Thirty years of living on this planet and I had never been to Chicago. My husband had friends he had served with in the Marine Corp he was going to visit for a concert and asked if my daughter and I wanted to join. Of course I said yes and began to plan out our every move. I knew I wanted to stay in walking distance to shops, museums, restaurants and of course the water front. The theatre district was what most of our friends had recommended, so we chose a cute boutique hotel on michigan ave.
Hotel Julian was the hotel I chose and it was an absolute gem. I could not have picked a better location. It had modern decor with a old aesthetic feel. Our room had a great view and I could see The Bean at Millennial park from our hotel window. About two blocks north of our hotel was the Chicago river, the river runs through the city and makes for some beautiful views. One night strolling past I saw three wedding parties waiting to take pictures with epic views of the water and city landscape. I found it easy to walk to almost everywhere from hotel Julian and was very pleased with the location. The front entrance is discrete with a small door on Michigan ave and valet in the back alley. I really like that about the hotel and felt safe with my one year old.
Our room was small but had an espresso machine and a view of Millennial park and Lake Michigan. It was fine for my husband, toddler and I to share with enough storage and a big bathroom with a really impressive shower size and features that went along with it. The lobby had a Resturant, bar and longe area that was very chill which was great because it made it easy for my toddler to lounge with us. The staff were amazing, super friendly always helping us with must see destinations. They really provided us with a welcoming attitude. We hung out downstairs at least once a day and always felt appreciated by their service. Hotel Julian is most definitely a hotel we will frequent again next time.
It was an easy walk from Hotel Julian to Magnificent Mile and where we spent most of our time. It has everything you would need and I most definitely spent a lot of time there. They have upscale shopping, restaurants, cafes, museums and more shopping! Along with a lot of rich history and old buildings making it easy to walk around. I found myself at Sephora twice and the Disney store once. My daughter handled herself at sephora so I took her to pick out an animal to take home.
The Navy pier is also a fun place to hang out. It has amazing views on both sides of the pier where the city-scape and Lake Michigan meet. There is a Ferris wheel in the middle with a lot of outside space for people to sit and relax and take in the view. I also saw multiple wedding parties here taking pictures so it is definitely a site for photography of all kinds. Located inside are shops, restaurants, The Chicago children’s museum and an Imax theater, plenty for everyone to enjoy. We took our daughter to the Children’s museum and she absolutely loved it. There was many levels and she ran around making sure to check everything out even if she was too little to do so.
The art institute
The Art institute of Chicago was probably my favorite place. I love museums and learning about history, it always get my creative juices flowing. As soon as my toddler fell asleep we booked to the museum. I saw they had an Andy Warhol exhibit and was so excited to check it out. They had so much on display there it was overwhelming. Every culture, every type of ancient art, statues, objects , clothing, jewelry, furniture and so much more. My daughter was an angel and stayed sleeping for two hours and we were able to walk and see everything we wanted to in the quieter parts of the the museum. She conveniently woke up in time for the Warhol exhibit which was perfect because it was a louder environment. Warhol was amazing with his art being so out of the ordinary. It was pop culture before pop culture was a thing. I was like a kid in Disney land reading every description on every picture of art work. We spent three hours there with a toddler so I call that a win. We had a great time exploring here and would absolutely come back.
Millennial park is across the street diagonally from Hotel Julian and was conveniently right next to the art institute. It is an amazing park most famously know for ”The Bean”. A literal large metal structure in the shape of a bean. The park has plenty of space for everyone and an amphitheater that holds concerts and other large events. With lots of garden landscapes and beautiful architecture it was perfect when we went in November. With so many fall colors everywhere, it makes for some beautiful multicolored leaves. Great for photography and simple picture taking which almost everyone was taking. A must go see if you are heading to Chicago.