Chicago Travel Guide
Discovering the Beautiful Windy City
Chicago has always been my home. It's the Windy City, the Second City, the White City, My City. The city I was born to and the city my family has called home for four generations now.
And while many might be keen to write off Chicago as a sub-par NYC or a more Midwestern San Francisco, underestimating the Windy City's beauty, liveliness, and positive attitude despite all odds would be a huge mistake.
Chicago is a vibrant, evolving urban paradise full of some of the most delicious food and most breath-taking experiences you can find anywhere in the world. It's a quirky place, a weird juxtaposition of so many extremes. Home to Oprah, Kanye West, and Harrison Ford alike. And yes, we really do dye our river green every year!
So isn't it about time I shared my guide to our gorgeous city with you?
What To Do & See
In our city, you can find just about any experience and any niche. It's full of all sorts of surprising and magical spaces to visit, absorb, and learn from. And there's truly something for everyone to enjoy!
This is just a short list of a few of my absolute favorites that I always recommend to first-time visitors. Feel free to click on any of the names to learn more!
Where To Eat
Chicago has one of the most innovative and flourishing food scenes in the States and there are countless options to choose from, both good and bad. These are a few of my absolute favorites and ones that almost never fail to disappoint me when I want a good, Chicago-centric meal!
Rooftops & Patios
Searching for Chicago's best pizza place? Something less tourist-y than deep dish but just as swoon-worthy? Check out Lincoln Park's incredibly (and tiny!) Pizzeria Bebu. Order the Little Neck Clam Pizza -- it's my favorite in all of Chicago!
Read my full review here.
Chicago often intimidates visitors -- it's a big enough city where you can't walk to EVERYTHING so some planning is involved. It doesn't help that we have dozens upon dozens of hotel options to choose from too. And our weather (especially our notorious Chiberia winters) can really scare people. Here are just a few quick tips and tricks to keep in mind when planning a visit to the Windy City!
HOW TO GET AROUND
Whenever I can I always prefer to walk in Chicago. However there is ample access to public transit (via city buses or the 'El' trains) as well as plenty of cabs and Ubers to make getting around really easy. And significantly cheaper than many other large, urban cities!
WHERE TO STAY
Weather in Chicago can be notoriously tricky. Summer is certainly Chicago's best tourist season but spring and fall often have wonderful weather with less crowds. Regardless of when you visit, bring plenty of layers and something to survive any rain or snow that may come during your visit.
Chicago is often called a city of neighborhoods. Depending on which you choose you can find just about any vibe and atmosphere you desire and each neighborhood is more distinctive than the next.
My absolute favorite Chicago neighborhoods are all listed below!
My Curated Lists
Loving Chicago like I do, I tend to share and write about it a lot here on the blog. Here are a few of my most useful Chicago posts on more specific topics.
How to Experience Chicago Like A Local
Ignore the Tourist Traps and Get Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Pequod's
Wait Longer Than You Want to For a Table at Au Cheval
Spend a Day Working from Couches in The Allis
See the Cloud Gate at Dawn
Walk Along the Lakefront (Especially Barefoot on the Beach)
Spend an Afternoon Drinking Wine Along the Chicago River
Take at least One Architectural Tour (Yes, Locals Take Them Too!)
Wander Through the Lincoln Park Zoo at Sunset
See a Cubs Game at Wrigley Field
By-Pass Drinks at Green Door Tavern & Head to the Hidden Speakeasy in the Basement