a chicago weekend

I’m so excited to share these photos from our time in Chicago earlier this summer. Our weekend trip was super quick – we flew in on Saturday morning and left Sunday evening – but we definitely made the most of it.

We went up to visit Will’s sister, Anna, who was living in Chicago for the summer while she worked at a summer internship. Both of us had been to Chicago before, so we didn’t feel the need to visit too many tourist attractions, and just wanted to enjoy some of the fun Chicago things that the locals do, while still seeing things in the city that we don’t have here, and making the trip special and fun for everyone. We mapped out some eateries and coffee shops just in case we needed them, but mostly let Anna lead the way and make our general plan for what areas to see and where to eat. This strategy worked out so well and made for one of the best trips we took all summer.

We walked a ton and saw Buckingham fountain, Grant Park, Millennium Park, the famous bean sculpture, the Magnificent Mile, and Lincoln Park Zoo, in addition to cute shops, local parks, and the river walks. Finding great brunch restaurants and coffee shops was our specialty, though I would say we were just as good at delicious impromptu ice cream stops ;)

We started out our Saturday at Beatrix in Fulton Market then spent most of the day walking around downtown and seeing the main sites of Chicago. I remember walking around and taking the “L” last time, but I was reminded of how walkable most areas of the city are.

One of the most amazing “cafes” we wandered in was The Allis at Soho House. The décor is stunning and it is such a cool place to hang out on your own or with a few people. If I lived in Chicago I could see myself posting up with my laptop at the long tables filled with other people. I have a disproportionate amount of photos from this one stop, but I think everyone should see its beauty.

On Sunday morning we made it up to Lincoln Park for brunch at Blue Door Farm Stand. While we were waiting for a table to open up, we wandered the streets a bit and popped in a few of the cute shops. In addition to the fun local stores, I was so excited to see Serena and Lily and Interior Define in person. All together, the items at Serena and Lily are a bit too beachy for my style, but I love them mixed with some older items. If you remember, my guest bed headboard was an IKEA hack of their beautiful Harbour cane bed, so it was really cool to see it in the store. The store was beautiful and all of the styles and room setups were so calming that it made me rethink my own spaces.

On our last night before we headed to the airport, we swung by a Whole Foods, grabbed some cheese, crackers, apples, and hummus and took it to one of the riverside parks for a small appetizer picnic. I would definitely recommend doing this if you want to enjoy the city and the river in the evening on your own schedule. You could even grab a full meal to go from a nearby restaurant, but sitting along the peaceful river on a cool summer evening with the buzz of the city nearby was wonderful and seemed like the quintessential Chicago summer.

This obviously just scratches the surface of Chicago restaurants and there are many other more complete lists out there, but I would recommend all of the places we went!
Beatrix for brunch – get your coffee and a baked good to share at the to-go counter while you are waiting for a table
Blue Door Farm Stand for brunch – we got the honey and black pepper biscuit for the table and it was delicious!
Jeni’s Ice Cream – naturally ;)
Cone Ice Cream – small local ice cream shop with fun boozy Irish flavors
La Josie – great Mexican food. We got three types of tacos to split and the mac y queso for the table, which was amazing.

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