The Local Tourist: A Chicago Staycation

travel-chicago-local-touristSometimes you just can’t get away. Maybe you don’t have enough time or money to plan some elaborate, last-minute vacation, or maybe you don’t have the vacation days. But surely you can find time to relax for at least a day or two. Good thing we live in Chicago—the city that’s full of good eats and jaw-dropping sights and attractions. The next time you’re considering maxing out your credit card for a trip to some far away land, take a look at what’s around you first. We did, and guess what? We discovered this city is home to some truly memorable stay-cations.


Make Hyatt Centric Your Home Base In The Loop

Explore this urban oasis and its vibrant neighborhoods with ease from the loops central location, just steps from many of Chicago’s transportation hubs. The complimentary coffee bar, 24-hour fitness center, friendly valet service, on site restaurant, spacious suite, and the double vanity made me feel right at home. The options are endless when you stay in the middle of the action at Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago.

>>Book A Room At The Hyatt Centric 

local chicago food donut vault

Chase Down The Donut Vault & Eat Like A Local

This cash only food-mobile draws in the crowds with it’s old fashion hand crafted donuts. There are two Doughut Vault locations and a vintage Vault Van roaming the city, serving the signature doughnuts. The original Doughnut Vault on Franklin serves Project X drip coffee, a blend roasted exclusively for Hogsalt by Metropolis. At the second shop on Canal, trained baristas prepare classic espresso-based drinks from a full coffee bar. A charming oasis for doughnut lovers, both storefronts feature antique crystal chandeliers, hand-painted menus, and vintage design touches.donut-vault-chicago

Click here for hours, locations, and flavors.


Walk Off Your Meal At Lincoln Park Zoo (It’s Free)

Stroll in and around this 14-acre ecosystem with the backdrop of the Chicago skyline. Connected to Lincoln Park Zoo, the nature boardwalk crisscrosses a large pond which serves as an ecological habitat teeming with turtles, fish, frogs, and birds.



Click here to see what else Lincoln Park Zoo has in store.


Explore The Chicago River Walk

Explore Chicago’s rich history, famous architecture and awesome skyline on this winding, wonderful and wacky body of water. It flows backwards, right through the heart of Chicago, linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Not only does it get dyed bright green on St. Patrick’s Day, but it also has its own incredible, iconic bridges that open and close to traffic, as well as its very own troupe of water taxis. Set sail, take stroll or if you’re daring take canoeing and kayaking lessons and feel the rivers magic.



Shop Like A Local

Locals avoid Michigan Avenue like the plague and head on over to Wicker Park because it’s a heavy hitter when it comes to trendy women’s fashion boutiques. Those who prefer big box stores head over to State Street.


Relax Like A Local

If you really want to relax like a Chicagoan, pick up a copy of Chicago Woman Magazine, stream Brown Girls on Vimeo, and download music by Ravyn Lenae, Chance The Rapper, Blizzard Babies, and Saba on Google Play or iTunes. Then stop in for handcrafted cocktails, seasonal small plate dining, and a panoramic city views up in the AIRE.


How long has it been since you played tourist in your city?


The suite at Hyatt Centric was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Pingback: Chicago Eats
  2. Chicago is one of my favorite cities. I love how there’s shopping, eating, nightlife and a beach all in the same radius. I also enjoyed catching a cubs game having a drink at the top of the Hancock building and a river tour. I’ll have to find Donut Vault next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to come back to Chicago so bad!!! I went for a week last year & fell in love! I loved it more than NYC! I feel like I missed so much! I love the idea of a staycation, I need to do this in my town!

    Taylor |

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lauren says:

    LOVE this list. I hope to visit chi town one day. It has so many fun things to do!
    LMents of Style

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love spending time playing tourist in my home city! There are so many great things happening in Toronto that you miss out on otherwise. I loved exploring the River Walk when I was last in Chicago
    Charlene The Frugal Fashionista

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Nothing like playing in your own back yard. I love Toronto. Will you show me around next time I’m in town?


  6. I am not from Chicago but I LOVE that city! I always have the best time I am there, no matter where I am in the Chicago area.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. angelalambert7 says:

    Those doughnuts look amazing!! Sweets are my downfall, but those look so worth it. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your city!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maggie says:

    This place looks amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Just a little piece of Chicago🤗


  9. I just started doing this last summer! I kept complaining that I was getting tired of Chicago and realized I barely even knew it! I rediscovered my neighborhood of Pilsen all over again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      I don’t think I could ever get tired of Chicago. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm. Are you a native Chicagoan?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Moved to the south burbs of Chicago when I was 14 and move to the city at 22. So I really shouldn’t be tired of it lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I was so surprised to see this pop up in my Google Alerts! I own The Local Tourist – it’s been my website for over 15 years 🙂 Sounds like a fun staycation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Hey Girl, Hey 🤗 What a coincidence, going to check out your site now!


      1. Cool. I just figured you were being clever, since you used “Do 312” also!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dāsha says:

        You know it😉 Being clever is a huge part odd content curation and creation!


  11. Such a great post, I’ll have to keep these places in mind when I visit the Chicago area :).I’m realizing there’s a lot to do in my area, so I’ve been taking some time to explore 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. M.Morris says:

    awesome post! My husband and I are actually coming to the Chi for our anniversary. I think we are going to have to put doughnut vault on our to do list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Happy Anniversary 💃🎉 For more ideas and good eats check out my Instagram

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahhh what a lovely staycation! Those donuts…. oh gosh I need some right now, yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Hey Girl, Hey🤗 So glad you stopped by Lauren. Unfortunately, for my waist line there are no shortage of good donuts in Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

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