Travel | Chicago Top 5 Highlights

Posted on 5 min read

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

Happy Monday guys!  So this post is happening a few weeks past when I wanted to, but with the craziness of Ross’s accident and car being totaled, Christmas, and working through some major end of the year burnout, it just wasn’t doable in December.  But, we really, really enjoyed seeing a snippet of Chicago and the few things we did get to do and see while there, so I couldn’t not share!  It’s a really neat city that we hope to return to for a bit longer at some point!

Dana Hotel Spa

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

You guys know I was really stressed and burnt out by the close of 2018, and this night during our Chicago trip was a heavenly & rejuvenating escape in the midst of it all that helped both Ross and I push through till the end!   The Dana Hotel kindly hosted us for Ross’s birthday, and we were both so touched at how special they made the visit.  We had hand-written notes, champagne, and the most kind and attentive staff who made us feel right at home.

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

We had the aromatherapy massage, which left us both feeling so relaxed and like a weight was taken off of our shoulders!  We got to pick which scent we preferred beforehand, which I really loved.  I love essential oils and know what helps me relax best!  The massage itself was incredible, and the masseuses were so attentive to our requests.  Following, we got to relax in a special quiet room with comfy, crushed velvet chairs, which we did for almost an hour before heading out.  It was just what the dr. ordered, and I truly hope we can visit this gorgeous spa again in 2019!

Goose Island Brewery Tour

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

This was SO much fun!  Goose Island is a Chicago born and bred craft beer brand that Ross has loved for a while, so of course I had to schedule this for the trip, but I ended up enjoying it almost as much as he did (he was so elated, I think it’d be hard to match just how much he loved it! 😉 )

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

We started out in the barrel house, which was a private tour we scheduled, learning all about how their special beers are made and brewed, tasted a few, and then moved on to their brewery.  The brewery tour was with a few other people, and showed the normal beer making process (of course with samples), and then ended in their tasing room.  We ended up sitting and relaxing with Stephanie, one of the brand’s amazing PRs, enjoying great conversation, a delicious flight, and killer cheese board!

The beer, food, and tours are so enjoyable, if you have someone who loves beer, or even just want something fun to do, I’d highly recommend making time for this!!

LondonHouse Chicago

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

This is where we stayed, which you will have seen if you were following us on IG during our trip.  I didn’t have to include this in a blog post, but we really enjoyed the hotel and dining/drinking options, so I wanted to include!

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

First off, the hotel has a gorgeous rooftop, which I can just imagine is glorious during the summer!  You have a view of the beautiful Chicago skyline, a posh setup with fireplaces and greenery, and delicious drinks & food from the ritzy restaurant right below.  During the holidays they serve festive drinks on the rooftop, where I got to try my first hot toddy ever (I know, I’m late to the game at 28 😂) while warming up near the fire.

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

If you want to stay indoors, the restaurant below the rooftop also has a ginormous fireplace and so many delicious food and drink options.  I fell in love with their bellini-like sparkling wine drink, ‘The Roaring 20s’, which is champagne with an incredible jasmine tea and strawberry reduction.  I usually like wine, plain and simple, but this was a favorite!  They also have a beautiful lobby with floor to ceiling windows and an amazing afternoon tea.  The decor is comfortable yet elegant throughout the hotel, and we really enjoyed spending time there!

Cooper’s Hawk Dinner

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

Beginning to realize that most of what we did on this trip was eat and drink, but hey, birthdays only come once a year, and there was wayyyy to much deliciousness to be had!  Speaking of great food, you guys have heard me mention Cooper’s Hawk several times over the past few years, and we finally got to visit the place it originated!

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

We feasted on our favorites from the restaurant, like their incredible fried calamari with an Asian twist, their out-of-this world cheese board, and one of the best risotto dishes I’d even eaten!  We left so full but so happy!  And of course we enjoyed some of their amazing wines… For those who don’t know, Cooper’s Hawk actually makes it’s own wine, and has dozens of varietals available that you can buy by the glass or bottle, to stay or to go.  We’ve been wine club members for over 2 and a half years and love having their wine in our home!  As well as the amazing perks that come with the club, like lots of free tastings and access to special edition bottles.

Wine & Cheese in Igloos At the Riverwalk

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

When Ross and I discovered this adorable little setup along the river, we were sold!  There were about 8-10 cozy little igloos, that looked like they’d sit about the same number of people per igloo, and they were decked out with cozy seats, a fake fireplace, and twinkle lights.  In the midst of them was a cabin like indoor bar, with more seating.  Ross and I actually didn’t get an igloo because you do have to reserve them ahead of time and they were booked, but we had some drinks and food inside the cabin had such a nice time!

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

The setup I call part of City Winery, and is open March-December.  City Winery actually has several location across the US, which I’m so glad I now know!  They food an drinks were great, and there was something for everyone!  We fully plan on booking ourselves an igloo next time we go to Chicago, and would highly recommend you do the same!

Bisous,

Laurelle

Travel | Chicago Trip Highlights

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8 Comments
  • Lisa Autumn
    January 22, 2019

    Oh I always wanted to visit Chicago!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    • bellebylaurelle
      January 29, 2019

      You need to visit!

  • Gina N.
    January 23, 2019

    What a fun trip you went on. The Dana Hotel Spa and Goose Island Brewery Tour looked amazingly fun and the food looks delicious too. Glad to read your post and that you had a great time.

    • bellebylaurelle
      January 29, 2019

      Thanks for your sweet note, Gina! It really was such a fun trip! xx, Laurelle

  • Ashley Zabel
    January 24, 2019

    That friend calamari looks AMAZING!

    • bellebylaurelle
      January 29, 2019

      It was sooooo good 🙂 xx, Laurelle

  • Christina Almond
    January 24, 2019

    How fun! Chicago has recently become one of my favorite cities. We took a trip there in November and absolutely loved it!

    • bellebylaurelle
      January 29, 2019

      Aw thanks for your comment! It really was such a fun city to visit!