Sweet Home Chicaggoooooo. A few weeks ago we were lucky to enjoy a staycation and spend a few days in the city. I moved to Chicago right after college and lived in the Lincoln Park/Lakeview area for over a decade. I have nothing but fond memories in this great city and feel fortunate to share them with my family and dear friends. It’s where I started my career, met Jim, got married, and we started our family. It’s crazy to think I’ve lived here longer than Ohio (where I was born and raised) but the Windy City is home.
Chicago might be called the second city but it’s one of the best in the world. The perfect blend of the amenities city life has to offer including world class dining, arts, culture, and a beautiful lake view to boot. Chicago is more affordable than some of the other great U.S. cities and you can’t beat the friendly Midwestern atmosphere. What other city permeates the amazing aroma of chocolate through its downtown streets, courtesy of the Bloomer Chocolate Company.
If you want to plan a weekend away here are a few must-do’s…
Art and Architecture
The Art Institute of Chicago is worthy of several hours. Surprisingly camera friendly (no flash) they are currently hosting the Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist exhibit. The Institute also houses work from many of the greats including Warhol, Monet, Van Gogh, Rothko, O’Keeffe, and Renoir.
After the Institute swing by Millennium Park to see The Bean. If your visiting in warm weather (lucky you!) run through the waterfalls or if you are visiting in the winter months rent skates and enjoy the ice skating rink and hot chocolate.
Wine and Dine
There are too many fantastic restaurants to name. Three I’d recommend that we visited are The Hampton Social, Duck Duck Goat and Steak 48. The Hampton Social is a fun lunch or dinner spot with a coastal causal vibe. The decor is perfection and the neon sign that quips it’s ok to drink Rose All Day, is a mantra I can get behind. Enjoy a glass of Rose with the most amazing lobster roll you’ll ever have.
I felt nothing short of a lucky duck to get into Duck Duck Goat. Founded by the Boka group and celeb chef Stephanie Izzard (of Top Chef Fame) Duck Duck Goat is hands down the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. Added bonus? They deliver and you can order carry out. I enjoyed their before the dawn cocktail, a unique blend of vodka, blood orange & ginger liquer, rose and activated charcoal which apparently is supposed to aid with digestion. We also tried the new steakhouse Steak 48. The crab was the best I’ve ever had but was a HUGE portion, we ended up sharing with the table next to us. As a thank you they bought us dessert: red velvet bread pudding was out of this world.
Visting soon shoot me a comment below and I’d be happy to give you more recommendations! Local friends I’d love to hear your favorite new spots!