I thought I'd start up a new blog series on some of the wonderful places I go to, and share with you along the way some of the must see and must do things for each destination!
First up is one of my favourite cities in the whole world: Chicago. It often gets overlooked as a holiday destination in favour of New York, LA or Boston, but Chicago has a charm all of its own, and has really grown on me in the year or so I've been visiting it on a regular basis.
Even the street signs and fire trucks are photo- ready!
Cloud Gate aka the Bean
POPS for Champagne, beautiful Forth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Ave
Bloomy's at Christmas, amazing cupcake from Crumbs
Lou Malnati's "Lou"deep dish. Cannot be beaten.
Christmas crew, amazing decorations at the airportChicago Tips:
1. One thing Chicago is certainly famous for, is deep dish pizza. The famous pizza joint that everyone has heard of is Gino's East just off Michigan Ave, but although good, it's always packed with tourists. The locals prefer to head a few blocks away to Lou Malnati's, on North State st next to Barnes and Noble. Just the though of their pizza makes my stomach rumble..
2. It's a cliche, but you HAVE to visit Cloud Gate, more commonly known as the Bean. And yes, you have to take a photo looking up into it. Some touristy things are famous for a reason, and this is one of them!
3. For drinks, head to POPS champagne bar on the corner of E Ohio st and North state street. So many different types of bubbly, so little time! They serve snacks too, so you don't have to leave to line your tummy!
4. The shopping in Chicago is amazing. Everything is within walking distance of downtown and I can't think of a shop they don't have! Also, the shops are open really late so if your flight gets in late at night , you can still stock up in the likes of Victoria's Secret (the flagship store, no less) Bloomingdale's, Abercrombie, People Tree and so, so many more. On a side note, it has always baffled me why shops in the UK shut at 5.30pm, just when people are leaving work. Logical.
5. If you possibly can, you must go in March, for st Patrick's day. Chicagoans celebrate by dying the river green!
6. Even if you don't go in March, in the summer you can head to the man made beach by lake Michigan, stepping distance from the main shopping drag on North Michigan avenue. Sunbathe, hire a boat for a tour of the lake or join in with a beach volleyball game if you're feeling brave!
so there we have it, just a few hints I've picked up over a year's travel. The photos are mainly from one trip in December as you can tell by the Christmassy theme but to be honest whatever time of year, Chicago is amazing.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has any must do tips too?