Love Your Friends,  Love Your Travel

Chicago: Friends Trip Option One

Getting away with a group of friends is always a blast! We love going into the city and having fun! This option is mostly center around Lincoln Park. I’m seriously obsessed with this area of Chicago! Check out some things we like to do or want to do!!

Day 1:

Drop bags off at Hotel Lincoln before the Cubs game. We like to go to day games because then we have the evening free. Uber to Wrigley Field, find your seats, grab a beer and enjoy. We of course can’t go to the ball park without getting a hot dog … they are sooooo good! Pork & Mindy’s is also pretty ahhhmazing! It’s Jeff Mauro’s restaurant in Chicago. The Bao to the Pork and the Pig Candy BLT are what I recommend!

Baseball with friends.. what could be better?!

After the game grab an Uber and head to Kibbitznest: Books, Brews, & Blarney. This is a fun place to hang out, and they encourage no technology! They have board games to play, books to peruse, fun noshing plates to share, and great drinks! This will keep the fun going after the Cubs game.

It’s about a 35 minute walk from Kibbitznest to Hotel Lincoln. You can either walk off all the food you’ve had, or take an Uber! 🙂 Once back at the hotel, officially check in, change for a night out, and head to J. Parker, the rooftop bar at the hotel. The views from this bar are supposed to be amazing, and their signature cocktails sound scrumptious! I suggest the Tortuga, Lake Geneva, and Bondi!

Views from the J. Parker. Photo credit:

Day 2

Head to Summer House Santa Monica for a delicious breakfast! It’s only about an 18 minute walk from the hotel. Their breakfast tostados or Mexican hashbrowns are what sounds good to me! They also have a bakery that would be worth checking out before leaving. After filling your belly, head back to Hotel Lincoln. For staying there they have complimentary bike rentals!

Once you have your bikes, follow the Lakefront Trail to Buckingham Fountain. Places to stop along the way: Milton Lee Olive Park, Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, and Millennium Park. Some of the views are spectacular of the lake and harbor. Milton Lee Olive Park and Navy Pier are two of my favorite places for views of the lake and the city skyline.

* Milton Lee Olive Park* I took this a few years ago during an engagement shoot! The views were gorgeous!
View from Navy Pier 🙂

Once you’ve reached Buckingham Fountain, turn back around on the Lakefront Trail and head to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria located at 1120 N. State Street. They have the BEST pizza in Chicago! Order a pie, sit and enjoy everyone’s company, and talk about what you saw on your bike ride. Once done, bike another 7 minutes back to the hotel to return your bike rentals.

Now it’s time to change for the beach! What? The beach in the city? Of course you have to visit one of the beaches on Lake Michigan when coming to the city in summer! I like North Avenue Beach which is only a 13 minute walk from the hotel. I’ve always thought it would be fun to learn how to paddleboard with your friends, so take a class! They are 90 minutes long, and would be so much fun. Then you can relax on the beach for a bit after all the biking you did that morning.

Photo Credit: Urban Matter

I suggest heading back to your hotel to shower and change by 5 at the latest. I’d make dinner reservations at Café Ba Ba Reeba for 6pm; it’s about an 18 minute walk from the hotel. This place is known for their tapas and looks so good! Order some plates to share, some yummy drinks, and have a great time. Then get an Uber to Second City, a popular improve comedy club, for a show at 8pm. Laugh the night away! It’s only a 7 minute walk from Second City back to the hotel. When you get back, go to J. Parker again to enjoy a tasty drink and the night time views!

Day 3

I suggest sleeping in! 🙂 Pack up and drop your bags off at the front desk to hold for you. Make reservations for brunch at 3 Arts Club Café around 10 or 10:30. This place seriously looks so inviting and fun for a group of friends! Their juices sound amazing and their truffled grilled cheese looks phenomenal! Spend the rest of the morning relaxing there and chatting. Head back to the hotel to pick up your bags from the front desk and head home.

Photo Credit: 3 Arts Club Café Website


Some other restaurants / places worth going to:

Elaine’s Coffee Call – coffee shop with pastries in the Hotel Lincoln. This would be great if you’d rather get something quick instead of Summer House Santa Monica for breakfast.

Cocoa + Co. Café  This chocolate and coffee shop is not far from the hotel. If you are a chocolate lover, you NEED to check this place out!

Geja’s Café – This is a popular romantic spot with fondue. This would be an option instead of Café Ba Ba Reeba. It’s not far from the hotel.

Lincoln Park Zoo – this is FREE and just steps away from the hotel. They also have some adult night themes throughout the year so you could plan your visit around then.

Much love,

Chef Charley

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