At the end of July, P and I, along with our friends, Ryan and Tara (remember Tara) went to Chicago. It was a great trip and we had a ton of fun. P and I went up one day earlier, and spent 3 nights/4 days in the city. Both P and I had been to Chicago before, but this was our first trip together. Chicago is a fun town, with plenty to keep you occupied. I always wish for more time to explore. I love all the different areas to visit, each with it’s own vibe. Here are some of the places we visited on this trip:
I just loved it! The drinks were great, the decor very retro/comfortable, and good service. I would have happily visited here every night of the trip (too bad we didn’t visit until our last night). Watershed is located through Pops and down the stairs, the two places have extremely different feels, so don’t be put off by the hustle and bustle of the upstairs.
Nice tasting room and friendly staff. We sampled all the beers they had available. I loved that they sold sample sizes! Good American style beers that were very refined. Just as an fyi, the tasting room is to the right of their beer shop/growler filling area.
Neat space, and loved their beer tanks. The beer itself was creative but clearly rushed. Many of the ones we tried would have been better if fermented for a longer amount of time to clarify in color and taste. They offered a full menu and seemed like a popular spot to grab a bite.
I would definitely classify this as a dive bar, but with a much better class of drink than PBR and Wild Turkey 🙂 They had a great list of bourbons and a good selection of local beers. Also, I love their sign! I had the Ancient Age bourbon, and really enjoyed it, SO smooth. The bartender seemed quite knowledgeable on his bourbons.
Architecture Boat Tour
We decided to do a boat tour as part of our trip, and went with the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, as it got high ratings on Tripadvisor and Google. I was very impressed with how knowledgeable, professional, and efficient our tour guide was. Do not let the term “volunteer” scare you, this lady had it down. I felt like the tour covered a wide area and it was a neat way to see Chicago, plus learn a little about it’s history. The only confusing part was finding the boat, as they dock in different slots each time and the flags on the slots do not correspond to the tour per say. You need to look at the board at the information booth when you first come down the steps to find your assigned dock. People do really line up 30 minutes (or earlier) for the tour so don’t dilly dally if you want a good seat. We bought our tickets in advance, I’m not sure how readily available tickets are the day of; most of the tours we saw seemed full.
It’s not a real trip to Chicago without going to see the “bean” aka Cloud Gate (the real name) and of course doing a selfie 🙂 Sadly, my camera battery died almost immediately. My last day in Chicago and I was with a dead battery 🙁 I have way less pictures than I thought I would of Millennium Park. We also went and watched the kids play in the Crown Fountain (I like to call it the spitting faces fountain). I can never remember the official names of any of the park exhibits. Crown Fountain is a neat attraction, but I’m totally skeeved out about the amount of pee and other bodily fluids that you know is floating around in there. I was not a happy camper when some woman (yes woman, not kid) splashed me on our way out.
Yes, I could have technically put this under booze, but you are going for the view not the drinks. This is a very touristy thing to do, but the views are great. It gives you the nice view without the time or money commitment of the Skydeck. All of the pictures above were taken with my iphone.
While we did not make it to any of these on this trip, I also enjoy:
- Second City: the neighborhood is pretty neat and you are sure to be entertained. I personally love improv and it is fun getting to image some of the more famous faces of comedy doing their stint there.
- The Art Institute of Chicago: it is pretty amazing, but you definitely need at least 2 hours just to skim through a fraction of it. Make sure to get a picture with the lions out front 🙂
- The Chicago Lakefront Trail: if you have never seen one of the Great Lakes, this is a must. It is so weird to think of it as “just” a lake. Also, perfect for those of you who crazily 🙂 continue to exercise on vacation, great place for a run and a view.
We stayed at The Wit, which was an awesome, awesome location. You could not beat the location for ease of access to the L. The hotel was ok, but I was not a fan of having to fight through the club goers to enter and exit the lobby. Not my scene and I referred to the rooftop as D-ville. Also, let’s get with the program Wit, it’s 2014 not 2004, offer free Wi-Fi, not a free USA Today.
Tune in next Tuesday for….THE FOOD (aka the best part) 🙂
For other tips and reviews of Chicago:
Life According to Steph (which I have not read yet as I did not want it to influence my post)
Not Entirely Perfect (lives there)