It’s quite possible April Beauchamp (@AprilBeauchamp) has inspired you to travel and you didn’t even know it. Though it may have occurred indirectly, as Public Relations and Travel Trade Manager at Connect-Worldwide Canada, April works closely with the media, airlines and tour directors to promote and create awareness of their impressive roster of clients, which includes destinations like NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Arizona and North Carolina, to name just a few.
“I get to work with amazing clients, representing world-renowned destinations, have the ability to travel, while meeting new people and having new experiences,” says April. “I love my job!”
We recently had the opportunity to get the scoop from April on what she travels with, some of her favourite travel memories and how one of the best meals she’s had during her travels connects her to Barack and Michelle Obama. READ MORE
Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington
The first time we were in Chicago, it was late January and it was cold, windy (obviously) and snowy. But we still loved the city and everything about it … the shopping, dining, hotels and neighbourhoods. The city was alive with culture even in the dead of winter. But little did we know that Chicago was even more amazing in the summertime. We didn’t think it could be possible, but we ended up loving this mid-west city even more and we think you will too. Here are some of our must-see and must-dos for a summer (or spring, or fall) weekend in the Windy City.
Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington
Yes, Chicago has a beach on the waterfront … and yes, it is pretty incredible. In the winter the waterfront looks a bit bleak and grey, but in the summer it’s the happening place — the sand covered in towels and girls in bikinis, people taking a dip in the water (it’s war, trust us!), a little bar area, small palm trees and multiple games of beach volleyball. If we didn’t just step off of the Magnificent Mile, we would have sworn we were in Miami.
Like most cities that trudge through long, bitter cold winters, come warm weather the patios at bars and restos are a welcoming sight. Chicago’s are lively, packed and situated under the tree-lined streets. Our fave spot for brunch was at Feast (25 E. Delaware Ave.) — they have an extra large patio perfect for nibbling on eggs benny and a cup of java. READ MORE
From fab restos to chic shops and boutiques, our numbered map will help you find all the Chicago hotspots we mentioned.
View Chicago in a larger map
1. Dana Hotel and Spa (danahotelandspa.com). 660 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 202-6000.
2. Bin 36 (bin36.com). 339 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60654-4817, (312) 755-9463.
3. The Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu/aic). 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 443-3600.
4. Millennium Park (millenniumpark.org). 201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60602, (312) 742-1168.
5. Park 52 (park52chicago.com). 5201 South Harper Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615-4113, (773) 241-5200.
6. Akira 1849 (akirachicago.com). West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622, (773) 342-8684.
7. Habit (habitchicago.com). 1951 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622, (773) 342-0093.
8. P45 (p45.com). 1643 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647-5507, (773) 862-4523.
9. Una Mae’s (unamaeschicago.blogspot.com). 1528 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622, (773) 276-7002.
10. Silver Moon (silvermoondrivein.com). 1755 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622-5456, (773) 235-5797.
11. Scoop (scoopnyc.com). 1702 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647-5424, (773) 227-9930.
12. Intermix (intermix.com). 1633 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647-5507, (773) 292-0894.
A new addition to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighbourhood, just minutes from the downtown, is Park 52, an American bistro-style restaurant which boasts their open kitchen style and “chef’s table” that allows guests to watch their dishes being created.
Stamped with vibrant colours, fabrics and artwork, including bold accents like polka-dotted velveteen chairs, and red leather banquettes, it’s the familiar over-the-top style of owner Jerry Keliner, who’s known for his playful restaurants including other Chicago spots like Red Light, and Carnivale.
On the menu you’ll find classic American cuisine and comfort foods with Southern touches, like BBQ Braised Beef Short Ribs, Lump Crab Cakes, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. If you leave room for dessert consider trying the Ricotta Cheesecake or Blueberry Shortcake. Yum! Vino lovers will also appreciate the extensive wine list. Looking for just drinks and apps? We suggest heading up to the lounge for a martini.
WHERE TO FIND:
S Harper Ave, Chicago IL, 60615-4113; (773) 241-5200
Absorbing some of the city’s culture while visiting is always high on our list of things to do. While in the Windy City we hit two must-see locations in one afternoon, thanks to the fact they are only steps away from each other.
First we explored the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the U.S. (only to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art), which features a strong American collection, including iconic works from Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Georgia O’Keefe, and a comprehensive contemporary art collection. There are always tons of worthwhile exhibitions on, including a special Matisse exhibit on now until June 20, 2010, which focuses on his work from 1913-1917. Admission for adults is $18 (it includes the exhibits), but for those willing to brace the crowds, you’ll get in free on Thursday’s from 5-8 p.m. READ MORE
Chicago is known for its amazing restaurants, comfort food and jazzy clubs. When we visited we were eager to sample some of the local food and atmosphere and when we heard about Bin 36 — a wine and cheese bar/resto we had to go. What could be more comforting than a glass of vino and a selection of cheeses? Bin 36 is as relaxed and laid-back as the city itself. People were dressed from cas-cool to business suits and heels, so it’s a spot that just about anyone can enjoy.
If shopping is on your to-do list (which we’re guessing it is), then one neighbourhood you shouldn’t miss out on visiting is Wicker Park. While the shops along Magnificent Mile are also worth your time (and hard-earned cash), we like to think of Wicker Park as Chicago’s hipper, and trendy younger sister. Located in West Town, north of the core, you’ll find cute boutiques, art galleries, trendy restaurants and other hipster hideaways.
Brimming with one-of-a-kind finds is what makes this district so fun and different than the standard brands and labels you come to see on the Magnificent Mile. One of our stops included Akira,which was brimming with cute dresses, skirts and tops, as well as accessories like shoes and purses. We loved the variety and fashion-forward selections here, definitely perfect for finding that must-have item needed for a night out with the girls.
Owned by designer Lindsay Boland, Habit, is another destination for local, unique finds. With a heavy focus on local designers, you’ll discover whimsical and eclectic pieces including jewellery and handbags. READ MORE
Courtesy of the Dana Hotel and Spa
There are so many reasons to love Chicago — the food, the shopping, the museums, the incredibly friendly people — but one reason why we have such an affection for the Windy City is the Dana Hotel and Spa. We were fortunate enough to visit the Dana Hotel on a recent weekend getaway and are still talking about how we enjoyed this stylish gem of a hotel. This Condè Nast best is located in the midst of the downtown Chicago bustle of clubs, shopping, jazz bars and hipster restos, making it the ideal location for those looking to experience all the city has to offer. But it’s not just the location that impressed us — the Dana does a fab job at mixing eco-friendliness in a modern urban setting. Comfortable loft-living is what Chicago architect Andre Landon from EDI Architecture created, with floor-to-ceiling windows to let you soak up the Chicago skyline any time of day (the night lights are stunning), an exposed concrete ceiling, and an open-concept with neutral tones and minimal accents to make these hotel rooms seem like a cozy home. With added touches of recycled wood (used in the headboards and night stands) and an automatic temperature system this hotel will also ease your eco-friendly mind.
Photography courtesy Porter.
When we took our trip to New York, Porter had just added the destination to its roster. Since then it’s added, Chicago, Boston, and Myrtle Beach and with the rate this airline is growing, I’m sure we’ll see more in 2010.
As habitants of downtown Toronto, getting to the City Centre is a cinch (although many-a-protester have opposing views on this transportation hub). The cheapest way to get there is by the free shuttle that picks up passengers at the Royal York hotel. The subway at Union Station is literally across the street. When you do arrive to the terminal, passengers have to take a ferry to the airport. READ MORE
Photography by Justin Harrington
Welcome to your online destination for all things travel – pretty and chic, of course. We’re either travelling or planning our next trip to destinations all over the globe – from New York to the Caribbean, South America and Europe. Our next trip is never soon enough! We’re going to bring you back all the details you need to know to plan your perfect trip, from gastronomic delights, the best shops, hotels and spas to book and not-to-miss sights and attractions. Let’s not forget what to pack and what to wear while there too.
We almost always travel together, (and occasionally with the boyfriends, who sometimes get to come along), offering a dually charged perspective on places that are often new to us, or new fashionable finds in favourite destinations we love returning to.
Photography by Justin Harrington
Our most recent stop: Argentina. With boyfriends in tow, we first explored Buenos Aires, where we rang in the New Year, then jetted over to Mendoza (better known as Argentina’s wine region), for a few days to take in the countryside and enjoy local wine.
Until we give you the scoop on Argentina, we’ve got a few destinations to fill you in on, including the Meatpacking District in New York City and the Windy City, Chicago.
We love to hear your thoughts! Tell us what you’d like to read about and where you plan on travelling this year.