When I tell you the first time I've ever been to Chicago was May 27th, 2021, that's not a lie. My mom and I always talked about going, but it just never worked out in our favor. Well, I finally got to go and I can't wait to share my experience with you! There was so much to do (we stayed for 4 days), so I'm just going to highlight my top moments!
First off, we stayed at the St. Clair Hotel, which was a street over from the magnificent mile. There was a parking garage right across the street and Dunkin' donuts was a 2 minute walk away (yes, that was our daily breakfast!). The room was small for the price, but a convenient location! I'd probably upgrade next time, but it worked since we were always gone!
The magnificent mile is absolutely GORGEOUS! It's just rows of designer stores that every girl dreams of. My broke college self couldn't buy anything, but it was still nice to look! (LOL) We walked to the Water Tower Place up the street, which was a 7 (maybe 8?) story mall! There were so many stores, including American Girl, which was so hard to go into! My favorite was definitely Spirits & Spice and Harry Caray's Sports Museum!
The owner of Spirits & Spice was seriously so friendly. He answered all of our questions, let us taste test the oils, plus gave the best recommendations! He wasn't sales-y at all and I love that. We ended up buying a Lemon Cucumber Balsamic (YUM!!) and Birthday Cake Vodka Infused Ice Cream. His oils are a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.
Harry Caray's Sports Museum was full of memorabilia related to Chicago sports. I'm not really a sports fan, but Devin loved it. There were many interactive exhibits and simulators. Even though I don't really understand sports, it was still fun to see!
Let's be honest... the whole reason I went to Chicago was for The Friends Experience. Y'all know I'm a HUGE Friends fan, so of course I had to visit before it ended! It was great to see, but definitely hyped up. The staff was SO strict on what you could take pictures of and the mask policy. We also waited in line for 30 minutes AFTER our ticket time for an exhibit that only lasted 10 minutes max. Honestly, we felt like we wasted our money! Anywho, it was still great to walk through the sets and feel like you were at the studio.
My favorite exhibit of the weekend was definitely Womanish! The whole experience was geared towards female empowerment and daily issues women face. Safe to say Devin didn't like this one, but it's a fair exchange for sports, right? There were SO many fun exhibits from a beauty salon to a playground! This was my first "selfie shop", but I definitely want to visit more! (Thank goodness Michigan has some!)
I'm such a foodie, that it's hard to choose between food and shopping as my favorite. I was absolutely OBSESSED with the avocado tacos from Tallboy Taco. When I say they're TO DIE FOR, I'm not kidding. These were literally the best tacos I've ever had! They were also paired with homemade chips and guac, so yum! I really wish I would’ve taken a pic of them to show you!!
Another favorite of mine was the Weber Grill Restaurant. My family always had a Weber growing up, so was like a small piece of nostalgia. OMG Y'ALL... this was the BEST barbeque I've ever had. We split the dinner for two (great deal btw!) and shared our entrees with each other to try multiple things. His meatloaf was SO juicy and tender, while my brisket was EXQUISITE. It was so much food, but too good to waste! The creme brulee cheesecake was even FENOMINAL! My mouth is literally watering as I write this... LOL
One of the days we explored the Navy Pier and it was SO COLD. I definitely found out the true meaning of the windy city, but it was still beautiful to explore! My favorite part (of course, LOL) was the food! OMG y'all, have you ever seen a milkshake look this good? People were literally asking me where they could get one because they wanted it so bad. I immediately had to take a picture for the 'gram. There were so many cute shops along the boardwalk too. Thankfully they were all indoors, but it's the perfect spot to get Chicago shirts.
(almost done I promise!)
The last day we hit up an outlet mall about 30 minutes northwest of Chicago and OMG. I pretty much kissed my money goodbye because everything was designer! I only went into Ugg, Lululemon, and Vineyard Vines, but they even had Louis Vuitton, Bloomingdales, and so many other designer stores! I definitely want to go back here and explore more of the mall!
Overall, it was such a great trip! We only got rained on one day (RIP our shoes), but the rest of the days were gorgeous. I highly recommend experiencing Chicago if you're never been! It's definitely crazy busy all the time, but the perfect "New York" experience before you actually hit up real New York. Thank for bearing with me through this long post!
Have you ever been to Chicago? If so, what's your favorite place to visit?
Oh, I did see the bean too, even though you couldn't touch it!