the mix or the cheese.
There is a bronze cow to photograph, outside the old Library now Cultural Centre, and the surviving parts of the AMTRAK station are quite famous and worth a quick look.
Agree the Art Institute is superb so you could enjoy your time there.
If you enjoy Art, the Chicago Art Institute is within walking distance of Union Station (10-15 minute walk).
Thank you. They have lockers at the station so I will not have to lug my luggage around. Thank you for the recommendations
Art Institute sounds good. Thank you.