Our stop in Chicago had a few firsts for us as campers and as tourists. I had never been to Chicago before and as campers we had never "boondocked" (a.k.a dry camping, camping without hookups) before.
When I started researching where we could camp in Chicago, I could not find one single place that was within an hours distance of the city, which I suppose makes sense since it's a city and there wouldn't be much camping within city limits, but we didn't want to be that far away from Chicago since we were only planning to camp one night and didn't want to spend to much time driving back and forth from the campground.
We found out from another blogger that we could camp in a parking lot right in the heart of the city. We ended up camping in the parking lot of the McCormick Place which was withing walking or biking distance to everything we wanted to see on our whirlwind tour of the city. We were there at the end of July/beginning of August and it was pretty windy - guess that's why it really is called the windy city. The parking lot was a great location and served the purpose for us - I'm not sure if we could have used our generator, probably could have, but luckily it wasn't 100 degrees and we did manage to sleep thru the night.
Since it was our first trip there we didn't know how far things were from each other and probably ended up taking taxis a bit more than we needed to but we had our four year old and our fluffy dog with us so we couldn't ask to much of them to hike all over the city.
The night before I had researched what kind of tour we could take that would allow pets, again "dry camping" we would not have any hookups/no electricity and certainly couldn't leave our dog in the camper sweating to death. So by luck I found two tour companies both offering architectural tours by boat up the Chicago River. We chose the Seadog Tour because it offered more tour times and we weren't sure what time we would actually get there and I'm so happy we did. It was great and the service was awesome. They treated Zico (our dog) better than anyone on the tour (almost) and gave us a discount because we brought a dog. It was so much fun and so nice to be able to do something all of us together. The architecture is really cool in Chicago and it was so nice to see the city and learn as much as we could from the tour during the one day we were in town.
After the tour we walked around the Navy Pier for a bit, had dinner, headed over to the Bean and the Fountain of Faces and then made our way back to the camper. It was a fun filled - full day in Chicago and I highly recommend this way to camp in Chicago. It cost us $35.00 for that one night but it was well worth it.
It was fun exploring a new place and surviving our first night of boondocking. :) On to the next adventure.