Sweet Home Chicago, Sweet Summer Time
Yes, you should come visit this amazing city!!!! Whether you have a weekend or a full week, Chicago has something for everyone. If you come during the summer, make sure you check out the beaches– North Avenue and Oak Street Beach are both popular, and if you head further north towards Diversey, you will even find a beach for your pup 🙂 (Chicago is very pet friendly- plenty of dog parks, restaurants & stores your 4 legged friends are welcome at). Summer time months also call for biking along the Lake Shore Drive path (DIVY has bike rentals all over the city along the side of the road; they are blue and you pay for however long you use the bike and can return it at a different location).
First time here? There are some great tourist attractions…however I even find myself doing these fun activities! Head to a sporting event (Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls or Bears depending on season), Catch a comedy show at 2nd city (if you are on a budget, UP comedy has cheaper shows and is still great), take some photos at the Bean, go to the SkyDeck (arrive early and ideally go on a week day to avoid long lines), check out the Lincoln Park zoo (make sure you take a picture on the bridge looking South- one of my favorite views), take a boat tour in the summer, check out the tilt at the John Hancock Building & head to a museum – The Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science & Industry OR the Chicago history museum for history buffs (much smaller museum). Have drinks at the John Hancock to check out the view, or at the Trump Terrace (drinks at the terrace are $25+, but the view is amazing). Check out Michigan Avenue and the shopping scene, and head over to wicker park for some more trendy shopping – you will find a lot of upscale boutiques here carrying free people, bcbg, intermix, joes, etc, along with resale shops, furniture stores and much more. The Armitage/Halsted area in Lincoln Park/Old Town also has a lot of great boutiques. This area has various stores from cute clothing boutiques to spice and oil shops to household decor, monogram shops and more (this area also has your lulu lemon, bcbg, intermix, etc). Both Sides & Bottles & Botega have great day and nighttime BYOB painting classes- no Picasso skill needed 🙂
And don’t forget about food!!! There are some awesome tours in Chicago. I personally have done the wicker park food tour and the craft beer tour and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Some places to head while you’re here….the Donut Vault for breakfast (they close when they sell out, but that’s part of the fun) or the Bongo Room, Girl & the Goat (reservations are needed on a Saturday night potentially up to 3 months in advance), Au Chavel, or Nomi for lunch/dinner, and Hot Chocolate for dessert (Bobtail Ice Cream is an amazing creamery in Lakeview if you head to the Cubs game and Goddess & the Grocer has great gelato for your mid day treat while shopping in Wicker Park). Check out my Chicago Restaurant List under “For the Foodies” for more suggestions.
Coming in winter? Go ice skating!! Oh yea, and bring a coat. And gloves. And boots. You are entering Chiberia. Ice skating and skate rentals are available in winter at the Maggie Daley Park, millennium park, at the Lincoln Park Zoo and on the patio of the Penninsula (very small rink, but pretty views!)
Public transportation is very accessible- buy a 1 day, weekend or week long pass to hop on and off the train or bus. Uber and Lyft also provide cheap rides all over the city.
There is a hostel that seems pretty nice in Lincoln Park (you must be from out of state to stay there for legal/safety reasons) and there are some cute hotels in Lincoln Park, Lake View & Old Town if you are trying to avoid the heavy downtown city fees (Lincoln Park is a neighborhood about 6 minutes north of Water Tower/North Michigan Ave). Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!!