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19 Jul - Your Guide to Chicago

Chicago

From world class museums to bold architecture, the windy has all the fixings to get your cultural fill. What are the best places to visit in Chicago? We had our friends Shelcy & Christy, of NYC X Clothes, explore the city to find out.

Visiting Chicago? Here’s Your Guide to the Windy City

They say Chicago is a more laid-back version of New York City, and after our first visit there, we know it’s true. The Windy City moves at its own pace, but with the same hustle mindset and easy transportation system.

Summer inspires wanderlust like no other season, so we got the travel bug and booked a flight to the Midwest. Knowing that Chicago winters are no joke, we planned our visit there in June, as soon as the temperature started rising.

Our stay at Freehand was a joy! The hotel has a casual upbeat vibe with fun activations like a flower pop-up truck playing classical music at the front and unique event programming like storytelling and music parties. The bar Broken Shaker has some pretty tasty cocktails (try the Naughty by Nature and Never Wanna Leave Me) with friendly bartenders who add to the great ambiance.

With the friendliest staff and round-the-clock customer help, it really was a pleasant stay. We started our mornings with coffee and breakfast bites at Freehand’s Café Integral, then biked and drove through town for more food and other adventures.

Here’s a list of things we’d absolutely recommend doing. If you’re a foodie + art and history enthusiast like us, you will want to check these out:

Breakfast

Maison Marcel
This eatery is the ideal stop to grab a bite, hang out and get work done. The atmosphere is very inviting (the cute interior decor has a lot to do with that). The area surrounding it is also great to walk through, shop and get a feel for the urban lifestyle.

CC Ferns
A cozy neighborhood coffee spot, CC Ferns is where the locals hang. Be sure to walk around and explore the hip and trendy area it’s located in.

Brunch/Lunch

Bixi Beer
Can you tell we’re huge fans of szechuan cuisine? This place offers its own take on Chinese street food, and it’s a real finger-licking experience.

Ramen-SAN
Despite our best efforts, we still caught a bit of winter in Chicago. When the temperature dropped to 50 degrees, we needed some heart-warming food. So we went to Ramen-SAN and it did not disappoint!

Art and History
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
The Virgil Abloh exhibit is one of the many reasons to go there! It’s rich in visual inspiration and it will leave you feeling motivated. Admission to the exhibit also grants access to the rest of the museum, which has some other thought-provoking and stimulating exhibitions like Prisoners of Love.

Architecture Boat Tour
Want to know about Chicago’s history? Take this tour! We know it’s a bit touristy, but the views of the Chicago River make up for it. Who wouldn’t want to be on a boat sipping beer and learning about the city they’re in? The skyline and history lesson about Chicago are two of the most memorable aspects of this experience.

Chinatown Walking Tour
You cannot not stop by Chinatown if you’re in Chicago (or any other major US city for that matter). Aside from the rich and delicious food, it is a lavish display of Chinese culture, and you can check out the Chinese American Museum of Chicago for even more goodness.

There’s nothing like summer in Chicago! Get out there. Eat all the food. Take in some art. Make the most of the great outdoors. And last but not least, don’t forget to check in at Freehand. We’ll see you there!