I’m back with another trip recap! My bestie & I recently visited Chicago for a fun girls getaway! I had been to Chicago before (& even have another recap on the blog here) but never during the wintertime, & let me tell you it’s COLD. I’m an AZ girl at heart & love, love, love the warm sunshine. I have to admit it was so pretty when it was snowing in the city. It felt very… urban & wintery lol.
Where we Stayed
Ok so storytime! We originally booked an Airbnb in Chinatown. Now we knew it was in Chinatown, but we didn’t really know what to expect, we just wanted something cheap & a place to crash at the end of the day. Welllll it was a little more crusty than we expected, so we quickly made other arrangements & ended up loving our hotel. We stayed at the Warwick Allerton Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was literally blocks from everywhere we wanted to visit downtown. And we had a lovely view of Tiffany’s…
Where we Ate
We both chose places with plant-based options because we both try to eat that way, so for my fellow vegan, plant lovers, here’s a little list of yummy places in downtown Chicago!
We arrived Saturday morning & headed right to Hampton Social. For my Phoenix friends, it reminded us both of The Montauk in Old Town Scottsdale. Very beachy, chic, nautical vibes. There was the cutest neon sign & palm tree wallpaper. If my house could look like anything, it would be that. The food was also amazing & nourishing. They also served drinks in mason jars! So cute! The Little Beet Table was another restaurant that we tried. The menu doesn’t have a ton of veggie options, but we got the hummus to share & I got the veggie tacos. They tasted amazing after surviving off Clif bars for breakfast, lunch & snacks lol. We went to Celeste on Saturday night for drinks, but they also serve food. I got a cucumber, mint drink & it was so refreshing. Also the bartender was very nice & helped us figure out a place to stay since our Airbnb was notsocute. 10/10 recommend. The last place we went was highly suggested by locals & people who have been before. Cindy’s is a rooftop restaurant/bar with amazing views of Millennium Park & Lake Michigan. The food was also amazing. You probably want to make a reservation here, as we went on a Monday during lunchtime & it was super crowded. We made a reservation for every place we went (because we are both Type A preparers) but reservations aren’t necessary because no place was ever super busy & we were there on a holiday weekend.
Where we Caffeinated
The amount of oat milk lattes I consumed on this trip is not ok & probably not healthy. But they were all so good & got me through long days of sightseeing. There is no shortage of cute coffee shops in Chicago! We went to Intelligentsia Coffee on Saturday & it had a very minimal, urban feel. Great place to charge your phone & warm up! Fairgrounds Coffee & Hero Coffee were also stops we made. Hero Coffee is the “famous” one that is hidden away in an alley & has major Harry Potter vibes. The last coffee shop we went to was my favorite – Goddess & the Baker. So cute! They also have a full display of desserts & cafe food. We were sitting in that coffeeshop when it started snowing & it was the most wintery scene I’d ever experienced. It was so cute & romantic I wanted to move to someplace cold for a quick second. But then we stepped outside & I remembered who I really am. Not a snowy gal.
What we Did
We did so much in the short time we were there! Of course we did the typical Chicago things, like Millennium Park & The Bean. We walked along Michigan Avenue & Magnificent Mile. There is lots of shopping to do! Our hotel was a short walk to the Starbucks Reserve, so we explored that & ordered fancy drinks. We went to the Chicago Cultural Center, which just has amazing architecture. The Field Museum was also highly recommended, so we checked that out. We’re both not big museum people, but it was huge & has lots to see. It would be a great place to go if you have a lot of time. Also, you get a student discount!! Of course we had to go to Willis Tower, which has an overlook over the whole city. It was the coolest experience!! We bought our tickets ahead of time, but waited 3 hours to get to the top & get pics… I still recommend it because it’s really pretty & gives an amazing perspective of the city. The other paid activity that we did was a Wendella Architecture Boat Tour. It was sooo cold, but really pretty & we learned a lot about the city. About 15 minutes outside of downtown is the Garfield Observatory. There are different plant exhibits & it was pretty much the only time I was warm the whole trip lol. It is free, but they take donations.
I think that’s it!! We did & saw so much, & it was a whirlwind of a trip, but so, so fun. 10/10 recommend taking a spontaneous trip with your best friend. We made memories that we’ll never forget!!