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Chicago Travel Guide

About Chicago

Welcome to the city where soaring skyscrapers punctuate the skyline like giants reaching for the heavens, where the wind whistles through the alleyways and carries whispers of history, and where the sizzle and aroma of deep-dish pizzas wafts through the air. Chicago, a metropolis nestled along the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan, pulsates with a Chicago bucketlist experience that surges through its veins like a wild current. This urban playground dances between old-world charm and cutting-edge innovation, where time-honored traditions embrace the avant-garde spirit. Step into this fascinating city, where towering museums harbor treasures that paint vivid stories of the past, neighborhoods become canvases showcasing an array of cultures, and every street corner promises a new adventure. Welcome to the Windy City, a kaleidoscope of sensory marvels that captivates you.

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Chicago, IL, USA
4:35 am, July 13, 2024
temperature icon 67°F
clear sky
Humidity 92 %
Pressure 1020 mb
Wind 5 mph
Wind Gust: 7 mph
Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise: 5:27 am
Sunset: 8:24 pm
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Best Time To visit

Bestowed with the gift of ever-changing seasons, Chicago casts a different power with each passing month, each transforming the city into a charming wonderland. While the Windy City gracefully dons its winter cloak, December to February paints a picture straight out of a snow-globe fantasy. Embrace the crisp bite in the air as temperatures dip to an average of 20°F (-6°C), and witness the ethereal beauty of the city draped in a shimmering blanket of snow. Glide across Millennium Park’s ice rink, marvel at the glistening lights adorning the Magnificent Mile, and find yourself in the cultural warmth of the city’s world-class museums.

As spring unfurls its petals, March breathes new life into Chicago, infusing the air with anticipation and blossoms. Stroll along the Riverwalk as the Chicago River emerges from its icy slumber, catch a baseball game at Wrigley Field, and indulge in the city’s diverse culinary scene as restaurants burst with flavors. Whether you find solace in winter’s frosty embrace or seek the gentle caress of spring’s awakening, Chicago promises a mesmerizing journey through its ever-changing seasons.

Chicago In Winter: Unveiling the Magic

When the chill of winter descends upon Chicago, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, enchanting visitors with its snow-kissed landscapes and cozy ambiance. From December to February, temperatures dip to an average of 20°F (-6°C), inviting you to bundle up and discover the magic that lies within. Lace up your ice skates and twirl under the glittering lights of Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, or embark on a winter adventure along the scenic Lakefront Trail, where icy waves crash against the frozen shoreline. Embrace the holiday spirit at Christkindlmarket, where the aroma of warm spiced wine and freshly baked gingerbread fills the air, or revel in the splendor of the Lincoln Park ZooLights, where illuminated animal sculptures illuminate the night sky. Chicago in winter is a picturesque dream come to life, where every snowflake whispers tales of wonder, and every corner holds the promise of cozy delights.

March in Chicago: Awakening The Spirit of Spring

As the chill of winter reluctantly gives way to the promise of a new season, March brings a symphony of sights and sounds to Chicago. The city sheds its winter coat and blooms with the colors of renewal. Feel the delicate kiss of spring as temperatures climb to an average of 40-50°F (4-10°C), luring locals and visitors to venture outdoors. Embrace the spirited atmosphere of St. Patrick’s Day, where the Chicago River turns a radiant emerald green, and revel in the festive parade that winds through the city streets. Stroll through the Lincoln Park Conservatory, where fragrant flowers bloom, or explore the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, where masterpieces come to life under the soft spring light. March in Chicago is a delightful awakening to witness nature’s rejuvenation and immerse yourself in the city’s burgeoning energy.

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What to expect

As you journey to this iconic metropolis, you’ll find many opportunities to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.

Chicago’s wellness scene is as diverse as its neighborhoods, each offering its own distinctive charm and holistic offerings. The city boasts an array of world-class spas, wellness centers, and yoga studios catering to all experience levels. Whether you are seeking a serene escape from the bustling city streets or a high-energy workout, Chicago has something for you.

Start your day with a sunrise yoga session along the picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline. Feel the gentle breeze and soothing sound of waves as you flow through poses, setting the tone for a peaceful day ahead. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, join one of the city’s many outdoor boot camps or group workouts in parks, where you can sweat it out while enjoying the company of like-minded individuals.

Chicago’s commitment to wellness extends beyond physical activities. Take a stroll through the city’s lush parks, like Millennium Park and Grant Park, which offer serene oases amidst the urban landscape. Immerse yourself in nature as you explore the Chicago Botanic Garden or meditate in the tranquil Lurie Garden.

When it comes to nourishing your body, Chicago’s culinary scene is a wellness haven. Embrace farm-to-table dining at restaurants that prioritize locally sourced and organic ingredients. Indulge in nourishing meals that cater to various dietary preferences, from vegan and vegetarian to gluten-free and paleo. And don’t miss the opportunity to savor the city’s renowned deep-dish pizza in moderation, balancing indulgence with your wellness goals.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Chicago’s luxury spas provide a haven of tranquility. Unwind with a rejuvenating massage, detoxifying body treatment, or holistic facial. Many spas draw inspiration from the city’s rich history and offer unique therapies that blend tradition with innovation.

In the heart of downtown Chicago, the Magnificent Mile beckons with its high-end shopping and cultural attractions. Explore designer boutiques, art galleries, and museums that showcase the city’s creative spirit. Take a leisurely walk along the Chicago Riverwalk, enjoying stunning skyline views and engaging in mindfulness exercises while watching the water flow beneath you.

Wellness in Chicago also extends to the mind. Immerse yourself in the city’s cultural scene by attending mindfulness workshops, wellness retreats, and thought-provoking lectures. Engage in meditation and mindfulness practices that help you find inner peace amid the urban hustle and bustle.

As you delve into Chicago’s wellness offerings, you’ll discover the city’s commitment to a balanced lifestyle. Whether you’re an avid yogi, fitness enthusiast, spa lover, or simply seeking a mindful escape, Chicago welcomes you with open arms. Embrace the harmonious synergy of urban energy and holistic well-being as you navigate this city of possibilities.

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Things to know

Here are some travel tips and information you should know before going to Chicago:

  • Language: English is the primary language spoken in Chicago.
  • Time Zone: Chicago operates on Central Standard Time (CST).
  • Currency: The United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency used in Chicago.
  • Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments throughout the city.
  • Plugs + Voltage: The standard voltage in Chicago is 120V, and the plug type is Type A and B (two or three flat pins).
  • Airports: Chicago is served by two major airports, O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW), offering domestic and international flights.
  • Common Sayings: While Chicago doesn’t have specific sayings, you may come across phrases like “Windy City” (referring to the city’s nickname) or “Da Bears” (referring to the Chicago Bears football team).
  • Opening Hours: Most businesses in Chicago operate from around 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with some variations depending on the industry and the day of the week.
  • Safety: Chicago is generally a safe city, but like any urban area, it’s important to exercise common sense and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas.
  • Emergency Services: In case of emergencies, dial 911 for immediate assistance from police, fire, or medical services.
  • Local Customs: Chicagoans are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. It’s customary to greet people with a smile and a handshake, and it’s appreciated to say “please” and “thank you” during interactions.
  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in Chicago. In restaurants, it’s normal to tip 15-20% of the total bill; in other service industries like taxis or hotels, a 10-15% tip is appropriate.
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how to get around

With these transportation options at your disposal, your journey through the Windy City will be a breeze (pun intended).

  • “L” (Elevated Train): Experience the thrill of riding Chicago’s iconic elevated train system, known as the “L.” Enjoy panoramic views of the city as you zip from one neighborhood to another.
  • Bike-Sharing: Embrace your inner eco-warrior and explore Chicago on two wheels. The city offers a bike-sharing program with numerous docking stations, allowing you to pedal around town while reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Metra Commuter Rail: Hop aboard the Metra commuter rail system for a convenient way to venture beyond the city limits. Whether heading to the suburbs or planning a day trip to nearby towns, the Metra is an excellent transportation avenue.
  • Chicago Water Taxi: Make a splash and hop on a Chicago Water Taxi for a unique and scenic way to navigate the city. Cruise along the Chicago River and enjoy breathtaking views of the iconic skyline while basking in the refreshing river breeze.
  • Bus: Chicago’s extensive bus network offers a convenient mode of transportation. Hop on a bus to explore different neighborhoods, reach specific attractions, or soak in the local vibe as you ride through the streets.
  • Pedestrian-Friendly Streets: Lace up your walking shoes because Chicago is pedestrian-friendly. Take advantage of the well-maintained sidewalks and stroll through the vibrant neighborhoods, discovering hidden gems at your own pace.
  • Rideshare Services: Embrace the convenience of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, which are readily available throughout the city. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you’ll have a driver at your service, ready to whisk you away to your desired destination.
  • Divvy Bikes: Join the locals and explore Chicago’s neighborhoods on a Divvy bike. These shared bicycles are available at docking stations citywide, allowing you to unlock a two-wheeled adventure whenever the mood strikes.
  • Eco-Friendly Options: Chicago is committed to sustainability, so watch for eco-friendly transportation initiatives. The city is progressing toward a greener future, from electric buses to hybrid taxis.
Passing Cars Near Chicago Theater

Where to stay

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Step into a world of luxury at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. This eco-certified oasis boasts luxurious accommodations featuring elegant furnishings and state-of-the-art amenities. Pamper yourself at their world-class spa, . . .

where a range of rejuvenating treatments awaits. The hotel’s impeccable service and attention to detail ensure an unforgettable stay in the heart of the city.

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Experience contemporary sophistication at Viceroy Chicago, an eco-certified hotel that combines modern design with exceptional hospitality. Revel in the luxurious ambiance of their well-appointed rooms, . . .

featuring panoramic views of the city skyline. Unwind in style at their rooftop pool, offering a tranquil oasis amidst the urban bustle.

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Indulge in timeless elegance at The Langham Chicago, a distinguished, eco-certified hotel that offers a refined and luxurious experience. From the moment you step into the opulent lobby, you’ll be enveloped in a world of . . . .

sophistication. Relax and rejuvenate at their exquisite spa, featuring a range of holistic treatments and therapies. Langham’s commitment to sustainability, combined with its impeccable service, ensures a truly unforgettable stay. 

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Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

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You will find French sophistication and contemporary design at Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile. This eco-certified hotel offers spacious and stylish rooms adorned with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable . . . .

and indulgent stay. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of their spa, where expert therapists provide a wide array of revitalizing treatments to rejuvenate your body and mind.

Where to EAT + DRINK

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True Food Kitchen is the brainchild of Dr. Andrew Weil, an integrative medicine pioneer. The restaurant was founded in 2008 and now has evolved into 42 locations statewide. The menu is built on the anti-inflammatory pyramid, . . .

adheres to the Dirty Dozen principles, and sources all its ingredients locally, organically, and seasonally. 

They are a “green” restaurant, utilizing LED lighting, low VOC paint, reclaimed wood floors, recycled tiles, and more. True Food Kitchen offers something for everyone. The restaurant’s ethos is a commitment to healthy, nutrient-dense dining from grass-fed burgers, wild salmon, herbed hummus, and vegan double cheeseburgers.

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Loving Heart Vegan Cafe is a charming and cozy restaurant nestled in Uptown, Chicago. With a 100% plant-based menu, the cafe sources over 80% of its ingredients from USDA-certified organic suppliers, . . .

ensuring nutritious and high-quality offerings. They served a range of vegan and organic options, including soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads, bowls, desserts, and burgers. If you’re in the mood for a beverage, they offer an excellent selection of smoothies, tea, and coffee. This cafe is relatively small, providing a cozy and intimate dining experience. Its laid-back and casual ambiance makes it a perfect spot if you are seeking a comforting, home-like setting.

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Located in the Avondale neighborhood, Eden is a restaurant that offers a contemporary and relaxed atmosphere. Inspired by the California coast, European cafes, and the seasonality of ingredients, . . .

Eden embraces a darker, moodier spin on the California cool vibe. Their ever-evolving menu is sourced from an on-site greenhouse and local farmers, offering brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert options. Whether you’re seeking a casual brunch spot, an intimate dinner venue, or a sustainable dining experience, Eden is a unique and worthwhile destination in the heart of Chicago.

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Prasino is a charming restaurant located in La Grange, a suburb of Chicago. The name Prasino is derived from the Greek word for ‘green,’ reflecting their commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices in every aspect, . . . 

from food to restaurant design and kitchen facilities. 

They are known for serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prasino offers a variety of options, including sustainable seafood, hormone/antibiotic-free meats, and organic produce combined to create a naturally appealing Contemporary American menu. 

Prasino’s farm-to-table philosophy also extends to their innovative “farm-to-bar” concept. This means that the ingredients used to create their artisanal cocktails are sourced with the same sustainable, organic ethos that governs their food menu. They offer an array of handcrafted cocktails, each designed to highlight the natural flavors of fresh fruits, herbs, and premium spirits, from classics with a twist to unique concoctions.

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Uncommon Ground is a unique and innovative establishment. It boasts America’s first certified organic rooftop farm, transforming unused space into a green oasis. With farm-to-table meals sourced . . . .

from the rooftop farm and a selection of organic beers from Greenstar Brewing, Uncommon Ground offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

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LYFE Kitchen has been a popular restaurant since 2013. The restaurant’s name stands for “Love Your Food Everyday,” reflecting their dedication to creating feel-good food that promotes overall well-being. 

The restaurant offers a diverse menu catering to various dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options such as sweet potato fries, organic local produce, plant proteins, farm-fresh meats, and detoxifying tonics. They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and drinks. Their offerings range from small plates to full meals, promoting the idea of modern comfort food that is fresh and healthy.

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Clean Juice is a popular juice bar chain that has made its mark in Chicago with its commitment to serving 100% USDA-certified organic fruits and vegetables. They are known for their hand-crafted juices, . . .

smoothies, avocado toast, and wraps made from the highest quality ingredients, ensuring a safe and healthy option. Whether you’re looking for a quick, nutritious meal or want to try a 1 to 5-day Juice cleanse, Clean Juice offers an array of options to help you embrace an organic lifestyle.

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Established in 2003 as the sister restaurant to Big Chicks, it is nestled within a vintage art deco building that adds to its charming ambiance. Tweet prides itself on serving a wide range of both classic and non-traditional dishes.

The restaurant is committed to freshness and quality, sourcing organic ingredients whenever possible. The menu at Tweet is extensive, featuring breakfast, brunch, and lunch options and a selection of cocktails.

So whether you’re looking for a classic breakfast dish, a non-traditional lunch option, or want to unwind with a cocktail, Tweet is the place to be in Chicago.

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At Hannah’s Bretzel, they combined the German word brezel [from the Latin word bracchiola, meaning “little arms”]  with the American spelling of pretzel to emphasize the bread-like qualities of their flagship . . . .

product as a nod to its German origins. Hannah’s is known as the “Über Sandwich Makers. Über means tasty, but Über also means organic, free of chemical additives, healthy, and nutritionally balanced. Hannah’s prioritizes creating healthy, nutritious food that offers customers an exciting dining experience. 

Hannah’s Bretzel is good for you and the planet. Their food combines adventurous European flavors with ethically sourced ingredients from local farms. Their food is proudly made in Chicago, reflecting their commitment to the community. Tip: There are three locations in the city.

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What began as a small cafe in 2007 quickly became one of the nation’s most beloved healthy food hot spots; Sweet Green now has multiple locations throughout Chicago: West Loop, Rivernorth, . . .

Old Town, Lincoln Park, and growing. From salads to grain bowls, Sweet Greens has it all and offers a range of fresh ingredients that are sustainably sourced. The restaurant is committed to regenerative farming practices, ensuring the farmers give more to the land than what they take away; they are dedicated to becoming fully carbon neutral by 2027 and employing clean energy in their locations to make a minimal impact. You can build and customize your own warm bowl, salad, or plate or opt for one of their signature offerings, like their Super Green Goddess salad or the Shroomami Bowl. Why we love it: All nutritional facts for pre-made bowls are available.

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This Michelin-starred establishment is known for its picturesque setting at the edge of a pond, boasting a view of the dramatic Chicago skyline. North Pond’s commitment to supporting small, local farmers, growers, . . .

and producers is a testament to its dedication to quality and sustainability. The kitchen takes great care and respect in handling these locally sourced products, ensuring that each dish reflects the richness and diversity of the region’s produce. The restaurant is housed within a historical building, offering a charming blend of rustic elegance and contemporary style. With its farm-to-table approach, this restaurant provides one of the most unique dining experiences in Chicago, featuring an ever-changing menu inspired by the seasons and local availability of ingredients.

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Gather is a renowned Farm-to-Table restaurant known for its New American-style cuisine. It has made a significant mark in the city’s culinary scene by providing an elevated dining experience in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

One of Gather’s unique features is their monthly farmer’s series, showcasing a one-night-only menu inspired and prepared solely from the freshest ingredients. This emphasis on seasonality and freshness aligns with the ethos of the farm-to-table movement, creating a direct connection between the farm and the dining table.

They are committed to sourcing food responsibly and each ingredient from seed to harvest to table. This ethos enhances the dining experience, ensuring every dish tastes delicious and contributes positively to the environment and local farming communities.

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Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Range blends culinary creativity with Midwestern warmth. Inside, an elegant yet cozy atmosphere awaits, reflecting the sophistication and comfort of their food.

Rustic decor, warm wood tones, and whimsical touches embody their farm-to-table philosophy. Relax and indulge in the thoughtfully curated dining experience.

Range’s menu is a testament to their unwavering commitment to locally sourced food. It’s a culinary map of the Midwest, with 90-95% of the ingredients hailing from regional producers. Like the seasons, the menu changes frequently, ensuring the freshest produce and the most flavorful dishes. Signature dishes include creative twists on comfort food classics, like their renowned grass-fed burger and their seasonal vegetable risotto.

The dinner service is available from Tuesday to Sunday, starting at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. Additionally, they offer a brunch experience on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9am to 2pm

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Smyth is an exceptional Michelin Star restaurant that has carved out a unique niche with its steadfast commitment to seasonal and sustainably sourced cuisine. The restaurant, nestled in the thriving West Loop neighborhood, . . .

shines as a beacon of gastronomic dining, serving dishes that are as ethically conscious.

This restaurant has the perfect blend of rustic charm and urban sophistication. Exposed brick, warm wood, and modern art create an elegant yet cozy atmosphere. Watch the magic happen in the open kitchen, where locally sourced ingredients become culinary masterpieces. The attentive staff shares stories behind each dish, making dining at Smyth feel like a private dinner party with friends.

Smyth’s chefs, John and Karen Urie Shields, earned two Michelin stars for their unique farm-to-table cuisine. They collaborate with a dedicated 20-acre farm, ensuring the freshest Midwestern ingredients in every dish, from savory licorice cream to pistachio-glazed avocado.

They also offer an exclusive Chef’s Table experience, where diners can enjoy a multi-course tasting menu curated by the chef. This immersive dining experience with wine pairings is a must-try if you seek a deeper connection with your meal.

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Fancy Plants Kitchen is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is known for its innovative and delectable vegan dishes, all sourced from farm to table. The restaurant also features . . . .

a full bar offering a variety of specialty craft cocktails, a vast selection of nonalcoholic mocktails, and zero-proof spirit options.

The kitchen’s commitment to 100% plant-based cuisine sets it apart in the city’s food scene, making it a favorite spot for vegans and non-vegans looking for a fresh dining experience. 

In addition to the main restaurant, Fancy Plants also operates a café (Fancy Plants Cafe) in the East Lakeview neighborhood. They serve espresso, Rishi Tea, and other 100% vegan café staples accompanied by homemade gluten-free pastries, offering a cozy spot for a casual catch-up or a quick bite.

They offer a unique 5-Course dining experience known as the “Taste of Fancy Plants” priced at $55 per person. Their monthly themes add an exciting twist, and you can personalize your culinary journey by selecting from various menu options to craft your own dining adventure.

Fancy Plants Kitchen is currently operating as a hub for:

1) Pop-up dinners!
2) Catering!
3) Private Events!
4) and as a home for the Fancy Plants Cooking School.

Check out their list of events under the Reservations tab, and direct any inquiries to fancyplantskitchen@gmail.com

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Handlebar is located in Wicker Park. This small, casual neighborhood restaurant emphasizes sustainability by recycling and brewing fair-trade coffee and prides itself on sourcing locally.

They offer made-from-scratch comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, creating a cozy, casual neighborhood atmosphere for its customers. Their menu is a testament to their commitment to sustainability, with each dish crafted from locally sourced ingredients. 

With its cozy interior and outdoor patio, Handlebar offers an inviting setting for various occasions, while sustainable practices, including zero-waste efforts and community engagement, underline the restaurant’s commitment to the environment and the local community.

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Located in the heart of the vibrant Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, Galit is a Middle Eastern restaurant that has earned its place in the culinary world by receiving a Michelin star.

Owned and operated by Andrés Clavero and James Beard Award-winning chef Zach Engel, the restaurant offers an exquisite blend of traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine that customers have lauded.

A chic and cozy ambiance embraces you upon stepping in. The decor harmoniously blends modern minimalism with rustic charm, enhancing your dining experience. Exceptional service from knowledgeable staff ensures you a perfect meal.

A must-try is the velvety smooth hummus and fluffy pita bread. The array of mezze dishes, from the beet salad to lamb kebabs, is equally impressive. Each dish showcases Middle Eastern culinary mastery. There is also an impressive beverage program with a focus on organic and biodynamic wines, promoting sustainability and healthier options.

Organic Markets

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Whole Foods Market in Chicago offers multiple locations with a wide selection of organic groceries. Notable locations include One Chicago, Edgewater, and Lincoln Park. Other stores include Streeterville, . . .

Halsted and Waveland, West Loop, South Loop, Hyde Park, and Lakeview, all conveniently located in their respective neighborhoods. Weekly sales, special deals for Amazon Prime members, and delivery services are available.

This Market is renowned for its premium selection of organic and natural products with its spacious, inviting layout that offers diverse fresh produce, locally sourced goods, and artisanal items. The store’s standout features include:

  • A vibrant prepared foods section.
  • A commitment to local sourcing.
  • A strong focus on sustainability.

Customers can enjoy a culinary journey, discover local favorites, and shop confidently in the store’s commitment to community engagement and environmental responsibility.

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Trader Joe’s offers a unique and efficient shopping experience across multiple locations throughout the city, like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, South Loop, and many more.

With its friendly staff and unconventional store layout, Trader Joe’s provides a welcoming atmosphere where customers can discover a wide range of high-quality, affordable products. The store’s private-label items, sourced from around the world, cater to diverse dietary preferences, making it a go-to destination for those seeking vegan, gluten-free, or keto options. 

Additionally, Trader Joe’s prioritizes sustainability, offering reusable bags and eco-friendly products, aligning with the eco-conscious values of many Chicago residents. This Market has firmly established itself as an integral and cherished part of Chicago’s grocery landscape.

This Market actively engages with the local community through support for events, charities, and food banks, reinforcing its commitment to social responsibility. 

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Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a popular grocery store in Chicago located in the Bucktown neighborhood, known for its commitment to fresh, organic, and natural foods.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the sight of colorful, fresh produce overflowing from crates and bins. The aroma of ripe fruits, organic vegetables, and fragrant herbs fills the air, creating an inviting atmosphere that instantly connects you to nature’s bounty.

This store is known for offering various Clean Label products free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Many certified organic options are available. They also offer gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and keto products. 

If you are looking for a nutritious and environmentally-conscious shopping experience, Fresh Thyme is a one-stop shop.

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Established in August 2004, Olivia’s Market is located in the Bucktown neighborhood. It has grown significantly over the years in terms of its staff and product offerings. The Market is well-known for offering . . . .

all the essentials for urban living. 

This family-owned Market offers a wide selection of fresh produce, fine cheeses, charcuterie, extensive selections of wines, beer, spirits, and many grab-and-go items. The store’s welcoming entrance with fresh flowers, wooden ceiling beams, and baker’s racks filled with products creates a charming ambiance.

Olivia’s Market is recognized for its commitment to quality and service. If you are planning a dinner party or looking for quality groceries, Olivia  Market is an ideal stop, as it carries a variety of local produce and local liquor.

Farmers Markets

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Green City Market is situated in the picturesque Lincoln Park neighborhood, one of Chicago’s most beloved green spaces. The Market is typically open from April to November and May to October. It operates on . . . . .

Wednesdays and Saturdays, making it a must-visit destination for residents and visitors during the warmer months.

This Market serves as a platform for local farmers and artisans to showcase their products. Farmers from the Midwest region bring a stunning array of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. You can also find grass-fed meats, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, honey, and more. 

Beyond groceries, it offers educational programs and events promoting healthy living. As a vibrant gathering spot, it brings people together over their love for fresh, seasonal food, encouraging a healthier lifestyle and supporting local agriculture. 

Green Market is an ideal place to explore if you seek a community-focused marke

wellness

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AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago is a unique relaxation space located in a restored factory from 1902 in River West, near the bustling West Loop. This tranquil oasis provides an escape from everyday stress. With dim lights and . . . .

thousands of candles creating a calming atmosphere, the ambiance disconnects you from the outside world.

They offer various services, including ancient relaxing massages, the signature wine experience, wedding specials, and different types of baths. One of their special offerings is The Holistic Ritual, a unique pampering journey that provides complete relaxation for both mind and body.

Whether looking for a quick escape from the daily grind or a unique gift for a loved one, AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago promises a memorable relaxation experience.

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Kohler Waters Spa is a renowned spa in the heart of Lincoln Park. There is also a location in Burr Ridge,  a village in Illinois located just 20 miles west of the Magnificent Mile. . . .

This spa is known for its superior service and unique wellness approach that revolves around water’s rejuvenating power. They offer a variety of treatments, many of which incorporate water in some form. They also offer nail treatments, hair, makeup and waxing, eyelash services, body treatments, and treatments for men.

Kohler Waters Spa is designed to leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized, both mentally and physically.

Tip: Make sure to book your appointment well in advance. 

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The Spa at Palmer House, located in the heart of downtown Chicago, is a luxurious wellness oasis that offers an escape from the ordinary. Nestled on the 5th floor of the historic Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, this spa spans . . . .

a grand 8,000 to 9,000 square feet, offering a tranquil retreat amidst the bustling city.

The spa offers a full range of services, from massages to manicures, providing a complete relaxation experience. Indulge in the Palmer package for a day of ultimate pampering, including hydro tub immersion, a Wellness Massage, and a Signature Body treatment. Couples can enjoy romantic getaways in the spa’s treatment rooms, complete with a Vichy shower and hydrotherapy tub for rejuvenation.

If you want to unwind after a long week or plan a special day of self-care, The Spa at Palmer House provides many ways to treat yourself to a day of luxury and relaxation.

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Discover tranquility at Waldorf Astoria Spa Chicago– a lavish oasis nestled within the illustrious Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Located in Chicago’s upscale Near North Side neighborhood, this opulent retreat offers a serene . . . .

escape. The Spa spans over 14,000 square feet, offering a comprehensive menu of personalized treatments designed to enrich the body and mind. With a Greek aesthetic design, the stunning environment enhances the overall wellness experience while the decor blends elegance and comfort, contributing to the serene ambiance.

The Spa at Waldorf Astoria Chicago offers a variety of treatments, from personalized massages to luxurious hand and foot care. For a tailored experience, bespoke treatments are available to cater to individual wellness goals, such as Himalayan salt stone, shiatsu, aqua zen wrap, and more. 

If you’re looking for an escape from city life, this ultimate spa getaway promises relaxation and rejuvenation that lives up to its esteemed reputation.

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Freeze & Float Spa, located in the heart of River North, Chicago, is known for its exceptional wellness services. This luxury wellness destination offers a unique blend of treatments designed for deep relaxation, body . . . .

restoration, and revitalization.

The Spa is known for its signature lymphatic drainage duo. They are the first Spa in Chicago offering this lymphatic sculpting duo. This popular treatment is used to enhance circulation and stimulate the elimination of toxins in your body.

The Spa is also recognized for its luxurious flotation tanks. These tanks offer a unique experience that allows for deep relaxation and mental clarity. In addition to these services, they provide Cryotherapy classes as a one-stop solution for recovery and total mind-body wellness.

Freeze & Float Spa is the perfect destination if you are in the mood for relaxation and restoration. With its serene environment and professional spa treatments, a visit will have a calming and rejuvenating effect on your body. 

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Acupuncture Center Chicago-Loop offers a wide range of acupuncture services. They specialize in treating musculoskeletal pain, medical problems, female health issues, and stress management. This center is . . . .

considered one of the best acupuncture centers in the Loop area of Chicago.

Karen Kim is a highly specialized acupuncturist trained in protocols ranging from anxiety management to pain reduction and fertility support. This acupuncture clinic is also part of the ClassPass network, making it more accessible for members of this fitness and wellness program. Karen Kim strongly believes in holistic medicine and the balance it brings to an individual’s health. This philosophy aligns with the traditional Chinese belief that health is a state of balance.

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Herb + Ōhm is a luxury integrative medicine practice rooted in the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They offer integrative healing services such as acupuncture and Chinese medicine, focusing on . . . .

nurturing the mind, body, and spirit.

Upon entering the boutique, you’re greeted by an ambiance of serenity. The décor is elegantly minimalist, with a soothing palette that combines earthy tones with vibrant green pops, mirroring the brand’s natural healing ethos. Soft, calming music wafts through the air while the scent of essential oils invites you to unwind.

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Moon Rabbit Acupuncture is a holistic health practice located in Chicago’s vibrant West Loop area. This wellness center utilizes an integrative approach to health and wellness, combining traditional Chinese medicine . . . .

techniques such as acupuncture and gua sha with modern medical insights.

They specialize in treating various health issues, including pain management, fertility issues, detoxification, stress relief, gut health, and skincare. The practitioners are dedicated to helping clients find balance and well-being through comprehensive care.

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Platform Pilates is a premier boutique Pilates studio located in the River North neighborhood. Known for its unique approach to health and fitness, Platform Pilates offers a variety of services designed to build your . . . .

health from the inside out. This highly-rated studio provides private training, duet training, and small reformer classes. They also offer a special 55-minute private training session for three people, where various pieces of equipment are utilized under the guidance of one instructor. This session must be scheduled with all three participants.

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AB and Flow Pilates Studio are renowned for their distinctive approach that seamlessly bridges the gap between traditional Pilates and contemporary fitness trends. They emphasize the holistic benefits of . . . .

Pilates, asserting that it’s not just about stretching or working on the abdominals but about engaging the entire body through resistance training and bodyweight exercises.

They aim to create a community of individuals who share the common goal of achieving fitness, having fun, and feeling great.

Whether you’re a beginner seeking to learn the basics or an advanced practitioner, this studio offers group classes, private sessions, and duet sessions, ensuring a personalized experience for every client.

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Yoga Now is a popular yoga studio located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Known for its eco-friendly approach, Yoga Now offers various yoga classes, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Forrest, Hatha,  and Yoga Basics.

This studio is also equipped with a steam room, sauna, and two massage rooms, providing a comprehensive wellness experience for its members.

In addition to its classes, Yoga Now also offers teacher training and massage therapy appointments. You can enjoy unlimited yoga classes, a 10% discount on retail purchases, workshops, and free use of facilities.

This studio is well-connected in the local wellness community. With a skilled team of trainers and a welcoming environment, Yoga Now is a beloved part of the Chicago yoga scene.

Organic Wine Markets

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GoodFunk is a Natural Wine Bar & Café that stands out for its dedication to showcasing the best of the natural wine world, highlighting winemakers not just from traditional regions but across the globe. This establishment . . . .

prides itself on offering an eclectic selection of wines that are “intentionally different,” featuring everything from briquettes and pet-nats to co-ferments and clarets.

With a focus on showcasing the best of the natural wine world, GoodFunk highlights winemakers from around the globe, offering a constantly rotating and exciting list of wines. Enjoy their unique wine selection in flights, by the bottle, or by the glass. The wines are complemented by a menu of rustic snacks curated by Bonhomme Partner and Beatnik Executive Chef Marcos Campos. The snack selection perfectly pairs with the funky nature of the wines for an exceptional experience.

GoodFunk operates on a first-come, first-served basis due to its small size and does not accept reservations.

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In the heart of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, Diversey Wine was established by Bradford Taylor in May 2018. Diversey Wine is a sister shop to Ordinaire in Oakland and Psychic Wines in Los Angeles.

The shop is known for its impressive selection of wines, with at least 30% being natural wines. They also offer a variety of organic and biodynamic wines that have been vinified naturally, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

What To Experience

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Chicago 360, formerly the John Hancock Observatory, is a renowned attraction in downtown Chicago. It is situated on the 94th floor of the iconic John Hancock Center and boasts a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city and . . . .

Lake Michigan. You can also experience the thrilling “Tilt,” dine at the upscale Signature Room on the 94th floor and explore interactive exhibits. The Skywalk offers an open-air perspective, making it a fantastic photo spot. Chicago 360 is a must-visit for providing an unforgettable view of the Windy City.

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Stroll along the vibrant Magnificent Mile, a stretch of Michigan Avenue that boasts iconic landmarks like the Tribune Tower, a neo-Gothic masterpiece adorned with fragments of famous buildings from around the world.

Marvel at the blend of architectural styles that line this bustling avenue, showcasing the city’s rich history and innovative designs.

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Discover the mesmerizing Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, a reflective masterpiece designed by Anish Kapoor. Its mirrored surface captures the city’s skyline and the lively atmosphere, inviting visitors to . . . .

interact and immerse themselves in its artistic allure.

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Ascend to the sky-high observation deck of the Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere. Take in panoramic views of the city and Lake Michigan, feeling the exhilaration of being atop a . . . .

towering architectural marvel.

The Rookery Building

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Step into history at The Rookery Building, an architectural gem designed by Daniel Burnham and John Root. Admire the stunning light-filled lobby, featuring a grand staircase and intricate ironwork, a testament to the city’s . . . . 

architectural legacy.

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Marvel at the iconic Wrigley Building, an elegant landmark with a dazzling white facade and clock tower. Inspired by French Renaissance architecture, this historic building stands as a symbol of Chicago’s business prominence.

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The Chicago Cultural Center is a stunning Beaux-Arts building. Explore its grand halls adorned with beautiful mosaics, and don’t miss the breathtaking Tiffany stained glass dome, a masterpiece that captivates visitors . . . .

 with its intricate beauty.

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Delve into the world of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright by visiting his former home and studio in Oak Park. Discover his innovative design principles and explore the spaces where he honed his craft, . . .

gaining insight into his groundbreaking contributions to architecture.

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Admire the grandeur of Buckingham Fountain, located in Grant Park. This iconic landmark is one of the largest fountains in the world, featuring stunning water displays and captivating nighttime light shows.

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Experience the magnificence of the Art Institute of Chicago, an architectural gem and a world-class art museum. Wander through its galleries housing renowned masterpieces and appreciate . . . .

the building’s Beaux-Arts style, blending elegance and grandeur.

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Visit Navy Pier, a beloved Chicago attraction offering entertainment, dining, and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, enjoy live performances, and revel in the vibrant atmosphere . . . .

of this iconic waterfront destination.

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Lincoln Park ZooLights is an holiday event held at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. This annual tradition transforms the zoo into a winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, festive . . . .

decorations, and seasonal music. You can stroll through the beautifully illuminated zoo, enjoy holiday-themed activities, and even catch a glimpse of some of the animals. It’s a magical experience for families and individuals alike, offering a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in the heart of the city.

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This  Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a dazzling holiday extravaganza that takes place along Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue. It marks the official start of the holiday season in the city, featuring a . . . .

spectacular tree-lighting parade, illuminated floats, marching bands, and appearances by beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. The event culminates with the lighting of over one million lights on trees along the Magnificent Mile, creating a festive atmosphere that draws thousands of spectators.

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ZooLights at Brookfield Zoo is another beloved holiday tradition in the Chicago area. This event transforms the zoo into a magical winter wonderland with colorful light displays, animated light shows, and. . . .

interactive exhibits. You can explore the zoo after dark, enjoy seasonal treats, and even meet Santa Claus. It’s a family-friendly experience that combines the joy of the holiday season with the wonder of wildlife.

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Christkindlmarket Chicago is a cherished holiday market that brings a taste of European tradition to the heart of the city. Modeled after the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt in Germany, this Market features charming wooden stalls. . . .

selling handcrafted gifts, ornaments, and delicious German foods and sweets. You can sip on mulled wine, explore the festive decorations, and immerse yourself in this open-air holiday market’s warm and inviting atmosphere.

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The Morton Arboretum Illumination is an outdoor light exhibition held in the beautiful natural setting of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, a suburb of Chicago. This event features a mesmerizing display of colorful light. . . .

installations, including interactive features that respond to music and movement. You can walk through the illuminated landscapes, enjoy the serenity of the arboretum, and experience the magic of the holiday season in a tranquil and picturesque setting.

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Chicago Children’s Museum is a vibrant and interactive educational space designed specifically for kids and families. It is located at Navy Pier and offers a wide range of hands-on exhibits and activities that promote learning. . . .

through play. Children can explore exhibits related to science, art, technology, and culture, making it an ideal destination for a day of fun and education in the heart of Chicago. This museum’s engaging and immersive experiences spark curiosity and creativity in young minds.

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Located in Glenview, Illinois, Kohl Children’s Museum is a vibrant and interactive museum designed specifically for children. It offers diverse exhibits and hands-on activities that encourage learning through play. . . 

Children can explore various themed areas, including a water exhibit, art studio, science lab, and more, fostering creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking.

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Situated in Naperville, Illinois, DuPage Children’s Museum is a dynamic educational space that inspires children’s curiosity and creativity. It features various interactive exhibits and engaging activities focused on science. . . 

technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Children can explore exhibits like Waterways, where they can experiment with water flow, or the Art Studio, where they can unleash their artistic talents. This museum provides a stimulating and fun environment for children to learn and explore while fostering their problem-solving skills and love for learning.

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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a destination dedicated to the natural world. This museum offers visitors the opportunity to discover the diverse ecosystems of the Midwest and beyond. . . 

With its impressive butterfly haven interactive exhibits, and educational programs, the museum connects visitors of all ages with the wonders of nature. It’s a place where families can learn about conservation, ecology, and the importance of preserving our environment while enjoying hands-on experiences in a beautiful setting.

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The Kids Museum at the Chicago Children’s Theatre is a unique cultural institution that combines the performing arts with interactive learning experiences. Located in the bustling West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. . . .

this museum offers young visitors the chance to explore the world of theater, storytelling, and creativity. Through imaginative play, workshops, and performances, children can immerse themselves in the magic of theater and develop their communication and artistic skills. It’s a place where children can become actors and audience members, fostering a lifelong appreciation for the performing arts.

Day Trips

Galena-Illinois

Galena, Illinois

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Step back in time with a trip to Galena, a picturesque town known for its beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture. Stroll down Main Street, browse boutique shops, and tour the Ulysses S. Grant Home.

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Michigan City, Indiana

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Head south along the shores of Lake Michigan to Michigan City. Visit the Indiana Dunes National Park, hike scenic trails, or relax on the sandy beaches. Don’t miss a visit to the historic Lighthouse Museum.

Holland-Michigan

Holland, Michigan

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Journey to Holland, where you can immerse yourself in Dutch heritage and enjoy the whimsical beauty of the city’s annual Winterfest. Marvel at the snow sculptures, skate on the frozen pond. . . .

and visit the Windmill Island Gardens, adorned with sparkling lights.

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Lake-Geneva-Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

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Experience the beauty of Lake Geneva, a resort town known for its sparkling lake and luxurious estates. Take a boat tour, explore the charming downtown area, or indulge in water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

Milwaukee-Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Just a short train ride away, Milwaukee offers a mix of culture, history, and attractions. Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum, explore the historic Third Ward district, or sample local breweries and cheese shops.

Starved-Rock-State-Park

Starved Rock State Park

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Hop on a train and then take a short shuttle to Starved Rock State Park. This natural gem boasts stunning waterfalls, canyons, and hiking trails. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Illinois River. . . .

and explore the park’s rich flora and fauna.

Door-County-Wisconsin

Door County, Wisconsin

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Discover the enchanting beauty of Door County in winter, with its snowy landscapes and serene ambiance. Explore scenic winter hiking trails, go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, and. . . . 

warm up with a cup of hot chocolate at cozy cafés.

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