Cities, Travel

Chicago Birthday Trip

Who else loves the Windy City?!

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit. I did a blog post on a visit a few years ago, you can read it here if you’d like.

My best friend, her fiancé, his daughter and myself all took my mom to the city for her birthday last weekend. I’m going to share where we stayed, ate and played along with lots of great pictures! If you have been to Chicago, please share your favorite places in the comments!

Where we stayed:

For this trip, we chose to stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown. Located on State Street, you simply cannot beat the location! We were 2 blocks off Michigan Avenue and a block from the free trolley that takes you to Navy Pier. We were able to walk to many of our favorite places and discovered some newness as well.

One of the great things about the Embassy Suites is that all rooms are in fact suites. It is so nice to have the extra space of the separate living room! Our room also had 3 sink, one in the bathroom, one at the wet bar and one in the bedroom. So no excuses for not brushing your teeth! LOL. Every room also has a refrigerator which is an amenity I appreciate.

Guests receive complimentary snacks and cocktails (21+) in the evenings and breakfast in the mornings. You can even get made-to-order omelets. There is also a Starbucks right next to the hotel if you need your morning latte like I do.

The hotel offers an indoor pool and fitness center as well.

Where we ate:

There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from, so how do you choose? One of the restaurants I’m going to mention we have dined at three times now! It is such a great spot to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion. This restaurant we now simply refer to as Joe’s/

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Located on Grand Avene just blocks from the Magnificent Mile, Joe’s has become one of my favorite restaurants to dine at. We actually discovered it by accident and now visit every time we make a trip to the city.

The service is always incredible! This visit we had Danny for our waiter and I highly recommend asking for him if you dine at Joe’s.

This is going to sound crazy, but you HAVE to try their mustard sauce! All of us are obsessed with it. It is normally served with the crab cakes and stone crab but I swear it’s good on just about anything.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about Joe’s. They brought my mom a brownie sundae and gave her a piece of their famous key lime pie to celebrate her birthday. Joe’s will always be a favorite of mine!

Sweetwater Tavern & Grille

Another restaurant we discovered by chance on our previous trip to the city. Located on north Michigan Avenue, it’s a great spot to have a more low-key meal. They have an outdoor patio area as well which is wonderful in the summer. Sweetwater makes awesome drinks and even more amazing nachos! LOL. We actually went back this time because of the nachos. The burgers, wraps and tater tots are all solid choices.

Sugar Factory (Chicago River North)

Located in the same block and across the street from Joe’s! I had briefly visited a Sugar Factory in Orlando a few years back but never went in to the restaurant.

We actually went here to get a fancy drink for my mom’s birthday and they did not disappoint. Our server told us she could pick any drink on the menu and he turned it into a shot which he gave everyone. He even made a non-alcoholic version for my friends daughter so she could toast with us. They also brought a glass full of Skittles with a sparkler in it and we all sang happy birthday! It was so much fun.

The Goblet drinks are totally worth it! They are big enough to share and are presented so they bubble like crazy when served. We had they Lollipop Passion and the Passion Punch. Both were delicious!

What we did:

This trip was a little different because we knew one day would be taken up at the aquarium. But if you have children, it is definitely worth the time to take them! It worked in our favor because rained on and off all day.

The Shedd Aquarium

I definitely recommend checking out the aquariums website if you are going for the first time as it can be a little overwhelming. There are also a lot of special encounters you can do which include admission to the aquarium as well. Also included is the live show, which you will be assigned a time for when you purchase your tickets.

I hope my recommendations help you on your next visit to Chicago! Please comment below if you have been to any of these places or if you have recommendations for me!

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