A few weeks ago I attended a luncheon hosted by "Choose Chicago" - this brought flashbacks of last year's 48 hour December spree. Most people know of Chicago for its food, shopping and architecture scene.. I got to uncover some unique brand offerings that got me thinking - move over New York, has Chicago taken over my heart?
Top reasons to visit Chicago in December
1- Make the visitors center in the Chicago Cultural Center your first stop. The building itself hosts art galleries and the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome! Book a walking tour with an instagreeter and if you are lucky, you can customize its direction. Do integrate some stories of Chicago's urban landscape - you may find out why there is car lift all the way up one Chicago's most "precious buildings". If spontaneity is not your thing, you can pre-order your custom tour. Friendly tip - the concierge at the InterContinental Hotel lends out iPods with self guided tours - you have to see the legendary pool!
2- German and European traditions are celebrated in a lovely Christmas market - Glühwein, strudel & glass ornaments galore are sure to delight!
3- The Been is covered with Snow and looks even more magical! I visited the Anish Kapoor sculpture very early on a Sunday morning and got to witness the creation minus the crowds - in fact, I was the only one there - captivated by the the reflection of Chicago's ravishing skyline!
4- Chicago has the best shopping scene - hands down. You will find all your dream stores on the Magnificent mile. Make sure to stop for lunch at Eataly - a market/ 15 restaurant establishment dedicated to Italian lifestyle & cooking. Hit America's first Macy's and do explore a little further by visiting the first ever Crate & Barrel & Andersonville's antique shops!
5- Take advantage of low season hotel rates. I had the pleasure of staying at the Swissôtel - a sister brand to the Fairmount that caters to the modern traveler. You can walk to the subway and the magnificent mile through the underground passageway + get a lovely view of the pier, Aqua building and Mies van der Rohe's IBM building.