Summer Staycation at the Westin Chicago River North
There are 92 days of summer and it amazes me how quickly they each fly by. So when I found myself sipping sangria on The Westin Chicago River North's sprawling outdoor patio with no agenda whatsoever an overwhelming sense of gratitude spilled over me. A summertime staycation in Chicago was just what I needed!
Our Room at The Westin Chicago River North
My husband and I checked into our corner guest room on Friday afternoon. The room offered views of the Chicago Riverwalk where we could see a frenzy of people soaking up the summer day. Check out this 60-second video tour of our room.
Westin Chicago River North is situated in the heart of downtown, making it easy to explore the best of the city by foot. The recently renovated Riverwalk is essentially the hotel’s backyard, and the infamous House of Blue is next door. Plus, top attractions like The Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and the John Hancock building are all within a mile of the hotel.
From our room, I spotted people enjoying happy hour along the riverfront, shoppers making their way to Michigan Avenue, and speedboats zipping by kayakers on the Chicago River.
After enjoying some sangria and the tomato and burrata appetizer (heirloom tomato, nectarine, plum, herb infused olive oil & balsamic vinegar, ciabatta bread) on the hotel’s outdoor patio, 320 RiverBar, we were ready to step outside and join the fun.
Things to Do
We had no plans, other than to be tourists in our own city. We laughed like little kids on the swings at Navy Pier, shopped along Oak Street for outfits to wear to an upcoming wedding, and grabbed a casual dinner at Velvet Taco in the Gold Coast.
A few other Chicago activities that are sure to please (but we didn’t have time for) include:
- Dinner at Eataly
- Go for a run on the Riverwalk
- Concert at House of Blues
- A walk through Maggie Daley Park (take the long route along the lakefront)
- Shopping along Michigan Avenue
- Ferris wheel ride at Navy Pier
The Patio at the Westin Chicago River North
It was a nice night, so after the swings at Navy Pier we walked the mile and a half back to The Westin Chicago River North. We found two seats on The Westin’s outdoor patio, 320 River Bar, and made ourselves comfortable. It was time for dessert. After all, we were on vacation! We ordered two drinks and two desserts: a guilt-free sundae made with vanilla frozen yogurt, dried kiwi, pumpkin seeds, coconut anglaise, pomegranate syrup, and cacao nibs, and a sangria float (cabernet sorbet and fresh fruit.) What a wonderful way to end the night.
The Fitness Center
The next morning, we had no excuse but to work out. The Westin Chicago River North partners with New Balance so you can borrow exercise clothes and shoes during your stay. To be honest, I felt a little odd at first wearing someone else’s shoes but then I thought about how I borrow cycling shoes every time I go to CycleBar and I never think twice about it! This was no different, and not having to pack gym shoes and workout clothes was super convenient. If you visit during a weekend in the summer, you can even borrow the clothes to try one of the many free workout classes around Chicago, like yoga at Millennium Park.
That morning, we watched the city’s Independence Day Parade from our window, then made our way down to the lobby for a breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit and potatoes. After that, we were off to catch a train to Wisconsin to spend time with my extended family. Our staycation was short but fantastic.
When you live in a city with freezing temperatures part of the year, you learn to cherish these 92 days of summer, and a staycation with my husband was the perfect way to spend two of them.
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