by Anna Wickham
Chicago is a magical place. So much so, in fact, that going there changes you. We mean that it really changes you. There’s just something about it that makes you feel as if you can be anyone you want to be. Here are 5 people that you become when you visit Chicago.
For some Chicago Cubs fans, it’s always baseball season. With tourists coming all year long to see the famous Wrigley Field, there’s a touch of baseball in the air 365 days a year in Chicago. Experience the excitement, the family fun, the beer, the hotdogs, and the more than 100-year history when you visit Wrigley Field.
If you do happen to come during the off season, there are plenty of ways to take yourself out to the ballgame. For starters, have a drink at one of the many Wrigley bars and attractions that are usually the site of pre-game and postgame drinks and eats. Get the real Chicago sports experience at The Cubby Bear or Sluggers near the stadium.
Take a short trip to Hyde Park and you’ll be transported back to your broke college student days (even if you were never a broke college student!). Bum around Chicago like the local students do, loitering in coffee shops, reading in public, and heading to every weekday happy hour special in Chicago.
If you’re really feeling scholarly, check out the impressive University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library, home to more than 4.5 million print volumes on a variety of subjects. The “Reg” library system, as it’s sometimes called, is one of the best in the world in quality and range of materials.
Nearly every visitor to the Windy City explores their artistic side on their visit. There’s just something about Chicago that makes even the cynics explore their creativity and come to appreciate art in every form. A short trip to the Art Institute of Chicago will inspire you to see things differently. Also check out the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Finally, when you’re feeling up for it, make your own art at Penguin Foot Pottery or the Chicago Mosaic School.
There are few American cities that rival Chicago as a mecca for the foodie. With an incredibly diverse population, Chicago never fails to deliver the most authentic of every type of food you can imagine. Check out the Fulton-Randolph Market District for tons of famous restaurants, including the Fulton Market Kitchen (famous for serving suckling pig!), The Aviary (known for fantastic cocktails and gigantic chicaroon, or pork rinds), or Momotaro’s for their world-renown mentaiko spaghetti.
No matter where you’re from, you become an urban dweller on your visit to Chicago. Spend the day out and about, shopping in Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile.” This shopping area, located on the north side of Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River, is famous for designer shopping. Here, you’ll find everything from Chanel to Giorgio Armani. When you’re done, enjoy a glass or two of champagne on a rooftop bar near The Loop. Finally, end the day with a delicious dinner in Old Town.
Go ahead and spend a long weekend exploring Chicago and slip into a new persona. Who knows, maybe you’ll come to like the new you and bring a piece of it back home. Don’t worry: when you get there, you can open this month’s Hammock Pack and experience Chicago from the comfort of your humble abode.
Image via Flickr user diversey