BRIDES Chicago: Your Out-of-Town Wedding Guests' Downtown Guide

Chicago, Local, Planning Tips
chicago guide for guests

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Your wedding is the main draw bringing guests to Chicago. But, chances are they'll have plenty of time to explore the city, too. When making an out-of-towner's guide to the Windy City, here's what to suggest they eat, drink, and see — all within walking distance of Chicago hotels in the Loop.

Where to Dine & Drink
Enjoy Brunch at The Gage
There are two main reasons to recommend a visit to the inviting gastropub. First, it's just steps from Millennium Park (another must-see while in the Windy City). Second, the kitchen delivers one inventive American-inspired dish after the next. Brunch-goers can choose to start the day on a light note with the Blood Orange Parfait — a serving of Greek yogurt, housemade granola, almonds, and mint. Or, they can go the more decadent route with a Baked Pumpkin French Toast that'll hold them over until your reception.

Drink at Cherry Circle Room
Step inside the Chicago Athletic Association's Cherry Circle Room, and it'll feel as if you've stepped back in time. The second-floor space was once home to a restaurant of the same name, and the revamped version gives more than just a nod to the building's history. Even the cocktail menu can trace its inspiration back 100 years or so. You can bet guests will love the throwback feel as much as the cocktails.

Caffeinate at Dollop
Guests looking to live like locals should start their day at Dollop. Now with 11 locations around the city, it's part of the A.M. routine for many Chicagoans. The Loop's outpost is a must stop for a homemade pastry and a cup of Chicago's own Metropolis Coffee.

Order Lunch at Luke's Lobster
While no one visits Chicago for seafood, it's tough to pass up this New York chain's minimally dressed lobster rolls — which boast fresh, wild-caught lobster as the main ingredient. Recommend guests pick up their order from the take-out counter and head a few blocks north to enjoy it while sitting along the newly redone Riverwalk.

See More: Here's How to Book Your Honeymoon With One of Our Favorite Chicago Travel Agencies!

Things to See & Do
Book a Sweat Session
Fitness-minded guests don't need to derail their workout routines on their trip. Soul Cycle's Loop location on Wacker Drive delivers the meditative, heart-pumping workout Soul Cycle devotees are used to, this time from an inspiring Chicago instructor they've never ridden with before. Adrenaline and feel-good vibes will have them ready to kick off the wedding festivities in no time.

See the Sights
It's impossible to see all 300,000 plus works of art housed inside the Art Institute, but a trip to Chicago wouldn't be complete without trying. Be sure to give guests an insider's tip to visit the Thorne Miniature Rooms on the lower level and the sleek Modern Wing. Then, advise them to walk north to The Bean for the quintessential Chicago photo.

Prep for the Wedding
Female guests who really want to feel like they're on vacation can leave the hair styling to the pros at Fuga Centro Salon & Spa. A $50 blowout and complimentary cappuccino will leave them feeling—and looking—like a million bucks. So as not to leave the gentleman out, advise them to visit HALO [FOR MEN], just three blocks from Fugo, for a haircut or neck touchup.

Can't figure out how to get those out-of-town guests to your wedding? We've got the best transportation agencies in Chicago on our Local Vendors page.

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