Like a local

Chicago is often referred to as a “City of Neighborhoods” and in visiting a community like Lincoln Park, it’s easy to see why. Each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods has their own unique characteristics, destinations and – most importantly – people that define what the area is truly about. If you’re visiting Lincoln Park for the first time, take a trip like you’ve been living here your whole life with this roadmap.

Start your “Like a Local” tour of Lincoln Park just steps off the lakefront on Clark Street at Fullerton. You can reach this spot easily via the CTA’s Clark St. (#22) bus, the Fullerton ‘L’ stop on the Brown, Purple and Red Line or by car from Lake Shore Drive or the Kennedy Expressway. From here you can decide what kind of locals experience you’re going to embark on.

Fuel your morning deliciously with a stop at Vanille Patisserie (2108 N. Clark) where you’ll be treated to authentic French pastries and the coffee beverage of your choice. For the full breakfast experience, Orange Restaurant (2413 N. Clark) offers unique twists on brunch favorites along with their signature frushi (fruit sushi) and fresh juice bar. After breakfast, pop into Climate Home (2462 N. Clark) an eclectic gift shop with a local flavor, offering accessories, jewelry, T-shirts, kids’ gifts and greeting cards.

Walk off your morning indulgence by taking a stroll through the neighborhood’s less trafficked parks and open spaces. Head west from Clark St. on Webster to Oz Park (2021 N. Burling) an Oz-themed playground (photo op!) and green space with statues of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Dorothy. Jonquil Park (1001 W. Wrightwood) is an urban gathering space and sunbather’s oasis offering an open grass area, playground, seasonal spray pad and a plaza garden. Enjoying the smaller playlots and tucked-away greenspaces is the perfect way to experience the neighborhood like a local.

If you’re itching for a little retail therapy, head over to Armitage between Racine and Halsted. While you find national brands here, be sure not to miss the wonderful local boutiques like Lori’s Shoes (824 W. Armitage) and Margaret O’Leary (850 W. Armitage). Getting hungry after a day of shopping? Head 2 blocks north to the Webster Ave. corridor to Derby Bar & Grill (1224 W. Webster), a neighborhood pub with southern influence.

Where to have dinner may just be the most important question when traveling. Lincoln Park has the culinary answer to any foodie’s craving. Innovative restaurateurs and chefs bring contemporary dishes along with unique twists on old favorites to the neighborhood. Enjoy inventive cocktails, inspired wine lists, and a lively dining experience at Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted), de Quay (2470 N. Lincoln), and Gemini Bistro (2075 N. Lincoln), and Knife & Tine (1417 W. Fullerton).

After dark, nothing beats the famous Chicago blues, and in Lincoln Park Kingston Mines (2548 N. Halsted) is an epic hotspot. Seven nights a week you can find national touring acts and future stars belting out their take on this soulful music. It’s truly a mecca for night owls who are hoping to dance the night away to Chicago’s signature sound. For additional music and theater options, check out our Live Entertainment itinerary.

Insider Tip: A one-day Divvy Bikes pass is $9.95 and grants you unlimited 30-minute trips throughout Lincoln Park (and beyond) in a 24-hour period. This is a perfect way to see all of the sites listed above quickly or at your own leisurely pace.

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