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Michelin Green Guide Chicago (Anglais) Broché – 2 avril 2011
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Purchased this guide in preparation for our first visit to Chicago. Received it a few days before the trip, with limited time to read over the material.
My biggest complaint is that the index is weak! There is a lot of info that is not accessible via the index. Example: when looking for the Sears Tower, it only refers to the tower's completion date on pg. 42. It was not until we returned home, that I found info about the Tower's name being changed to the "Willis Tower" and the Skydeck attraction (pg. 93-94). The index does not even include the "Willis Tower".
We purchased tickets for a show at the Oriental Theatre/Ford Center for the Perfoming Arts. It was difficult to find any info on this venue also, without 'skimming' through the entire guide. Once discovering that the theatre was in "The Loop", the index directs us to page 176-177 for a map, which is actually on page 76-77.
The maps are okay, but we found the map "The Magnificent Mile: Area Guide" to be just as useful. It was free from the front desk of our hotel and was alot lighter. We had heard several people talk about the Untouchable Tour (see gangstertour.com), and although there is contact info on page 21, it would have been nice to see a route of the tour on a map. Same goes for the trolley/"Hop on, Hop off" tours, which has stops shown on the free map that we received from the hotel.
There is a lot of useful info in this guide but the index is near useless. Like the Red Guide, found it hard to use in "real time", while walking the streets. If you have the time before your visit to Chicago, read this book thoroughly and you will get a lot from it.
Specifically in the Chicago guide I used the Loop, Lincoln Park, Near South Side, Hyde Park Kenwood, and Oak Park/River Forest maps to help me navigate neighborhoods when I was exploring the architectural treasures of Chicagoland, Unlike other guides I looked at, they pointed out and mapped specific Frank Lloyd Wright, Adler & Sullivan, William Drummond, etc. structures and suggested the unique attributes of each.
Similarly the maps and discussions of the Art Institute Collections were useful in helping me not be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artifacts to see.
Less useful aspects of Michelin guides and the Chicago guide in particular are their orientation to using private automobiles, rather than public transportation in urban areas. For example the information about major sites included driving directions and parking hints, but did not include the most convenient transit options whether Metra, CTA Trains, and particularly Chicago's extensive bus system. It's a pity because in my week in Chicago I discovered buses can get you very close to almost every attraction at a fraction of the cost of parking.
Although its neighborhood maps are excellent, the Chicago guide's overall maps are less helpful than, for instance DK Eyewitness Travel's detailed overall maps with a street index. With Michelin, you need to look at the overall maps in the front and back inside covers and identify the "Principal Sight" of the area you need and then look in that section for the detailed map.
However after examining a bunch of Chicago Guides, Michelin was my choice to buy and use because it just had more information and detail.