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Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In Chicago

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Chicago Illinois is a lively, bustling city with no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat, a bar to swing by after a long day in the city, or even countless shopping options, the city has something for you. Here are seven off-the-beaten-path things to do in Chicago for your next trip.

1. Grab A Drink At Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

If you’re looking for the perfect place to grab a drink while visiting the city, you won’t want to miss Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. This bar not only offers a wide variety of delicious drinks but also nightly live music. Artists range from local up-and-comers to even indie artists.

Barman making a fresh and cool orange summer cocktail using professional bar equipment on the counter

2. Swing By The Book Cellar

If you enjoy settling down with a good book, the Book Cellar is the perfect place to swing by on your trip to Chicago. This bookstore not only offers a wide variety of books, but it’s also home to an eatery, offering items such as soup, salad, and coffee.

Whether you’re looking to pick up the next installment in your favorite series or enjoy a relaxing afternoon, the Book Cellar is one shop you’ll want to stop by.

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Shelves covered in books.

3. Enjoy A Meal At Birriera Zaragoza

Chicago might not be the first place to come to mind when it comes to finding Mexican cuisine, but Bitriera Zaragoza offers some delicious goat meat-based plates.

If you’re looking for an out of the box dining experience, you won’t want to miss this restaurant.

Mexican dish.

4. Visit The Driehaus Museum

The Driehaus Museum is dedicated to showcasing pieces from the gilded age of America, an era spanning from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century.

A visit is a perfect way to learn more about the history of Chicago and the house. Tickets are available online and can also be purchased in person.

Stained glass windows at the Driehaus Museum.

5. See A Film At The Music Box Theatre

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy a movie during your next trip to Chicago, the Music Box Theatre has you covered. This independently owned movie theatre retains its glamorous 1920s feel and offers showings of a variety of non-blockbuster films, from documentaries to foreign films. More information about what is currently showing can be found on their website.

Red theater seats.

6. Stroll The Garden Of The Phoenix

Chicago’s Garden of the Phoenix is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon. This Japanese garden is located in Jackson park. The 3.5-acre garden features serene ponds, gorgeous lush plants, and even a Japanese teahouse. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for visiting, the Garden of the Phoenix is also free.

Japanese Garden.

7. Explore The Wabash Arts Area

The Wabash Arts area offers one of the best examples of the local art scene in Chicago. Having been called Chicago’s “living urban canvas,” this area features everything from multi-story tall murals to nearby art galleries. The biggest draw is, without a doubt, street art. Even better, given the public nature of the artwork, this is another great activity that can be enjoyed for free!

A woman painting a mural on the side of a building.

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