Chicago is an Instagrammer's dream. From classy restaurants to outdoorsy skyline pics, your Instagram gallery will be thanking you if you book a trip to the Windy City.
However, if you're limited on time, it's helpful to know where the best places to take photos are so you can map out your game plan ahead of time.
Featured below are my own personal top picks from a recent trip East - let me know what you think!
The Allis at Soho House Chicago
The Allis is a beautiful and classy restaurant on the first two floors of The Soho House in Chicago. Besides having some of the best food in town, it brags big, open windows, and massive chandeliers.
Instagram wise, you should have no problem finding the perfect shot here. If you need some inspiration though, order a mimosa and a slice of Avocado toast. ;)
If I wasn't looking for it, I could've easily missed this place. Tucked inside a wall of hedges near the Bean and the Great Lawn, Lurie Garden is hidden and peaceful - making it the perfect place to snag pictures without hoards of people in them.
You may also find this place feels incredibly balanced. While there's a healthy mix of flowers and to be photographed, the high hedge and buildings popping up from behind them add a layer of detail most gardens might lack.
Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean)
To be honest, I dropped my bags and practically ran to see the Bean when I arrived.
Cloud Gate is iconic in Chicago, and no trip would feel complete without a shot of it. The only struggle is finding a break in the crowds to take a quality picture.
During my visit, I worked around the crowds by standing on picnic tables and using a selfie stick (it was quite the sight I’m sure). However, you can always wake up early in hopes of tourists being in bed still.
Lincoln Park is a MASSIVE. Yet somehow during my trip, I biked completely past it and had to ask some locals for directions (read about my biking experience: Why Divvy Bikes are the Best Way to See Chicago).
Once inside though, I found Lincoln Park Zoo to be a great place to take photos. If you decide to go, walk the Nature Boardwalk and see if you can find the Peoples Gas Education Pavilion. Here you'll find a quiet pond and balcony with skyscrapers popping up in the distance.
Other interesting places to check out in this area are the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Green City Market.
The Hampton Social
The Hampton Social was made for a girl’s day out. It’s beachy and beautiful, and features the most Instagrammable backdrop: ‘Rosé all day.’
However, I wouldn’t plan on simply stopping by to take a photo with the sign (I did this and failed miserably). For the best photo opportunity, call ahead and request a seat by the famous neon backdrop.
Then sit back, enjoy some brunch, and start snapping pictures – Your Instagram will thank you.
Flamingo Rum Club
Outside the Flamingo Rum Club, is one of Chicago’s brightest and insta-worthy pieces of street art.
Be careful snapping pics here though, as the best angle is from the middle of a busy street. When I stopped by, I found myself hopping in and out of the road between lights.
If there’s one place you should spend hours, it’s the Lakefront Trail running along Lake Michigan. During my visit, I rented a Divvy Bike, and followed the water’s edge from Navy Pier all the way past Lincoln Park.
It was amazing!
This part of the trail was full of runners and other bikers, sandy beaches, and views of the city from various angles.
Finally, what better way to let your Instagram followers know where you are than a photo of the Chicago Theater. The sign here is HUGE and can be seen from blocks away.
Don't forget to check it out at night too (it glows)!
Happy picture taking!
Feel free to leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions