Jo goes to
|These pictures were taken from the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. It really gives you a spectacular view of Chicago.|
Navy Pier was originally built in 1916 to serve Lake Michigan freighters and provide transportation to other cities on the Great Lakes, as well as for recreational purposes. In 1941, Navy Pier was converted to military use and used throughout World War II. From 1946 to 1964, it was a college campus. Not much happened on the Pier in the 1970's and 80's, but by the 1990's, Navy Pier was revitalized and, today, it's Chicago's most visited attraction.
In addition to the ferris wheel, there's a carousel, a cliff climbing structure, a 3-D time travel ride taking you through the past, present and future of Chicago, and the Chicago Children's Museum. Navy Pier is home to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and an IMAX theater with a 6-story flat movie screen. There's several fast food places, and several very nice resturants. There's also a beer garden that has a stage where you can see live free bands playing. In the summer months, there are fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights.
|Views off Navy Pier, including the lighthouse.|
|U.S.S. Chicago Anchor - The plaque reads:
This 8 ton anchor is from the third warship named after the City of Chicago. The first "Chicago" was part of the Great White Fleet and saw service from 1889 to 1928. The second was commissioned in 1931, and after distinguished service in WW II was sunk by enemy action in 1943 in the Guadalcanal area. The third "Chicago" from which this anchor was salvaged, was commissioned in 1945 as a heavy cruiser, and after WW II action was converted to a guided missle cruiser (CG-11). She saw service in Vietnam and received the Navy Unit Commendation. She was 671 feet long with a 71 foot beam, and displaced 17,700 tons. She was decommissioned in 1980. This anchor is dedicated as a memorial to each ship named "Chicago" and to the thousands of men and women who served their nation in maritime service.
There's all kinds of boats at Navy Pier. You can take short sight seeing boat trips, or a long romantic dinner cruise. Sometimes there are big ocean going ships, both military and cargo ships, docked at the Pier and they have tours so you can see what they are like onboard. When we were there, they had a wooden schooner of the pirate ship variety.
|One of the Seadog boats||My friends and I, and a couple of pirates|
The best time to visit Navy Pier is in the spring or fall. Summer in Chicago can be a hot humid sticky mess and walking for hours outdoors in Chicago in the summer isn't my favorite thing to do. There are huge crowds of people there in the summer. These pictures were taken in mid October, a cloudy day but beautiful weather for the Pier. I wouldn't go there in the winter myself, but if you are the hearty type and don't mind freezing, they do have winter events. Wear layers... lots of layers. :-)