With the Chicago Marathon coming up fast, I get lots of questions. About the race, about the course, hotels, transportation, you name it. Today I want to make some recommendations for the REST of race weekend. Stuff you, or your family and friends might wanna do while you’re here.
Let’s start with some tried and true faves. Warning: There’s an inordinate amount of food on the list. I’m blaming my own taperworm for that.
- Deep dish pie. I’m talking about pizza pie, in case you didn’t know. Gino’s East, Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s are all fabulous.
- Willis Tower or Hancock Building Sky Deck. If you come see me on marathon weekend, I’ll take you to my secret (free) skydeck view of the city. The picture above was taken from it.
- Cupcakes. We’ve got some good ones. Hit up Sprinkles, Swirlz, or Sweet Mandy B’s. You won’t go wrong.
- Garrett’s Popcorn. Chicago isn’t the only place to grab some but it’s pretty irresistible so just do it.
- River Architecture Cruise. I’ve been on it many times and it never gets old. Chicago is a beautiful city and this is a great way to see it and learn a little more about it in the process.
- Big Red Bus. Face it, marathoners wanna save their legs for the big day. The Big Red Bus is the perfect way to sightsee without walking a ton…unless you want to, of course.
If this isn’t your first time in Chicago, chances are you may have already done some/many of the things listed above. In that case, here are some ideas that are a little off the beaten path.
Blommer Chocolate Factory Store. Whenever I run a Chicago race that goes through the West Loop, I think I’m delirious when I start smelling chocolate wafting through the air. Turns out I am, thanks to the Blommer Chocolate Factory. While they do not offer tours, you can hit up the factory store at 600 W. Kinzie for a stash of the sweet stuff.
Revival Food Hall. Not sure what you want to eat? Maybe you need to appease a group? The Revival Food Hall is a 24,000 sq. ft. marketplace spotlighting the best of Chicago’s culinary scene. Aloha Poke Co., Furious Spoon and Farmer’s Fridge are just a few of the options you’ll find. 125 S. Clark St.
Black Dog Gelato. There was a time when gelato was rare in these parts. Not anymore. But truly delicious and unique gelato can still be scarce. That’s why you need to pay a visit to Black Dog Gelato. Small batch gelatos and sorbets are made daily in flavors you probably haven’t seen before. Think Sesame Fig Chocolate Chip, Malted Vanilla and Maple Cayenne Bacon. Rootbeer sorbet anyone? You never know what you’ll find because when a flavor runs out, it’s out! Choose from three locations.
Float Sixty. One thing about a marathon, whether you’re running or spectating, it’s a total sensory overload. That’s why a visit to a float suite is pretty perfect. Wth is a float suite? Basically you spend 60 or 90 minutes floating in 10″ of water that’s infused with 1,000 pounds of Epsom Salts. We all know how beneficial Epsom Salts is to tired, sore muscles, right? It’s also said to promote mental clarity, deeper sleep and recovery. Book your float session or buy your favorite runner a Float Card here.
Binoculars Tour Chicago Elevated. You’ll get your own pair of binoculars to keep for this walking tour. Spend time looking up examining the ornamentation, details and design of many famous Chicago buildings. Tour starts at the Chicago Board of Trade and follows a 1.5 mile path through the city, culminating at Daley Plaza, 50 N. Washington St.
What’s your favorite thing to do/eat/see in Chicago? Will you be in Chicago for Marathon Weekend?