The long-awaited weekend when you finally get a chance to get away, relax, unwind, and explore is here. And for so many reasons, Chicago is the perfect place for such a rewarding experience.
From its vibrant nightlife to its delicious cuisine, numerous attractions, and family-friendly activities, there’s pretty much something for everyone in the Windy City.
To help you make the most of your weekend break, here are six tips and tricks for a great weekend in Chicago.
1. Get to Know Chicago’s Neighborhoods: Where to Go and What to Do
One of the best ways to make the most of your weekend visit to Chicago is to explore the neighborhoods. From the historic architecture of the Loop to the vibrant nightlife of the West Loop, each neighborhood offers something unique. For a great weekend getaway, take the time to explore the diverse parts of the city.
Make sure to check out Wicker Park for a trendy and hipster vibe, the Gold Coast for its upscale shops, and Chinatown for its delicious Asian cuisine. And don’t forget to take a stroll along the iconic Lakefront Trail for some fresh air and spectacular views. Again, there’s something for everyone in Chicago!
2. Save Money on Accommodations: Find the Best Deals
Are you looking for a great place to stay during your weekend in Chicago? Don’t worry, there’s no need to break the bank! There are plenty of ways to save money when it comes to accommodation in the city. Whether you’re looking for a budget hotel, an Airbnb, or even a hostel, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Take the time to compare prices and amenities and make sure to check for any discounts or special offers. Sign up for loyalty programs, use coupon codes, and take advantage of last-minute deals to get the most bang for your buck. With a bit of research, it shouldn’t be rocket science to find the perfect accommodation without going over budget.
3. Eat Like a Local: Sample the Best of Chicago’s Culinary Offerings
When it comes to food, Chicago is a melting pot of flavors. From traditional Chicago deep-dish pizza to the famous Italian beef sandwich, there are tons of places with amazing offerings to give your palate an unforgettable massage.
Spend some time exploring the city’s many restaurants, cafés, and street food vendors. You can also look for a food tour or join a cooking class to get a taste of the local cuisine.
And don’t forget to check out the city’s many farmer’s markets for fresh and organic produce, artisanal cheeses, and delicious baked goods. Whether you’re in the mood for a variety of sweet and savory foods, you’ll find the perfect option in Chicago.
4. Get Around with Ease: Navigate Chicago’s Public Transportation System
Don’t be intimidated by the size of Chicago — it’s easy to get around once you know the city’s public transportation system. Make sure to arm yourself with a city map and learn which bus, train, or trolley lines will take you where you need to go.
You can also check out the Divvy bike share system for those short trips between neighborhoods (and bonus exercise!). Once you’ve gotten your bearings and explored a bit, getting around town becomes second nature.
5. Get a Reliable Car Service to Drive You to Your Hotel … and Back to the Airport When You Leave
Especially if you’re not fond of public transportation, a rented car can be an efficient way of getting around Chicago. Hiring one from a reliable car service ahead of time can save you from waiting in long taxi queues, trying to decode complex public transport directions, or wasting precious time and energy navigating traffic.
Take advantage of professional chauffeurs who know the city best; they’ll safely get you where you need to be, as well as back to the airport when it’s time for your departure.
Make sure you plan ahead and book your ride with enough lead time — doing so will help ensure that things go smoothly once your Chicago weekend escape ends.
6. Take the Time to Explore: Uncover the City’s Hidden Gems
While it’s home to some (or one) of America’s most iconic skyscrapers, Chicago is more than just its famous skyline. The city is full of amazing places to explore beyond the typical tourist attractions. Venture off the beaten path and find yourself in one of Chicago’s hidden gems, such as local galleries, cozy cafés, and beautiful parks tucked away from main thoroughfares.
You can also try exploring certain neighborhoods by bike for a truly unique experience — or simply ask around for recommendations from locals! Take advantage of your time in the city to immerse yourself in all that it has to offer. You might be surprised at what you uncover.
From discovering amazing neighborhoods to sampling local delicacies, there’s much to explore during your brief stay in this magnificent city. With proper planning through these useful tips — plus some guidance from friendly locals along the way — you’ll be ready to embark on an unforgettable weekend break in Chicago! All the best on your weekend holiday in the Windy City.