One Day in Chicago Travel Guide

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Believe it or not, a lot can be done in one day in Chicago. My best friend and I decided to take a day trip up to the Windy City, and we were able to experience a lot of great things. Here is little Chicago travel guide of some things to do if you have a little, or a lot of, time in the city!

Chicago Travel Guide – Millennium Park and Cloud Gate “The Bean”

Chicago Travel Guide Cloud Gate The Bean

The first place we headed once we got to Chicago was downtown to Millennium Park. Millennium Park sits between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive and is home to Cloud Gate, or “The Bean”. 

Cloud Gate is a large art installation that sits in the park. It is mirrored and you can walk all around and through it. It got the nickname “The Bean” because it looks like a giant bean!

Unless you head out to Cloud Gate extremely early, you’re probably going to have a lot of people in your photos. I kind of think it adds character to your photos though. Chicago is a crowded place and it shows, however, the photo just might not be as instagrammable. 

Visiting Millennium Park in Chicago


Lake Michigan

Chicago Travel guide Lake Michigan

We took a stroll over from Millennium Park to Lake Michigan. There are actual beaches along the lake where you can swim (though it was much too cold this day). The area we were in was more of a boat docking area and there is a nice path along side of the lake. It was a really peaceful area just outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. 

Lake Michigan is very easy to get to from Millennium Park. You can either walk all the way through the park to Lake Shore Drive where there is a crosswalk to get over to the lake, or you can walk along the sidewalk along side of the park.


Eataly is part Italian grocery store, coffee shop, wine bar, restaurant, bakery, and gelato shop combined. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. 

Eataly spans two very full floors. It can be a bit overwhelming with all of the stuff and lots of people, but it’s still a fun place to check out. 

We ate lunch at one of the restaurants, La Pizza and La Pasta. I got a Napoleon style pizza which was really delicious! The menu was full of yummy looking Italian dishes, so if that’s your thing check it out!

Sweet Mandy B’s

Chicago Bakery Sweet Mandy B's

This was an instagram made me do it sort of thing, but I have no regrets! When I saw the cute pastel dining area of Sweet Mandy B’s online I knew I needed to check it out. The treats there are definitely worth it though! They have a large assortment of baked goods including cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more. I had an iced sugar cookie and it was delicious!

Sweet Mandy B’s is located out of downtown Chicago in the Lincoln Park area. I would highly recommend getting out of downtown, at least some, to experience some of the beautiful neighborhoods in the city.

Other Places to Check Out!

That was all we had time for this day, but having been to Chicago a couple of times before, I thought I would recommend a few other fun places to go!

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Shedd’s Aquarium
  • The Field Museum (I haven’t actually been there, but I’ve always heard great things)
  • Navy Pier
  • Shopping on Michigan Ave.


If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Chicago, I hope this was helpful!


Want more Midwestern travel ideas? Check out my Guide to St. Louis posts!


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