It's been a bit of time since I last went to Chicago. Last time I went I was about 11 and I would've bet you a thousand dollars that I was going to live in Chicago by age 20....hah. I wish. But for real, I'm always truly enamored by the sights and sounds of this diverse, lively city. Basically it was love at first sight. I then time passed (about 7 years) And here I am. Back in Chicago, with my boyfriend, Jake. WOO HOO!
I'm going to walk you through some of my must-do's! There's a lot. I know there's much more to explore than this but this is what what we did within the 2 days we spent there.
SO - let's go!
Art Institute of Chicago - This is a MUST if your into history or the arts like me. It's a decent price for how much you get to see, and man, it's massive! You could spend multiple days there looking at art. Plus, it's just a beautiful building to get lost in.
Millenium Park - The Bean, the park, the tourists, gotta love it. I mean it's cool to see especially if it's your first time in Chi town, it's iconic. The park in general is just lovely to explore on a nice day! There's always a fun, lively atmosphere in this park - so so cute.
Next off - coffee shops. I know I know, I'm addicted. It's a problem...kinda? But when you're on Va-cay and pulling late nights and early mornings, this is all I wanted!
Metric - This coffee shop was a little farther outside of downtown Chicago (about 2 miles from downtown). We walked, which was a bit far. The shop was super small but extremely cool, with carefully placed plants and a wooden backsplash. There's a decent amount of outdoor seating though, and the coffee was lovely. I would just recommend catching an uber or driving there!
Fairgrounds - We actually found out about this place whilst walking by it. I'm glad we did! The staff was so welcoming. What makes them unique is that they have coffee from multiple coffee roasters, so you can choose what you want and where it's from. They even have Spyhouse Coffee from here in the Twin Cities!
Asado - Asado was unique in atmosphere, yet still had that relaxed coffee shop vibe. The coffee was great!
Intelligentsia - This was our first stop when we got off the train in Chicago. We were both exhausted from a long travel day the day before but this hit the spot! Intelligence never fails, I tell ya.
Chicago Public Library - Okay. To be 100% truthful we actually came in here looking for a bathroom. Don't worry. We found it. But this library is HUGE and has everything you could imagine. We ended up taking the elevator to the top floor and we were not expecting what we found - a huge reading/working room, minimal tables all spread out with tall ceilings with massive skylight windows. The whole room was a blue hue and wow, it was gorgeous.
Shedd Aquarium - This Aquarium is what dreams are made of. When I was younger and came here I was seriously AMAZED by the aquatic life in this massive building. Now coming back, I was equally amazed. From the fish of the Great Lakes, to petting stingrays, to seeing huge amazonian fish that were bigger than me, to the most adorable Beluga Whales which will steal your heart, as they did to me multiple times. Seriously a must-go. I little pricey, but SO worth it.
Eleven Diner - Just go. Just do it. It's SO good.
360 Chicago - Formerly known as the John Hancock building, 360 Chicago is a must if this is your first visit to Chicago. Definitely not something you do every time but it's so cool. You go in an elevator going 20mph, up to the 94th floor, where you get to see a 360 view of the entire city of Chicago, from up above. Seriously SO cool!
Navy Pier- I'm sure you all know this tourist go-to. It's always great, especially in the evening to night when all the lights glow amongst the city - so gorgeous. We adventured around the stores, and by the lake side, all for the people watching, the various smells of greasy but yummy food, the lively atmosphere, everything! One tip for Navy Pier: Go to the very end of Navy Pier where there's a parking ramp, take the elevator to the top of the ramp to find a spectacular few of the city in all it's lights. The weird thing was that nobody else was there when we went! Good thing? Bad thing? I don't know, you can decide, regardless it was so worth it!
Until next time Chi Town!