questionsdoes amtrak offer discount codes, promotions…

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Amtrak frequently runs promotions, but most of what I've seen lately are ads to sign up for an Amtrak branded credit card.

As for what to do in Chicago, I strongly suggest a luncheon at the Billy Goat Tavern (if you're a middle aged SNL fan), pizza at the original Pizzeria Uno (or Gino's East, which IMHO is much better), and a hot dog at Portillo's.

Once you've filled the belly, the Museum of Science and Industry is simply amazing.

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@durkzilla: I've added your suggestions to our list, thanks!

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@ohcheri: In case you didn't check out Amtrak's passenger discount page: http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&p=1237405732514&cid=1241213285737
As far as places to visit/things to do:
-Ed Debevic's: eat and be insulted/entertained at the same time
-the Palmer House Hilton: the lobby area is pretty sweet
-The Art Institute of Chicago museum: absolutely awesome (Monet, anyone?)
-a Cubs or Sox game (or a Cubs/Sox game June 20-22)
Keep in mind that the last time I was in Chicago was 10+ years ago.

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I sought the same answer in the past, but could only find promotions for trips between specific, limited, often useless locations.

My suggestions: Save 10% if a AAA member.

Search neighboring towns for group trips. Since you're going in for a game, there is a chance others will be doing the same. Post on local forums like Craigslist or Yahoo Local, inquiring if anyone knows of any. Church groups, bars, ect. might be planning something and often don't mind strangers tagging along. Group rates are discounted, and I think some discounts can still be stacked onto that.

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@durkzilla: Personally I can't stand Chicago-style pizza. I think it's the sauce. One slice is enough for me. Give me Casey's pizza instead.

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@msklzannie: We have AAA which will definitely help. And thank you for the suggestions...eat and be insulted sounds like a good time :-) We'll be going to Wrigley Field for sure.

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@msklzannie: I don't disagree about the sauce, but let's be honest, none of those dining venues are going to merit gourmet status - it's really all about the experience of things unique to Chicago.

But I did forget about Ed Debevic's - that should certainly be on the list. Kind of like dinner at Durgin Park here in Boston. Service with a snarl.

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@ohcheri: Make sure you sign up for the Amtrak Guest Rewards program - I've netted several hundred dollars worth of retail gift cards by redeeming miles. If you're taking Amtrak all the way from California to Illinois it should be worth at least one $50 gift card, probably more.

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@ohcheri: I would make the effort to drive all the way around Lake Shore Drive. I haven't been to Chicago in a few years, but I cannot imagine it not being worthy, still. I would also take a walk downtown. Really a very interesting group of architectural examples representing the twenties, and the fifties, of the last century. Sears Tower is there (as an example).

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@ohcheri: I assume you'd be taking the California Zephyr. If so you'll travel within 25 miles of me (southern Iowa) on your way to Chicago.

ETA: Don't forget the Sears Tower and the Navy Pier. Echoing @shrdlu, the area around the Water Tower Place is pretty cool.

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Oops! I misread shrdlu's comment to read Water Tower, not Sears Tower. Silly me.

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@shrdlu: We're looking at possibly a lake cruise and I've seen at least one that focuses on the architecture. Sounds very cool.

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@msklzannie: Yes, the California Zephyr. I'll wave at you on the way by :-)

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@ohcheri: Have you taken your Chicago trip yet? If so, how was it?

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@msklzannie: No, we haven't done this yet. It looks like we're going to Maui for a next vacation and maybe Chicago in the spring. I love to plan vacations just don't have the time and money to do all of them as quickly as I would like :-)