Chicago has always been near and dear to my heart. I first went to Chicago when I was much younger, and my two older brothers would visit for various hockey tournaments. My cousins lived in the suburbs for most of their lives, and my cousin moved here for several years after college. It’s the nearest “big” city to Des Moines, so lucky for me it makes for a relatively easy trip! Though I haven’t spent a lot of time in the “windy city” much the past couple years, Tim and I decided to get out of our hometown and spend a quick weekend here!
Where We Stayed –
Tim booked a three night stay at The Whitehall Hotel. It definitely is a most dated hotel, but the location couldn’t have been more perfect! He used his Expedia Perks to score an inexpensive price on our stay! We weren’t looking to spend anything crazy for this trip given that we have a lot of other travel plans booked. This was a very reasonable place to stay almost directly on Michigan Ave, so I’ve youre looking to save some money on downtown hotels, I highly recommend this place! While it doesn’t have much of a lobby, there is a restaurant behind the lobby area and its close to many coffee shops and other restaurants.
What We Did –
Bulls Basketball Game –
Tim really wanted to go to a basketball one evening, which is usually a compromise since he trails me around shopping and shooting content – lol. And honestly, getting out and doing something fun like a game is always a lot of fun! I certinayl recommend checking ticked prices and they can fluctuate during different times of the year!
Obviously being on Michigan Avenue meant we are going to get plenty of shopping done! Lots of the stores we don’t have a home, so I took this to my full advantage. I love going into shops and actually seeing the merchandise before I proceed buying it. My main shopping destinations were Zara, H&M, Brandy Melville, The Shops at North Bridge, and Water Tower Plaza.
Girls Brunch –
I had the pleasure to meet up with some other blogger friends that lived in the Chicago area one day for brunch. I had been friends with these girls for a while now and was thrilled to be able to finally meet up with them! We all enjoyed a lovely brunch at Parlor Pizza and were able to get to know each other a little better! Even though Parlor is known for their pizza, they had a fantastic brunch menu featuring a Bloody Mary bar, Avocado Toast, and Delicious Omelets! I can’t wait to meet up with them all again next time I’m in Chicago!
Starbucks Reserve Roastery –
Though this wasn’t on our list of things to do, we had to stop in to check this massive Starbucks! Each floor of the roasters features something slightly different than the others. One serves as a cocktail bar or sorts, while another features fresh pizza, while another serves succulent gelato. Definitely a place I recommend if you’re a super fan of Starbucks, or just want to marvel at the amazing architecture inside!
Where We Ate –
Doc B’s Restaurant & Bar –
We stopped by here our first night in town after making the drive and checking into our hotel. Recently renovated, it’s an upscale sportsbar that’s a little on the small side but was highly reviewed so we decided to check it out!
I ordered the Matza Ball Soup and Knife And Fork Cobb Salad while Tim ordered the Chicken Parmesan. Beware, if you order the Chicken Parmesan, it does not come with pasta. Tim learned this the hard way and later ordered Uber Eats – lol.
STK Steakhouse –
Tim and I wanted to have a special date night for the two of us and decided to try out a super trendy steakhouse north of the river downtown. Although a pricey meal, we loved the interior space and would definitely recommend it for other couples as a fun date night spot!
Ginos Pizzeria –
Stopped by here one day in-between shooting and shopping for some warm Italian food. I ordered a bowl of minestrone and caesar salad while Tim ordered Chicken Parm. Very tasty spot if you’re craving Italian food, but be aware – their pizzas take around 45 to make upon ordering (they’re that good).
Overall we had a very lovely weekend, though it went by super quickly! Tim and I would love to make our visit in the summer when the weather is a little nicer and we don’t have to back a bunch of layers – lol.