Chicagoland Spring Break Staycations: From Historic Bed & Breakfasts to Retro-Chic Hotels

Originally posted by atproperties-athome

This spring break, consider something a getaway that’s a little closer to home: a staycation at a local B&B or boutique hotel. Not only do you get to skip the airport (and the pricey airfare); it’s also a unique opportunity to explore Chicagoland communities like a local. Read on for a list of @properties Christie’s International Real Estate’s favorite staycation destinations in the city and suburbs – no boarding pass required. Pack your overnight bag and let’s go!

Villa D’Citta (Lincoln Park)

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With its Italian-style stone façade and ornamental iron gate, Villa D’Citta (2230 North Halsted Street) welcomes guests with Old World luxury. Hailed as one of the top 10 urban B&Bs in the world, this Lincoln Park B&B is just steps away from some of the best shopping, dining, and nightlife in Chicago, and a short bike ride to the Lincoln Park farmers’ market and Lake Michigan. Our advice: use the money you saved on a plane ticket to treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime meal at Alinea, Grant Achatz’s Michelin 3-star temple to modernist cuisine.

Craving something a little more casual? Head across the street to Athenian Room, a classic Greek diner serving favorites like gyros and chicken Kalamata since 1972. End your night with a pint at Glascott’s, one of the oldest bars in Lincoln Park, which connects to the Athenian Room through a shared door. Pro Tip: Athenian Room is cash only.

Celeste Celebrity Suites (Gold Coast)

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This spring break, book a suite at the one-of-a-kind Celeste Celebrity Suites (68 East Cedar Street). For starters, every room in this Gold Coast B&B is themed to a different celebrity – think Elvis, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Al Capone, and Marilyn Monroe. And while you could easily spend your staycation chilling out in your glam room or window shopping on the Magnificent Mile, there is so much to do and see within easy walking distance. Treat yourself to a massage or facial at Milk + Honey Spa or grab lunch in the skylit garden at 3 Arts Club Café at Restoration Hardware.

From here, stroll along Astor Street to check out the stately Gilded Age mansions that still line this historic street. Be sure to duck into one of the only remaining wood block alleys in Chicago—it’s a secret spot that runs between State Parkway and Astor Street, behind the Archbishop of Chicago’s mansion. End your stay by catching a show at Porchlight Music Theater, which has been reimagining classic musicals and showcasing new talent for 29 years.

The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast (West Loop)

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Book one of the 11 luxe rooms at The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast (108 North May Street), a former – you guessed it – publishing house in the bustling West Loop. The light-filled B&B is Instagram-worthy, with exposed brick walls, wood floors, soaring ceilings, and a stylish mix of contemporary and vintage décor. Enjoy a home-cooked, made-to-order breakfast (included with your stay) before exploring how this once-gritty neighborhood has been  transformed into a trendy, upscale enclave. Check out an exhibit at Epiphany Center for the Arts, a former church-turned-arts-center, or seek out some cool vintage finds at Randolph Street Market, located at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall.

If you’re hungry, you’re in luck: there’s no shortage of restaurants in this foodie mecca. Try to snag a reservation at Chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat. Or, you can sink your teeth into a big, juicy burger at Au Cheval; seating is first come, first served, so hang out at the bar and sip an Au Cheval Paloma while you wait. End your evening at The Publishing House with a glass of wine in the basement wine bar and some snuggles with Louis and Angus, the adorable house pugs who call this B&B “home.”

Graduate Evanston (Evanston)

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Hailed by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the “Best Hotels in Chicago,” the Graduate Evanston (1625 Hinman Ave.) is top of the class. Located just a few short blocks from the Northwestern campus, this 119-room hotel has a retro-collegiate vibe: tweed couches, Persian rugs, and lots and lots of purple and white. Start your stay with dinner at the Graduate Homestead Room, serving a top-notch menu of seasonal dishes and hand-crafted cocktails, or wander over to the university’s lively main drag, where there’s something for everyone.

Skim the latest titles at Bookends & Beginnings on Orrington Avenue, treat yourself to something new at Madison Grace, or pop into Nice Lena to browse the kooky selection of gifts, toys, jewelry, and more.  When it’s time to fuel up, head to Oceanique, hailed as the #1 seafood restaurant in the Chicago metropolitan area by the Zagat Guide, or dig into a caviar sandwich at The Barn Steakhouse. Be sure to snag a locally-brewed pint at Temperance Beer Company and, for a truly only-in-Evanston experience, grab a Vienna Beef hot dog from Mustard’s Last Stand, which been serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, and more in the shadow of Ryan Field for more than 40 years.

Pro tip: On football weekends, a stay at the Graduate is likely to cost you double or more, so unless you’re a hardcore Wildcats fan, you may want to visit on an off weekend.

Harrison House Bed & Breakfast (Naperville)

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Ready to check out the Western suburbs? Harrison House Bed & Breakfast (26 North Eagle Street) is a great home base for exploring Naperville and nearby towns like Downers Grove, Western Springs, and Glen Ellyn. Debbie, the owner, will ensure you’re taken care of and serves up a homemade breakfast made from fresh, organic ingredients every morning. The sunny yellow Victorian gem with its inviting wraparound porch is nestled in a neighborhood of historic homes and within walking distance of downtown Naperville.

From here, grab a latte at Sparrow Coffee, then stroll along the Riverwalk, a 1.75-mile trail that winds along the West Branch of the DuPage River, or sit down to a farmhouse brunch (a bucket of mimosas are a must) at Buttermilk. Spend the afternoon at Anderson’s Bookshop, and then end your day at Santo Cielo, where modern Latin fare, unique libations, and stunning views are on the menu.

Cherry Tree Inn B&B (Woodstock)

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When you book at Cherry Tree Inn B&B (344 Fremont Street), ask for the Magnolia Suite — the room Bill Murray’s character woke up in day after day in the movie “Groundhog Day.” During your stay, enjoy a slice of classic Americana while you sip your morning coffee on the wraparound porch, then sit down to a farm-to-table breakfast in the dining room (vegan options are available on request).

If you’re looking for a little luxury on your staycation, schedule an in-room massage or have flowers and chocolates delivered to your suite. From the inn, you can check out Woodstock’s charming brick-paved streets and classic architecture, take the Groundhog Day Walking Tour to see more sites where the movie was filmed, or explore the nearby Northwest suburbs of Cary, Long Grove and Barrington. If you’re an architecture buff, a walk through the Historic District is not to be missed, especially the Octagon House.

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