I am a lifelong Chicagoan. I grew up in the suburbs and finally moved to the city 4 years ago. I remember as a kid coming downtown Chicago and becoming overwhelmed by the tall buildings and beauty of the lakefront skyline. Now that I live downtown, I take for granted the beauty and excitement that the city provides. Summer and fall are best seasons to admire Chicago on an enjoyable walking tour. You can see so much more by taking a stroll down the city streets or people watch. Downtown Chicago, I have a few favorite spots I love to hit. Some may even be “secret spots” to the average tourist.
In the summer, I have two favorite spots to relax, people watch, and admire the city. My first is spot is walking to Cityfront Plaza, toward NBC Tower and the University of Chicago Gleacher Center. In this pathway, there is a huge fountain and pass it is a garden full of benches. If feels like you are in a hidden garden in the middle of Michigan Avenue. To the left of NBC Tower leads to stairs that reach the ground level along the Chicago River. Cruise boats and tourist constantly float by in the summer. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken a lunch break by the river, read a good book, or just listened to the music watching the people. My second spot is along the lakefront by Chicago Avenue. Did you know there is an underground pathway, beneath Lake Shore Drive at Chicago Avenue that takes you to the lake? It is a great spot to watch the lake as well as all the bikers and runners pass by. There is not any sand at this lakefront spot but you can sit on the cement steps leading to the path.
Because I work at the hotel 5 days a week, it is impossible to not to have a list of favorite local businesses to quickly run a few errands or pick up a bite to eat. You name the type of business, I can give you my favorite. My top choices are based on proximity to the hotel, service, and quality. You may or may not have heard of them, but take my word for it, you will be happy with the results.
Nails: Nail Perfection – 207 E Ohio St.
Frozen Yogurt: FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe – 211 E Ontario St.
Coffee House: Lavazza Coffee Café – 162 E Ohio St.
Bakery: Crumbs Bakery – Water Tower Mall, 160 E Pearson St.
Sushi: Friends Sushi – 710 N Rush St.
Italian: Volare – 201 E Grand Ave.
BBQ: Jack Melnick’s Corner Tap – 41 E Superior St.
Roof Top: Rock Bottom Brewery – 1 W. Grand Ave.
Gelato: Gold Coast, Rush and Division outdoor stand
Farmers Market: Tuesday’s at the Contemporary Art Museum courtyard
Take a walk, enjoy the scenery. You will be amazed at what you will see in Chicago.
By: Stefanie Killey