As I told you guys on Monday, I spent the past weekend in the Chicago area – part of the time spent in the suburbs at a family wedding, the other half spent downtown exploring the city!
We had SUCH a blast during our 24 hour stay in the city that I thought I’d share some of our favorite moments with y’all today.
What we did.
Most of our time in Chicago was spent walking! Walking through the parks, around the lake, and down the stunning river walk, just taking in the beautiful city views.
We started over in Millennium Park, being tourists and taking pictures with “the bean” before heading towards the river walk just north of the park. You guys— this river walk is just stunning! The bridges, the buildings, the riverside restaurants and bars— I swear I could hang out there all day!
From there, we headed towards the lake for some spectacular views before walking back to our hotel.
Honestly, the main attraction during our short stay in Chicago was seeing the musical “Hamilton” at the Private Bank Theater!
As I started telling you in Monday’s post, this show is beyond words. The cast was so incredibly talented, the choreography and movement was unreal (this is honestly what impressed me the MOST about the show), and, of course, the music was fantastic! I swear we debriefed on the show for the next three days because it truly stuck with us after that night.
I absolutely recommend seeing Hamilton if you’re ever in the Chicago (or New York) area, and I hear the touring cast just started in San Francisco so they may just be coming near you soon! One quick tip: the music in the show is really fast paced (since it’s mostly rap), so if you want to keep up with the story line and catch everything, I definitely suggest listening to the soundtrack a few times before you go. And then a few times will turn into a lot of times because I guarantee you’ll be HOOKED 😉
If you’re interested in seeing this show in Chicago, I definitely recommend purchasing tickets well in advance. We booked our tickets for mid-June way back in early November, and there were not many seats left even then. But I promise you, it’s worth every cent!
This last activity is technically not in the city of Chicago (it’s actually in a northern suburb) but I loved it SO much I just had to include it in this post.
As we were traveling from our family wedding in the suburbs to the downtown area, we stumbled upon the most gorgeous temple I think I’ve EVER seen.
The Baha’i Temple is actually one of only eight Baha’i temples left in the world and is the oldest standing temple among them. The temple and grounds are free of charge to explore and they were some of the most serene, peaceful spaces I’ve ever visited. Not to mention how gorgeous the architecture of the temple is. It’s definitely worth a quick stop, even if you’re just passing through.
If you’re interested in visiting, the temple is right near Northwestern’s campus in Wilmette, IL, and was about a 25-30 minute drive from the city.
What we ate.
Before seeing Hamilton, we ate a delicious pre-show dinner at Beatrix, in the River North area of the city. We were eating with a lot of people who different dietary needs, so Beatrix totally fit the bill with it’s diverse menu and loads of gluten free/ vegetarian options.
Everyone loved their meal, but some of the favorites were any of their fresh pressed juices (and fresh juice cocktails), the Halibut with a Thai Watermelon Salad (pictures below), the Chili & Chocolate Glaze Salmon, and the Crispy Kale Salad with Papaya, Dates, and White Balsamic Vinaigrette (pictured below).
This is a great place to go with a big group (it’s huge), but again, make reservations in advance just in case!
The morning after the show just so happened to be Father’s Day, so we made reservations at Little Goat Diner in the West Loop for brunch with the family.
Little Goat has such an interesting menu and had tons of interesting options for all kinds of eaters. We ordered their Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes (ohmmyygoondesss amazing! pictured below)), this super unique Indian Flatbread with sunnyside eggs and an avocado-bean salad (pictured below), and the blue-plate special (a fun take on bagels and lox). Since we were celebrating, we took home a dozen of their chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (pictured below) from the attached bakery and they were seriously fantastic!
This is a really popular restaurant in the Chicago area, so if you’re planning to go, I definitely recommend making reservations at least a week in advance.
Where we stayed.
Nate and I stayed in the Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown / The Loop and I TOTALLY recommend it if you’re planning to stay in the downtown Chicago area. The location was absolutely perfect – right in the heart of the city and about a 10-20 minute walk from anything we wanted to do.
The hotel was also super quiet (and my husband is super sensitive to noise, so his endorsement means a lot) and the view from our room was spectacular (see the second photo below)!
Well, that’s it from our quick 24 hours in downtown Chicago! If you guys are looking for more restaurant options, my friend Laura from A Beautiful Plate has a whole post on where to eat in the West Loop. Definitely check it out!