April 27, 2013

A Whirlwind Weekend in Chicago

Here's what we love most about Chicago:

1. I'd take you out for pizza at Lou Malnatis. Chicago is famous for deep dish pizza, and those of us in the know will tell you: no one does it better than Lous. You can order whatever you want, but I'd strongly recommend the deep dish pepperoni pizza.  Normally, I love veggies and other diverse pizza toppings, but at Lou's, going for the classic is a must (and the insider tip: ordering it with the low-fat cheese doesn't impact taste at all!). 

2. It's famous for a reason! You shouldn't miss Millennium Park, home of "The Bean" - a giant reflective kidney bean that reflects and distorts the Chicago city skyline.  At 42 feet tall and 66 feet long, this sculpture captivates the young and old alike and is the ultimate Chicago photo op.  If you're in town in the winter, you can also go ice skating outdoors at Millennium Park, and in the summertime, there are free concerts and movies on the lawn.  And of course, any time of year, you are only a few steps away from the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan.

3. Calories don't count on vacation, so we'll stop in and grab a treat at Sweet Mandy B's in Lincoln Park.  They are famous for their cupcakes, which they offer in a dozen different flavors of cupcake-y goodness (there are no words...it's just that good).  

4. The weather is perfect (okay, well it will be when summer comes around - don't hold the blustery winter weather against us) and getting outdoors is a must. We'll take advantage of the gorgeous day exploring Lincoln Park!  Not only is there a free conservatory and free zoo (with a petting zoo and duck pond that are a hit with the kids), but if you visit on a Saturday, you can check out Chicago's biggest farmers market, the Green City Market, to grab a piece of pie from the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. or watch a cooking demonstration from a rotating cast of locally renowned chefs.  

5. You're so fortunate to have a Chicago insider showing you around. The locals would stone me if I didn't show you the Magnificent Mile, Chicago's ultimate shopping destination.  With several shopping malls and hundreds of stores between them, you can find almost anything you are seeking. Moms with little girls will love the American Girl store, and people-watchers will have a blast. What the locals know, however, is that some of the better shopping finds can be found on the side streets off of Michigan.  Brides to be will love the Oak Street shops, Walton and Rush Street are littered with smaller boutiques, and for the thriftier shopper, you can divert down Chicago Ave. to find a massive new Nordstrom Rack.
6. You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway that a trip to Chicago wouldn't be complete without visiting Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood.  It's a fabulous, trendy, hipster-filled part of town where you'll find high end boutiques, thrift stores and everything in between and amazing local eateries (a few stand-outs include the Bongo Room for brunch, iCream for a truly unique ice cream experience, and Big Star for tacos that will blow your mind. It's a bit further west than the normal tourist stomping ground, but you won't be sad you ventured off the beaten path.

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  1. I just pinned this. My husband and I are starting to work on what we're doing on our own when we're in Chicago for BlogHer '13 in July. Thanks for sharing this one!

    -Jenna stopdropandblog.com

  2. I'm heading to Chicago next weekend for work, and will have a bit of free time, so this was so timely! Many thanks!

  3. I've wanted to go to Chicago for YEARS, and all of these places sound amazing! Thanks for posting!


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