May 10, 2016

Chicago Travel Guide

Will and I love to travel and Chicago has been a city we have wanted to check out for quite some time now. Last week we had the opportunity to visit and although it was cold and rained the majority of the time, we defiantly enjoyed ourselves and did as much exploring as we could fit into our schedule! Below I've put together a small travel guide of things we did that I find worth noting and highly recommend. Since Chicago is a large city, I know I've likely missed a bunch of other great places, so feel free to leave a comment with any other recommendations!

TO SEE
1. Magnificent Mile - Known for it's dining and retail, this area has it all! We particularly love that it's surrounded by so much architecture and photo-worthy buildings.

2. Navy Pier - It rained most of our trip so we didn't get to check out this hot spot.

3. "The Bean" at Millennium Park - The park as a whole is really nice and the "Bean" is one of the most known Chicago tourist spots. I wish we had come later in the year though so we could have checked out their Summer Film and Music Series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

4. Chicago Riverwalk - Because well, the views of the waterway are great and the atmosphere surrounding are lively and fun.
TO DO
1. Zanies Comedy Club - This was a spur of the moment idea we decided on and so worth it! It was also our first time going to a standup comedy show and it won't be our last. Before the show began, they had two comedians; Calvin Evans and Denise Ramsden come out to "loosen up the crowd" as they told us before the main performer, Nick Vatterott, came out. He was HILARIOUS!

2. Shopping wasn't high on our list of things to-do but I did read a handful of reviews before our trip that said you can find unique shops for souvenirs and antiques on Oak Street, Armitage Avenue, and State Street.

3. Museum of Science and Industry - We went here on an afternoon when it was raining and probably spent about three or so hours there. Aside from exploring the museum as a whole, we also signed up to see the Coal Mine and U-505 Submarine exhibits. If we had to pick our favorite experience it was hands down the Submarine tour. I mean, who can say they've walked through a submarine? The ONLY German submarine in the United States on exhibit as a matter of fact. It truly was one of the coolest learning experiences. Oh, and the Yesterday's Main Street exhibit was also fun.
TO EAT
1. Kanela Breakfast Club - A Greek-infused American spot we went for brunch before heading back to North Carolina. We went to the Oldtown location and the atmosphere was cozy and the food very filling.

2. Kingsbury Street Cafe - This cafe was a recommendation and within walking distance to the Airbnb we stayed at. The service was quick and the menu options were perfect for what we were looking for. I got the lemon pancakes which were topped with fresh blueberries, creme anglaise and lemon sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

3. Lou Mitchell's - We didn't have the chance to eat here but it's been around since 1923 so it's obviously well established and is an affordable option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

4. Pequod's Pizza - We went here for dinner one night and arrived before 6:00 PM and it was already filled with people! The deep dish pizza stole a PIZZA my heart. Sorry had to add a pizza pun!

5. Homeslice - It was between here and Pequod's but if we're ever in Chicago again, and the weather is nice and warm, we will defiantly try to enjoy their fun patio!
 
6. Nando Milano Trattoria - This Italian restaurant is located in the Wicker Park area and had really unique dinner options. For instance, I got the Nido Di Paglia E Fieno Con Gamberi (aka fettuccine) and Will got one of the specials; the wild boar. 

7. Copper Fox - After exploring Magnificent Mile and Michigan Avenue we had walked up an appetite and came across this gastropub. Let me just say that the fried avocado is to die for and the baked gouda mac and cheese is delicious.

8. Sweet Mandy B's - Lord have mercy...this bakery in the heart of Lincoln Park is a MUST! After dinner at Pequod's Pizza we were in the mood for something sweet and our waitress told us about this place and said we had to go. I highly recommend any of their cookies (I had the chocolate chip) or the red velvet cupcake which is what Will got.
Wine Hour at Hotel Palomar Chicago
Wine Hour at Hotel Palomar Chicago
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