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July 16, 2007

The scoop on what to do in Chicago during BlogHer 2007

chicagoskyline.jpgConsidering I live in the host city of the 2007 BlogHer conference, and I blog with many fine Chicago mommies on this site, I thought it was my our duty to share with all visitors some things to see or do in the city outside of meeting our favorite bloggers and partying it up. I even recruited a few friends to help expand my short and narrow-minded list. Trust me, we're better than any concierge at the W.

Sadly, my hubby nixed the idea that I camp downtown Chicago for the weekend. Boo.  But, if you are so lucky to be staying just off the Magnificent Mile, you might just enjoy the following in the Windy City.  (I personally believe the nickname is derived from politics, not by the strong winds off Oak St.  Just be glad you're not visiting us in December!)

Eating Out: Why watch what you eat? You're going to be hanging out with all women for the weekend, anyway.

  • Pizza-  Although I prefer New York Style pies, many like Chicago-style pizza, with its oddly square-cut pieces that leave you with only a few crust options and center pieces of all cheese. But I digress.  Some choices for the 'za: Giordano's, (Rush St. location), Lou Malnati's, or Gino's East (East Superior location).  I like Lou Malnati's the best, but you'll have to take a cab. The deep-dish pepperoni pie just might be worth it, though.
  • Quick bite or snack- My friends at the Chicagoist turned me onto this neat little market off the Mag Mile called L'Appetito.  Seriously, the sandwiches rock.  And they won't cost as much as the peanuts from your snack bar.
  • For the serious foodie in you - Head on over to Randolph St.  A short short cab ride away will offer you 3 consecutive blocks of some of the best eats in the city.  I'm partial to the sushi at Sushi Wabi.  But I realize that if you're flying in from California, you're probably laughing at the idea of sushi in Chicago.  So go to Red Light or Avec instead. Your stomach will thank me.

Out and About: You don't have any kids with you... steal away for a few!

  • Millenium Park- Everyone was skeptical when Millenium Park was built, but even the harshest critics were proven wrong. This free, 24.5 acre park has some of the coolest outdoor art I've ever seen.  And a free 8 a.m. exercise class will help you burn off all that great food you ate.  For more information about what to do at Millenium Park, read Kim's great round-up.
  • Lincoln Park - I know it's like so cliche Chicago and all, but really, this park is 'da bomb. There's a free zoo, (petting zoo too!) a beach and conservatory.  And, oh yeah, every Saturday morning there's a fresh "Green City" market.  (It opens at 7:00 a.m. so you have no excuse!)
  • Architectural Tour - Chicago's got some of the best architecture around, and the best way to see it is from our beloved river.  Take one of these river tours because it gives you the prettiest (and most relaxing) view of the incredible Chicago skyline.  You could take a walking tour instead, but well, I'm feeling too lazy right now to recommend that one.
  • Navy Pier /Lakeshore Drive - Oh right, most of you are staying right next to this quintessential Chicago landmark and wonderful walking/ bike path. If you can break away from all the great speakers for a moment or two, tour around the Navy Pier grounds, ride the ferris wheel or rent a bike.  The view of the pier is great from any angle!
  • Be like the paparazzi - If you don't have time to do any sightseeing, the ladies at Cool Mom Picks are giving incentive to stalk out your favorite bloggers at the conference. Go on a BlogHer scavenger photo hunt and earn points to win cool stuff.

Shopping: You would all be lying if you didn't want to do a little shopping while you're all alone in the nation's third largest metropolis.  Unfortunately, we don't have that cool "no sales tax thing" that New York City does, but we do have some good places to get some great duds.  Trust me. I like to shop. A lot.

  • State Street - Believe it or not, State Street between Wacker and Madison has some of the best discount shopping in any 4-block radius I've seen.  Besides checking out the summer sales going on at our beloved Marshall Fields, er, Macy's flagship store, you're just a stone's throw from Nordstrom's Rack, Filene's Basement and H&M.  You didn't come all the way to Chicago to go boutique shopping, right?
  • Oak St. - If you're hitting it rich from your blog, you can probably afford to buy a thing or two at one of the chic boutiques on this famous Chicago shopping block just off the Mag Mile.  I'm not yet, so I just go down there and drool over the diamonds in the window at Graff. (I wonder how many more click-throughs I'll need for that canary yellow one?)
  • Boutiques - Unfortunately, most of the good boutiques in Chicago are a cab ride away.  But if you're in need, check out Wicker Park (stretch of Division St. near Damen Ave.) or Armitage Ave. between Sheffield and Halsted streets.  Lori's Shoes is still my favorite place to shop in the city.  Even if it's worse than O'Hare's security lines on a Saturday.

Most of all, enjoy the conference and your visit to our wonderful city!

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Sara also blogs at Self-Made Mom.

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» I'll be staying at the Chicago City Centre Hotel for BlogHer 07 from Iggy Uncensored
Well the hostile lost out for many reasons. There being no BlogHer supported shuttle to the conference daily was one key reason I chose to spend the extra money for a hotel. That and if I miss the official shuttle I'll at least be close enough to walk ... [Read More]

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