Forget Nashville and Charleston: There’s a new bachelorette party destination that’s-a-buzzing: We’re talking about the Windy City, of course. Chicago truly offers something for everyone in your bridal party with its trendy rooftop bars, mouthwatering eats, awe-inspiring architecture, and idyllic waterfront locale. (Read: Plenty of beach and boating opportunities abound!)
To help you plan the perfect Chicago bachelorette party, we consulted bachelorette party expert Allison Odhner of Bach to Basic.
Meet the Expert
As the founder and lead planner at Bach to Basic, an all-inclusive bachelor and bachelorette party planning concierge service, Allison Odhner and her team have curated itineraries for countless bachelorette parties.
While Chicago is beautiful and bustling year-round, the city is especially spectacular in the warmer months. Odhner tells Brides, "There are not too many destinations where you can find beautiful summer weather with little humidity on the water, and Chicago is just that."
However, don’t forget to budget accordingly. She adds, "Being in the Midwest, it's easy to think this will be a very affordable trip, but Chicago is a major city, which makes it extremely fun and entertaining—it also requires the budget to enjoy it!"
When is the best time to visit Chicago for a bachelorette party?
Spring and summer are the most popular times to visit Chicago. However, you’ll want to plan and book as early as possible. "Things get expensive and fill up fast," Odhner says.
How much does a bachelorette party in Chicago typically cost?
"We recommend a budget of around $700 to $800-plus per person for a full, all-out weekend if you want to take advantage of what the city has to offer," Odhner says. Most of these funds end up going towards accommodations.
Can I visit Chicago in the winter for my bachelorette party?
"While travel is a bit riskier the closer you get to winter, there is also a lot to do. The nightlife scene is vibrant, the restaurants are fabulous, and the city has a range of activities that are great for a bachelorette party," says Odhner. Should your trip get canceled due to inclement weather, have a backup date ready.
Intrigued? Keep reading for the ultimate Chicago bachelorette party guide, which includes where to stay, what to see and do, and more need-to-know information to help you make the most of your trip.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
Where to Stay in Chicago
When it comes to choosing the perfect hotel for your Chicago bachelorette party, consider staying somewhere centrally located for extra convenience. For example, the city’s vibrant River North neighborhood is home to dozens of eateries, clubs, bars, shopping venues, and hotels.
While accommodations at The Moxy Chicago Downtown are on the smaller side, this hip River North property—which offers rates around $200 in the summertime—offers a slew of on-site amenities and programming, including live DJ sets on the weekends, a retro-inspired game room, a stylish cocktail bar, and a taco restaurant complete with an outdoor patio. The property also offers a Bachelorette Party package, which includes playful props.
Alternatively, splurge on a stay at The Langham, Chicago, where you and your squad can indulge in spa treatments, afternoon tea, and even more pampering. While the rooms and suites are uber-luxe (think: 500-plus square feet of space, soaking tubs, and incredible views), summertime rates start at about $500 per night. However, the hotel is currently offering an array of limited-time promotions.
Or, if you’re craving more space for a fraction of the price, consider renting an Airbnb.
What to Do in Chicago
Chicago is teeming with exciting attractions and activities. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite things to do while in town:
- Charter a boat: The best way to take in the city sights? By boat, of course.
- Go spa-hopping: Wellness enthusiasts can hit up one of Chicago’s many tranquil spas for some much-needed R&R.
- Go rooftop bar-hopping: Take in panoramic vistas and sip on ‘gram-worthy cocktails as you make your way through the city’s countless rooftop bars.
- Indulge in afternoon tea: Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon tea experience with your bridesmaids.
- Embark on a pizza crawl: Eat your way through the Windy City and nosh on some Chicago-style deep-dish 'za.
- Hit the beach in style: Unbeknownst to many, Chicago boasts beautiful and pristine public beaches—many of which have stunning city views!
- Admire the street art: The Windy City is dotted with colorful street art, which is best admired on foot.
How to Get Around Chicago
Chicago is an incredibly walkable city. However, it also boasts one of the nation’s most efficient public transportation systems, including hundreds of trains and bus routes.
Chicago Bachelorette Party Itinerary
- Morning: Once you’ve checked into your hotel, change into your sneakers and take a self-guided street art tour of the city.
- Afternoon: After exploring the city on foot, rent your own cycle boat. (Just don’t forget to BYOB and snacks.)
- Evening: The fun continues after dinner at Disco Nightclub, where you can let loose and bust a move in between sips of Champagne.
- Morning: It’s brunch time! Cure your hangover with a bite to eat at Hampton Social, a rooftop bar and restaurant with several locations throughout the city.
- Afternoon: If it’s sunny out, hit up the swanky Shore Club, where you can rent your own private cabana. Alternatively, enjoy high tea service at The Allis.
- Evening: Bottom’s up! Hit up The Vig, a retro-inspired gastropub-sports bar hybrid where you can splurge on bottle service.
- Morning: Treat your bridesmaids to breakfast in bed from Baby Cakes, which serves dozens of delicious pancake concoctions like S’mores, Cotton Candy, and Pumpkin Pie, to name a few.
- Afternoon: After an action-packed two days, recharge at one of Chicago’s many wellness-centric spas. The Peninsula Spa offers an array of massages, facials, and nail treatments. After, indulge in some deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s.
- Evening: Order a round (or two!) of tropical-inspired cocktails at Three Dots and a Dash, a whimsical Polynesian-themed tiki bar that’s sure to delight.