No Longer Stuck in the Suburbs
Hi guys! My name is Nicolette and I’m a marketing intern for The Magnificent Mile Association! I’m originally from the suburbs of Detroit and now go to school in the suburbs of Grand Rapids. All that time in the suburbs left me itching for city life so I decided to study “abroad” in Chicago this semester. Being new to the city, I took a day to do some exploring. Join me as I check out some of Chicago’s must-see spots!
The Art Institute of Chicago
My first stop was The Art Institute of Chicago. TripAdvisor has ranked the museum as one of the top museums in the world for four years in a row, and it shows! I could’ve spent all day just wandering around the over one million square-foot museum.
If you don’t have all day, be sure to check out Journey Maker, an interactive experience that creates a personalized tour based on the art you want to see. There are thousands of journey options to choose from, each one unique and different from the last. I loved getting the chance to customize my own journeytour, but my favorite part of the tour was the miniature Thorne rooms. These models recreate rooms from the late 13th century all the way to the 1930’s -definitely unlike anything I’d ever seen before! The museum does an incredible job at tying in exhibits with current city happenings, so be sure to check their website before you visit.
After exploring The Art Institute, I decided to head to the John Hancock Center to see the sights from 94 floors up! The Observation Deck offers panoramic views of the Chicago from every direction. Not sure where to look first? Try finding some iconic Chicago landmarks like Wrigley Field and Navy Pier. If you’re more of a thrill seeker you may enjoy Tilt! Guests are tilted out at a 30- degree angle while standing over 1000 ft. above the ground, all in their own personal glass booth. It was my favorite part of the tour!
After a morning of exploring, I was ready for lunch, so I headed over to Bar Toma for some pizza. Chef Tony Mantuano took years of traveling through Italy to perfect their his pizza dough recipe. Whether you enjoy their classic pepperoni or more unique speck & egg pizza, the crust is sure to wow any pizza fanatic. While you’re there, be sure to try their Monkey Business appetizer!
After lunch I was so full, but couldn’t bring myself to pass on dessert, so I made my way to Magnolia Bakery in the heart of downtown. The Bakery originally began in New York City, but has since expanded to over 12 different major cities worldwide. While they bake cookies, brownies, and cupcakes fresh every day, it’s their banana pudding that really sets them apart from the other big city bakeries.
Cindy's Rooftop Bar
I rounded out the day with one last Chicago must: a rooftop bar. I decided to try out Cindy’s, located on top of the beautiful Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Cindy’s is the perfect spot for dinner, happy hour, or even weekend brunch. Take in the sites of both the lake and the city from their floor-to-ceiling windows while enjoying a drink from their large selection of beer, wine, and cocktail. Personally, I decided to keep it simple with a glass of Pinot Grigio, but with so many options for cocktails (and mocktails!) there’s a drink to please everyone!