- July 6, 2021
- Posted by: Phil Block
- Categories: Maritime, Photography
Independence Day weekend took me to Chicago with a friend for a long-anticipated visit to Chicago’s Navy Pier. This world-famous location typically attracts millions of visitors every year. Having been closed during the Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020, Navy Pier reopened on Memorial Day weekend in 2021. Some limitations were still in effect however, as the traditional Fourth of July fireworks were cancelled this year. Except for the fireworks though, all Navy Pier attractions were open and operating, including live entertainment in the Beer Garden on Saturday and Sunday.
On The Pier
During my visit, I was fortunate to be able to stay in the new Sable Hotel located right on Navy Pier. This location afforded spectacular views of the Chicago skyline, commercial tour boats, and pleasure craft of all types from jet skis to large cabin cruisers. We also had a ringside seat to watch boat traffic line up for transit through the adjacent Chicago River Lock. At the end of a breakwater, the small Chicago Harbor Southeast Guidewall Lighthouse was nearby.
On The Water
My visit included cruises on two different ships, the Tall Ship Windy and a Shoreline Sightseeing tour boat. Getting out on Lake Michigan on these cruises gave me fantastic photo opportunities which included Navy Pier itself, the Chicago skyline, passing boats of all kinds, and the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse.
In The City
On Saturday night, we went to dinner at the Rosebud Steakhouse in downtown Chicago. Afterwards we stopped in at the Drake Hotel for a quick visit to the gift shop before returning to our hotel.
As the weekend came to a close, we returned to the Chicago Union Station to catch Amtrak trains to return to our home cities. While awaiting our departures, we enjoyed the services of the Metropolitan Lounge at the station. Thus ended an enjoyable and memorable visit to a premier attraction on the Chicago lakefront.