Bingeworthy Shows

Like most people, I am always on the hunt for good shows to spend my downtime binge-watching. Last year, one of my friends recommended NBC's Chicago series and I was instantly hooked on all of the drama and action that filled the seasons of Chicago Fire, PD, and Med.

Unlike many shows that are set in Chicago, the popular television series by creator Dick Wolf actually films on location in the Windy City. Since they film in the area, there is no doubt so many recognizable locations around the city.

Last weekend, my guy and I decided to take a last-minute trip to Chicago. In between sightseeing and museum hopping, we decided to check out some of the shows' most notable locations. Just while we were driving around, we grew excited recognizing different streets where certain scenes took place. There is something surreal about places you've seen on the small screen coming to life right before your eyes.

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Visit Memorable Filming Locations in Real Life

If you are a fan of NBC's long-running One Chicago series shows like I am, you will definitely want to plan a visit to these popular locations to see the real-life settings from the shows Chicago Fire, Med, and PD.

Firehouse 51

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Although the interior scenes are filmed on a set, the exterior shots of the main Chicago Fire setting are shot at a working firehouse at 1360 S. Blue Island Avenue. The firehouse even has the number "51" on display over the front entrance. Any fan of the show can tell you their favorite scene to happen in front of these red doors. It felt like at any moment we would hear that familiar alarm ring and see truck 81 racing into action.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Chicago Fire Academy

Although we didn't get time to visit this location while we were there, The Chicago Fire Academy is another place that makes multiple appearances on the show. Located at 558 W. De Koven Street, visitors can tour the ground floor of the building where they can read about its history as the spot where the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 began. Along with vintage firefighting gear on display, there is also a plaque marking the historic fire's starting point.

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Molly's Pub

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Melissa Nelson
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This location is one that I was most excited to visit. Molly's Pub has made an appearance in almost every episode of Chicago Fire since it began in season one. The popular hangout for the series' characters is also seen in the two spin-off shows. Molly's Pub is actually a real bar called Lottie's. Established in 1934, the real-life pub is located at 1924 W. Cortland Street.

Although the show was first filmed at the real location in season one, it now films on a set that is a replica of the original bar. When you walk through the doors, you are instantly greeted by the recognizable hanging lights that cover the ceiling.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Unfortunately, we weren't able to grab a drink or try one of the pub's burgers named after each of the three shows because of how busy it was on a Saturday night, it was definitely worth it to walk in and take pictures while seeing all of the action.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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District 21 Police Station

Despite being located just a few blocks away from Firehouse 51, the Chicago PD station was another location we missed out on seeing. Located at the UIC Police Headquarters at 943 W. Maxwell Street, you won't be able to tour the working police station, but you can still grab a selfie outside of the building.

Gaffney Medical Center

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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On Chicago Med, viewers see the main characters getting fresh air after a difficult save on the rooftop of the Gaffney Medical Center with the spectacular views of Chicago in the background. These scenes, along with the exterior shots of the Emergency Department and the hospital are filmed at the Rush University Medical Center. When visiting this location at 1653 W. Congress Parkway, I was astounded to see how massive this hospital is in real life.

Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson
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Chicago Locations Brought to Life

If you're ever in Chicago, adding these filming locations to your list of destinations is definitely worth it. The list goes well beyond these locations including shots from the Magnificent Mile as well as aerial views of other popular Chicago sites and brief shots inside notable Chicago eateries like White Palace Grill and Lou Mitchell's. Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of bragging that you've seen these places in real life when you recommend the series to your friends!

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