Chicago, I love ya (A practically free Chicago weekend guide)

Two months ago I was on the phone with one of my oldest best friends catching up about life. (Alix is one of those friends that you can not talk to for months and as soon as you’re catching up it feels as though you never left. The best kind of friend.) She just started law school in Chicago, and as she was raving about the city I looked up ticket prices.

$150 and two months later I was getting off the blue line in the heart of the city.

Chicago is amazing. Its a city that isn’t pretending. It is unashamed and unpretentious.

This was my first visit and I seriously intend on having many more.

From my incredibly limited knowledge of the city- here are some of my highlights:

  • Green City Market. On Saturday mornings in Lincoln Park there is a super charming little farmers market. It was small, and I am not certain if that is because it was October or because Colorado and California have thrown off my scales for what is a normal sized farmers market. Regardless, it was great. We munched on breakfast after visiting Cocoa + co.img_8517
  • Lincoln Park Zoo. We walked on to the zoo which is FREE. The leaves were changing colors and the atmosphere inside was so wholesome. It isn’t large, but like I said, its FREE. If you are in the area, it is totally worth the visit, even if its just for a quick stroll.img_5780default
  • Lincoln Park Conservatory. Are you sensing a theme here? I loved Lincon Park. This conservatory is FREE. It was a perfect warm green solace from the hail that came out of nowhere and decided to fall. There are a lot of great benches to sit and admire the leaves and trees. It had an extensive fern exhibit as well as an orchid room. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetimg_5860
  • Chicago Cultural Center. This was a freaking magical find. As we walked around the building I noticed the gorgeous architecture and decided we should pop in. This building is really a testament to the glory days of this city. There were very cool modern art exhibits as well as a gorgeous atrium and stained glass domes. Dont miss it.img_59191img_5880
  • The BEAN. How could you not? Check it out and take some pictures. Admire the swarms of people and admire that you are one of the swarm.img_5870
  • Walking the riverfront. Grab a coffee and take a stroll! (I do not have any good recommendations for coffee in the riverfront area, so maybe you want to hit yelp before going.)img_5959img_5705
  • Boys Town. This is not free but it is worth every penny. Fantastic gay bars and drag. Need I say more?
  • Hit a rooftop. Thankfully Alix lives in the most gorgeous building ever with a rooftop balcony so this wasn’t hard. Check the city view. Fantastic!!img_5932
  • My final tip, and bare with me for this may sound superbly tacky, is to read a book or any literature related to the city before going. Having some backround on where you are going, I have found, has really enhanced the whole experience. I had just finished this book about the women in the 1920’s who inspired the musical Chicago. img_8616

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