chicago travel guide

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit, whether it’s over Thanksgiving break with Jacob’s family, or going out on the town with my girls for my bachelorette party! Chicago is a short flight or a pretty easy drive from Columbus and has the feels of a big city, while still being manageable.

Where to Stay

This all depends on what you have in store for your visit! Most recently, my friends and I stayed in River North at an Air B&B that could fit all 8 of us. When I go to Chicago with Jacob’s family, we typically stay downtown around the Magnificent Mile and Jacob’s mom uses priceline to find us a swanky and fun hotel. Some hotels we’ve stayed in the past are The Dana Hotel & Spa (has since changed to Eurostar Magnificent Mile), The W Hotel, and The Hyatt Centric Magnificent Mile. The great thing about being in this area, is that you are close to shopping, restaurants, and all the touristy things!

Restaurant Recs

The Purple Pig- swine, wine, & cheese, great for sharing with friends, no call ahead seating/reservations

Eataly- Italian grocery store with small food stalls and restaurants (get gelato here!)

Giordano’s- deep dish pizza

Lou Malnati’s- deep dish pizza

Pastoral- cheese shop with sandwiches and salads, be aware of the spicy mustard they put on every sandwich, but it’s so good

Au Cheval- diner with amazing, life-changing burgers plus delicious aioli with their fries too

Carnivale- Latin inspired restaurant, amazing seafood, fun Carnivale vibes

Athenian Room- Greek food (make sure you try Tina Fey’s favorite dish- the whole chicken!)

Rosebuds on Rush- Italian restaurant with big plates for sharing

Do-Rite Donuts- delicious and fresh donuts (they also have fried chicken which I didn’t try but want to go back for!)

Corn bread with feta- The Purple Pig

Corn bread with feta- The Purple Pig

Drink from Baita- Eataly

Drink from Baita- Eataly

Deep dish pizza- Giordano’s

Deep dish pizza- Giordano’s

Diner burger with an egg- Au Cheval

Diner burger with an egg- Au Cheval

Things to Do

When you’re in Chicago, there is SO MUCH to do. Personally, I love wandering around the streets and walking into random (extremely fancy) shops along Michigan Ave, heading to Millennium Park to see The Bean, or walking down Navy Pier when the weather is nice. Since we go over Thanksgiving Break, I also hit up Water Tower Place for Black Friday deals and do all of the shopping!

If you’re looking for a night out on the town, we went to Disco and Tao, and for a comedic night, you have to check out The Second City! I was crying laughing at the amazing improv show we saw! No matter what you end up doing, you’re sure to have a fabulous time!

If you’re not feeling the big city life, you can also head over to Lincoln Park where they have a free zoo, great food, cute neighborhoods, shopping, and spacious parks. My cousin showed us a small sample of Lincoln Park the last time I was in Chicago and I already can’t wait to go back!

Selfies at Navy Pier

Selfies at Navy Pier

Dancin’ at Disco

Dancin’ at Disco

Cliche Bean Pic (bc duh)

Cliche Bean Pic (bc duh)

If I missed any of your favorite Chicago spots, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to check them out next time I’m in the Windy City!