This post is a little late, but better late than never right? I went to Chicago about a month ago for my best friends extended weekend long birthday celebration. We went into the trip pretty blind and no real itinerary. We had an idea of some of the touristy things to do but still wanted to explore the town from a local perspective as well.
I was pleasantly surprised with the windy city to say the least. Chicago is absolutely beautiful. The architecture is incredible. All the buildings had so much character–a true beauty to see. In NYC, we have a ton of tall buildings but there’s something about a building that has character. Chicago was full of these buildings. The gorgeous Chicago River running through the city was a true site to see. The best part of the city was that it was spotless. I’ve never been to a major city and not seen trash anywhere. I loved that it smelled fresh and clean. Thumbs up for that!
Ok, let’s get into the list. These are the 10 things we did on our trip that I think you can’t miss if you’re ever in town.
Let’s get to it:
1. The Bean/ Millennium Park
This was one of the most touristy items on our list. We had to see The Bean! What is The Bean even? I still don’t know, but it’s a awesome structure to see in person. Selfies also came out popping in this area!
2. Top of the Trump Tower
The Trump Tower was one of those places I thought we would just visit for the view and then leave right after. But once we got up there it was quite literally one of the most amazing views I had ever seen. Not only was there a full view of Lake Michigan but the roof top was HUGE! It had a full bar and you could sit and enjoy cocktails and groove to a few good tunes. We loved this spot so much we doubled back for a second visit before we left the city.
3. Lincoln Park Zoo
We stumbled upon Lincoln Park Zoo because we heard that it was a free experience that we definitely should take a advantage of. The zoo was actually pretty entertaining! There were several lions, zebra’s and monkeys that kept us entertained for a couple hours. There aren’t many free zoo’s around the country, so to experience this one was a real treat.
4. Batter & Berries
A Chicago local told us if we do nothing else while in town, we had to make sure we took a trip out to enjoy brunch at Batter & Berries. This cute restaurant is located a little outside of downtown Chicago in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The wait for 4 of us to dine was about a hour and a half. We got a bit restless during the wait but boy of boy was it worth it. The food was to die for, literally. It was soooo good. We ate & drank (BYOB spot) and had a fantastic time. You must look this place up if you’re ever in Chicago.
5. The Willis Skydeck
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Skydeck as it’s synonymous with Chicago. Bottom line, it’s a must see! The experience of just being that high up and sitting on the glass ledge is one I’ll never forget. I couldn’t bring myself to look down.
6. Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza
Love Pizza? Well, this is a no brainer. Giordano’s deep dish pizza is like nothing else I’ve tasted. It’s savory, cheesy, meaty and probably some of the best pizza’s I’ve ever had. Again, the wait is crazy long, but they let you order your pizza before you get to your table because it takes 45 minutes to prepare. By the time you sit down to eat your pizza is out in no time.
7. Mastro’s Steakhouse
To celebrate my bestie’s birthday we went for dinner at Mastro’s Steakhouse (another recommendation by a Chicago local). It was mouthwatering good. Think lobster mashed potatoes, filet mignon, creamy mac and cheese and more. If you’re looking for an upscale steakhouse experience while in Chicago you have to come here. Also, top notch service.
8. Rooftop at the Godfrey Hotel
The rooftop at the Godfrey Hotel is where we spent our last night in the city. Unlike some of the other rooftops we visited during our trip, this one wasn’t very high. Only a few floors up, but still a great spot to have a few drinks and lounge with friends. The service here was also on point!
9. Happy Hour at Ceres Café
This spot was a recommendation by a friend who attended Booth School of Business. She loved this spot while in Chicago and suggested it to my friends and I. The specials are unheard of here (think full glass of your choice of liquor and a can of your favorite chase, yeah). Grab a seat outside on the patio and enjoy a few sips.
10. Graffiti Lounge
I would suggest first researching what events are happening at this spot before you go, but it was a suggestion to us to go for a day party. We ended up having the best day of our trip here. The dj’s were on point! We danced the day away and left very satisfied. Worth checking out if you’re with a group of people and looking for a little turn up time.
That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed my list. Anyone been to Chicago lately? What did you think? Let me know below!