24 Hours in Chicago

As a student, I’m unable to travel as much as I’d like, but rather than the dreadful alternative of not traveling at all, I’ve decided to take shorter trips.

Meeting up with my wanderlust buddy last weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

I started the day by catching an early morning flight, arriving in Chicago before 9 am. My friend (and her friend) picked me up from the airport and we headed immediately downtown. Our first stop was going to be the Art Institute, but it wasn’t open yet so we walked a few blocks to an Intelligentsia coffee shop for lattes. Since I’d been up before 4 am, this was a very good and necessary choice.

At last the Institute opened and we went in for tickets and Impressionist art. What a pleasant surprise to find out that we could get in free thanks to Bank of America’s museum benefit for card holders!

We stayed on one floor and took our time walking around. The Impressionist and early European art was incredible. I definitely recommend starting there and then, if you have time, moving to the other floors.

After the museum we took Uber to Gino’s for deep dish pie. Of course, right??! I’m not much of a pizza person (I like it, it’s just not usually what I think of first when looking at places to eat). However, this pizza was delicious and worth the looonnnggg wait to get it. I recommend the vegetable (although the pepperoni was a good basic option).After our heavy, satisfying meal, we had to walk. Thankfully that’s not hard to do in Chicago. We walked through Millennium Park and stopped for an obligatory Bean photo (I used to think Anish Kapoor’s sculpture was really supposed to be a bean, until I discovered in art class that it’s actually a cloud shape. Oops.)

We finally made it back to our Airbnb rental, an adorable little apartment within walking distance of the river and the Magnificent Mile. It was cozy and the apartment building was well-kept and quiet. I highly recommend staying here if you want to be central but in a residential neighborhood. Also, the apartment was furnished with everything you could possibly need.

That night my friend and I walked the Magnificent Mile and even found a bookstore to browse!

Sadly I was unable to find any books that I didn’t already own, but I think it’s definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area.

Sunday morning we took our time getting up, and eventually found our way to a market/coffee shop. Sadly their espresso machine was out-of-order, so we had to settle for coffee. But as you can tell from the photo, it was anything but boring! Each cup comes with a refill. The cinnamon scone was delicious and the perfect accompaniment. Sadly this was the end of my trip, as it was time to head for the airport.

I was even able to start a new book…

If I had to do it over, I would try harder to maximize my trip time, by either planning better or getting a later return flight. For this trip, it worked out as I’d been to Chicago before so I wasn’t in a panic to see everything.

As an experiment, I think a quick weekend getaway is a great, inexpensive way to get a little relaxation in every now and then, so I’m hoping to maybe do more of these 24 hour trips in the spring.

Here are the quick links:

Airbnb Apartment we used

The Art Institute of Chicago

Monadnock Coffee Bar (Intelligentsia Coffee)

Gino’s East Pizza

Millennium Park

After-Words Bookstore

Plum Market (market and coffee shop)

Until next time,



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