As the leaves start to fall and the temperature takes a dip, it is time to store our bikinis and pull out our favorite sweaters. Even though the beach may not be a possible thing to do at this time of year, there are still a ton of great things to do around the city during autumn.
try different cafés
Chicago is filled with a bunch of great—and Instagram-worthy—cafés, and the fall is the perfect time to have a cappuccino or a hot cocoa without feeling too warm. If you enjoy coffee, try Intelligentsia or Sawada Coffee. For those who are non-coffee drinkers, tea time at the Allis at Soho House has a great selection of tea for an affordable price, compared to other high-priced tea places in the city. You could also head out to brunch at the 3 Arts Club Cafe, where you can roam the various floors of Restoration Hardware, the furniture store above the cafe, snapping photos in one of the many picturesque rooms.
get food somewhere new
With fall being a season of change, it’s a great time to try new restaurants and foods. With so many choices of cuisines to choose from in the city, there’s always another new place to try after you’ve just checked one off of your list. Many food bloggers from Chicago post about new restaurants and popular foods, so scrolling through a blogger’s feed can help you find a new hotspot for your next meal. Also, with the CTA bringing people essentially all around the city, you can easily hop on a train for brunch on the Gold Coast then dinner in Chinatown with ease.
shop down Michigan Avenue, but also at small boutiques
Although downtown Chicago provides an epicenter of big name brand stores, many of the best pieces you’ll find are at small shops found throughout the city. Try exploring a neighborhood you’ve always wanted to. You may stumble upon a hidden gem you wouldn’t have known of before. There is a stationery store called Foursided on 2958 N. Clark St. that is my favorite hidden gem for the cutest vintage cards and pins. I also love window shopping in the Lincoln Park area; there’s always something new to see or buy.
have your cake and eat it too
Summer body who? Go to a bakery! Chicago is filled with bakeries, from French-inspired patisseries to homey family-owned European bakeries. When it nears Thanksgiving, I always get into a festive mood and love to indulge. My favorite place for macaroons is Vanille Patisserie. Sprinkles Cupcakes and Molly’s Cupcakes are great for cupcakes. Magnolia Bakery is an overall good bakery (considering it is a chain bakery), famous for their banana pudding. Venturing into the different neighborhoods of Chicago will also bring you to long-standing mom and pop shop bakeries.
go on a photoshoot with friends
There are great spots around Chicago for a photo op, including the street art, the beach, the skyline, and, of course, the bean. No matter how touristy it may seem, an adventure around the city with a camera can lead you to a plethora of fun, inspiring, and memorable photos to post on social media or frame. With such love for Chicago, any small excuse to take an excursion around the city ends up being fun. If you’re looking for street art, the black and white “Love Wall” by Matthew Hoffman is great place to get an Insta-worthy shot (1873 N Damen Ave). If the city is your ideal backdrop for a photo, make your way to the Adler Planetarium, where you can visit the planetarium and also get a gorgeous view of the lake and skyline from the outside. In October, there is also a fall fest happening every weekend at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Navy Pier is having Halloween themed events this month. Invite a close group of friends, bring your camera, and head out for the day!
What are your favorite things to do in the city? Comment below.
Featured photo by Stella Fanega.