Be a Local Everywhere You Go

Chicago is full of fun and interesting things to do and spring is certainly our favorite time to explore. The traditional, touristy things can be a blast but it's good to balance them with some of the off-the-beaten-path adventures that give Chicago its full flavor and feel. Here are few ideas to get you started...and a funky tune to set the pace.

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  1. Sun Ra - Springtime In Chicago
  2. Pilsen is one of the most vibrant and enjoyable Chicago neighborhoods and has so much to offer no matter what you're looking for. Art galleries and studios are everywhere as well as incredible food, unique nightlife and a general vibe of friendly tradition that is sure to keep you coming back for more. Don't miss the street art, which you can wander around and admire on your own or as part of a tour. Pilsen is easy to get to on public transportation and a quick look at an area map will show you where all the great street art spots are located.
  3. If you don't live in Logan Square, you can still enjoy the richness of the area at the Farmer's Market from June 3-October 28 (and indoors during the rest of the year). In addition to the local farm-fresh food, there's flowers, music and a wide selection of local conversation and impromptu entertainment.
  4. Andersonville is a neighborhood with so much to offer that once you make your first venture, you'll never use the excuse, "But it's SO far north!" again. From historical restaurants and pubs to the farmers market and sidewalk sale to beaches and traditional Scandinavian celebrations, it's a city 'hood with a small town vibe and you don't want to miss it. The Andersonville Galleria is a highlight of the area where you can buy up the local wares, or just peruse and admire. And either way, leave happy.
  5. Want to eat good food, drink awesome beer, shoot some hoops and get some sun? Of course you do...here's where to do it...
  6. If you've ever been to an Austin, TX beer garden and felt the warm embrace of relaxation defined by the sun, tasty beer and games to keep you busy, you know how if feels to miss all of that when you aren't in Austin, TX. As usual, Chicago refuses to be outdone and answered back, albeit perhaps unknowingly, with Cody's, a bar that's just as warm and cozy out in the garden as it is inside, where you can munch on free pretzel sticks and select some sweet tunes from the jukebox. Oh, and much like most bars in Austin, it's dog friendly. Take that, ATX.
  7. Remember when Jerry Seinfeld tried to help Babu Baat by telling him to focus on one thing? Well, Nini's didn't follow that example and we're all really glad. Drawing on their Cuban and Lebanese heritage, the owners offer homemade hummus, guacamole, falafel and ropa vieja. They also have shelves stocked with those rare finds that make you smile, like you bumped into an old friend. I'm lucky enough to live down the street but no matter where you are, it's worth the trip and the prices will justify whatever distance you travel.
  8. Okay, enough reading...go get out there and enjoy these and the hundreds of other things to do in this beautiful city, in this beautiful season. Can you eat grass??? Why the hell not?!?! Enjoy it while it's here, baby!!!!!
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