Our Fair City: Chicago Cultural Center & a Downtown Stroll

One of my favorite places to visit in the winter is the Chicago Cultural Center. Previously the public library, this beautiful building downtown is now a free space that offers walking tours and rotating art galleries. When visiting the surrounding tourist destinations downtown like the Christkindlmarket and the Christmas tree in Millennium Park, this building offers a place to warm up, while also giving you a chance to view some incredible temporary exhibitions. 

One of their rooms has a Tiffany window dome overhead (the Driehaus Museum downtown also has a Tiffany dome), and the other rooms have incredible tile work and architecture. The windows overlook Michigan Ave and Millennium Park, allowing for a peak at the bustling city below.

Although it's cold this time of year, walking around downtown hitting up some spots is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. It makes me feel like a tourist in my own city, strolling among the visitors on the streets. Not far from the Cultural Center there's Chicago Athletic Association, where I love to lounge in the drawing room in the winter, and on the rooftop bar in summer. A friend visited recently and we snagged a spot by the window with our cups of tea while it snowed outside. Down the block is one of my favorite museums, the Art Institute. When I first visited, I had no idea how many famous works of art call Chicago home. Now, I find myself spending a few hours here every few months; I'll never tire of this inspiring collection

When the weather is nice, I love to walk through the Art Institute gardens, to Millennium Park and end up taking a break (and maybe a snooze) in the grass of the lush Lurie Gardens. After a grass-nap, with restored energy I like to make my way along the lakefront trail toward Museum Campus. In between The Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium, there's a Kim and Carlos hot dog stand where you can get a classic Chicago hot dog. Or, if you walk to 12th Street Beach just past the Adler Planetarium, you can grab a few tacos from Del Campo's Tacos, find yourself a seat on the edge of the water, and have a great meal overlooking the horizon. 


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