Quick Trip To Chicago; Places To Visit When You Have Little Time
Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit when I need a quick getaway. Traveling to Chicago just gives me a peace of mind, mainly because it is my second home. I lived my teenage years in a suburb called Markham, right outside of Chicago. So going back always gives me a nostalgic feeling.
This trip was a special trip for me because I have not been to Chicago in a few years. No reason as to why, just been traveling other places. The trip was special because I went with my partner and sons and because it was my birthday and mother's day weekend. My partner and I have been dating for a few years now, and he has never seen where I grew up in Illinois. We have previously taken a trip to Minnesota in 2017, where I am originally from, so he was able to see my childhood homes, and the things I use to do there.
We currently live in St. Louis, Mo, where he is originally from, so I am always experiencing the things he grew up doing and or visiting the places that he did as a child. For me being a person that moved from state to state, it was nice to be the one showing him around finally.
We decided to make it a short quick overnight trip because we had other birthday plans for both of us at the end of the month. We didn't do much, but I at least got to show them my childhood spots and historic (tourist) Chicago spots/monuments as well.
Quick Trip To Chicago; Places To Visit When You Have Little Time
Picture Credit. Trip Advisors
I opted out of staying at a hotel downtown because I wanted to be in the middle of the city and suburbs without having to drive far to either or. He chose the Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn as our place to stay. The rooms were a great size and very clean. I was so excited to be there, it slipped my mind, and I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the room because we literally dropped our bags in the room and ventured out. But here are some pics and I can assure you they are just as good as they look. They also had a fantastic selfie approved mirror on their vanity.
After venturing out to my old neighborhoods, stopping by my former High School, and visiting one of my best friends. FOOD was my next mission. Most bloggers will tell you about the typical higher end food places to visit. Me, I wanted to go to a some known favorites of my peers and I. Those places consisted of a chicken spot called Harold’s, and a pizza place call Italian Fiesta. Those two places, along with Garretts Popcorn were the main reasons I wanted to visit Chicago. We also found a perfect breakfast/brunch spot!
Here are the foods we indulged in
Harold's Chicken Shack
Harold’s Chicken Shack is a chain of fried chicken restaurants located primarily in Chicago, Illinois. Harold's has been an essential part of Chicago's South Side culture and is known for its uniquely prepared chicken. The sauce, Mild Sauce, is what makes that place even better. It is a tangy barbecue wing sauce that just makes the chicken and fries, in my opinion, more enjoyable.
Harold's prides itself on their franchises to develop its personality rather than forcing each restaurant to match one another. This continues today even as Harold's has expanded into other areas of Chicago. Some Harold's restaurants are very informal, with takeaway chicken served by employees standing behind a window of bulletproof glass (originally introduced as a necessity rather than an aesthetic concern as Harold's often served some historically "rough" neighborhoods). Others offer a more “welcoming” environment, in which most of the clientele has the option to dine in. (source)
I suggest this location if you chose to visit.
Who has the best pizza in Chicago continues to be a debate among locals. Some will say Giordano's, Home Run Inn, or Gino's East. However, I prefer Italian Fiesta Pizzeria their pizza is delicious! It's not your typical deep dish pizza that people are eager to try, but it’s worth the visit! I prefer their thin slices that are cut into squares and seasoned to perfection and Italian Fiesta has just that!
This is the location I suggest visiting. (grab and go, not a dine-in)
If I eat brunch, I need to have a great mimosa to pair with my food. We randomly searched for this place, and it was a HIT! The menu selection was good, and the food presentation was phenomenal. The restaurant is tiny and a tad crowded, but it was still a great experience. I ordered their Brunch Signature French Toast, and they were probably the best french toast I have ever had. I highly suggest this brunch spot if you visit. Prepare for paid street parking, and if you are a group of 5 or more call to reserve. If you don't reserve in advance wait times will vary. (Brunchit.com)
Places we visited
Millenium Park is a great place to visit when you are traveling to Chicago. Just make sure you have on some good walking shoes. There are plenty of things to do there, and we walked to them all.
Maggie Daley Park
This park was new to me. I have never heard or visited here before. We found it on accident trying to take our boys to the bean. It was a huge park, and our boys had a blast! There are age limits to the park and workers there enforcing it; however, your littles should have a great time! The park is also free so that was a plus.
The Bean (now known as Cloud Gate)
The Bean is a Chicago landmark and a tourist favorite. It is the perfect place to take a picture of the full skyline in the reflection while being in the photo yourself. Take a stroll to The Bean and capture selfies in the reflection of the bean.
Crown Fountain is unique, and it consists of two towers that feature faces of people from different ethnicities and sexes. They have a splash pad and during the summer little ones love standing and getting wet by the rush of water that falls from the top of the fountains,
This fountain is another landmark in Chicago regulars and tourist love to visit. As one of the largest fountains in the world, this fountain is enormous; you and your little ones will be amazed at its size and the architect.
There is a lot to do at the Navy Pier, you have the ferris wheel and other amusement park attractions, boats, stores to shop, and a lot of delicious food to try. In the summer you can expect to spend at least a few hours exploring the Navy Pier. We decided to grab some candy from Its Sugar and another Chicago favorite, Garrets Popcorn located inside of the Navy Pier. While we were visiting the weather was a tad bit chilly so our Navy Pier experience wasn't as great as it could have been if we would have visited on a warmer day.
I always have a fun time visiting my second home; it gives me such a nostalgic feeling. Eating the food I grew up eating as a teen, and visiting the places I used to hang out with my family and friends. I’m happy that I was able to show my family a city that for me is home.
If you are in Chicago, I highly suggest checking out Millenium Park and the Navy Pier.
What are your favorite places to visit in Chicago?