Views From A Local Chicagoan
Student, Culture Seeker
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Toast, in Lincoln Park is probably one of the best breakfasts you'll experience - and much less expensive than the small-portioned, overpriced food you'll get at your hotel! From the stuffed french toast to various renditions of the eggs benedict, they know how to find a way to your heart through food. However, we're not the only people who know about this, so be sure to get there early or expect a bit of a wait!
After your fulfilling breakfast, you might want to take a little stroll, and Lincoln Park is the best place for this. West Armitage Street, only a few blocks away from Toast, is home to a myriad of both small boutiques, designer brands, and that ever-elusive frozen yogurt or italian ice. What better way to start your day than with a new pair of shoes from Lori's or some new bathroom products from Lush?
North Avenue Beach
Since your morning was packed with good food and shopping, a relaxing trip to the beach is just what the doctor would order! North Avenue is known for its wide expanse of sand, sun, and of course, beautiful views. You can grab some food to go from Portillo's, snack on a hot dog from one of the many stands along the shore, or saunter over to Navy Pier for a nice lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp!
Water Tower Place
In case weather doesn't permit you to lay out and catch some rays, I'll include a couple recommendations for rainy day weather. Water Tower place is everything you could imagine in a shopping mecca. You will most likely lose track of time in here, and that is perfectly fine. Just make sure you don't lose track of your bank account too!
The Art Institute of Chicago
For you more artsy folk, the AIC is a beautiful place, filled with art from different movements, eras, and countries. It's easy to get lost between Matisse, American Gothic, and Pollock. You may even find yourself leaving the building and feeling more intelligent than when you entered...
Especially in the summer, there is always something going on in Millenium Park. Whether you stop by for the wonder of the bean, explore the views of the lake and skyline, or stay a while to pop a bottle of wine (you can find some great selections at Whole Foods nearby) and watch a movie in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, nothing beats this essential Chicago landmark!
For all my fellow foodies, I have included a more classic, cozy dinner that is native to Chicago: deep-dish pizza. While people have their differences about which is the best deep-dish, I recommend Gino's not only for their outstanding pie, but also for the one-of-a-kind experience in the graffiti-ed restaurant downtown. If you haven't been yet, you simply must go!