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Cheap Travel to Chicago: 5 Great Attractions for Visitors on a Budget

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:52 PM

Chicago can be a great place for cheap travel. There is good public transportation and plenty of free and low-cost options that can help visitors save money.

Here are five great ways to make Chicago doable for people looking at keeping their costs down:

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1. Take a walk down a long pier: Navy Pier is one of the most popular locations to visit in Chicago — and a walk on the planks is completely free. In the summer the pier hosts a fireworks display on Wednesday and Saturday nights and free concerts at the Landshark Beer Garden. A ride on the Ferris wheel costs $7 and is open year-round.

2. Enjoy beautiful gardens: There are two distinctive gardens in Chicago that are perfect viewing for cheap travel lovers, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which is dedicated to exotic plants and the growth of the thousands of specimens used in the city’s parks during fair weather seasons. This series of indoor growing areas can be enjoyed year-round for free.

Chicago Botanic Garden is also free, but visitors should expect to pay about $20 for parking. The site features 26 gardens on 385 acres. It includes a Japanese garden and walled English garden.

3. Explore Millennium Park: This park features art and architecture every day of the year. It is free and open daily. Depending on when you visit, a free ice skating rink or free public concerts are also available to enjoy.

One of the newest Chicago tourist destinations, it has quickly become a favorite. The park also has free WiFi service.

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4. Take in a free zoo: In many places the local zoo can cost a fortune for a family to enjoy. In Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo is free. There is a $20 flat rate for parking. A more economical way to visit the zoo would be to take public transportation (trains end about one mile west of the zoo) or bike from downtown.

Ice skating is available at the zoo in the winter for just $5 (and $5 to rent skates if you don’t have your own).

5. Take in a free tour: This program allows visitors a cheap travel option for tours of the city, but you have to plan in advance. Tours can be customized based on interest, are conducted by enthusiastic locals, and last between two and four hours.

There are also "instagreeter" walks available for people who do not preregister. These walks last about an hour. They are free and leave on the half hour from the Chicago Cultural Center’s Visitor’s Center.

In addition to these free places to visit, many museums in Chicago offer free days to Illinois residents. For a list of those free days check out choosechicago.com. And for visitors who want to enjoy the higher-cost attractions but still keep their expenses under control, check out the Go Chicago Card.

This card allows access for up to 26 attractions for one price. A purchase of the card can be a great way to enjoy cheap travel in the Windy City. Included are the top popular spots like the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Field Museum.

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Chicago can be a great place for cheap travel. There is good public transportation and plenty of free and low-cost options that can help visitors save money. Here are five great ways to make Chicago doable for people looking at keeping their costs down:
cheap travel, chicago, budget, visitors, vacations, attractions
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2015-52-13
Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:52 PM
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