Solo Traveler's Guide to Chicago

When you visit Chicago, you want to see it all, even if you're traveling alone. And why shouldn't you? With an abundance of restaurants, bars and attractions, there's non-stop action in this town, and we've got a list of the "must-do's" when you're traveling alone in Chicago. (Photo: Kim Peiffer)

Updated: August 12, 2011

Traveling Alone in Chicago: Restaurants, Bars, Attractions


Lincoln Park

N Stockton Dr and W La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60290

There's no better place to spend a perfect afternoon than sprawling Lincoln Park. Whether you're up for a stroll through the gardens, a visit to the petting zoo or a ride in the pond's paddle boats, there's plenty to do and see.


North Avenue Beach

North Ave and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60610

You'll be hard-pressed to find better people-watching than at North Avenue Beach on a hot summer day. Grab a blanket and set up in the sand--then watch as people Rollerblade and bike down the Lakeshore Drive path, or sit back, relax with a good book and take in some rays. When hunger strikes, flag down one of the area's many ice cream carts wheeling by.


West End

300 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

No matter which sports team is playing, there's always a crowd gathering at West End to watch the games. Grab a spot at the bar and order up a brew and some grub. The numerous flat-screen TVs scattered in every corner of the room make it nearly impossible not to have a view of the game.


900 Shops

900 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Shopaholics will love the 900 Shops, situated right off the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. Peruse designer stores like Gucci, or make more wallet-friendly purchases at chain stores like J. Crew and Williams-Sonoma. The restaurants inside are perfect for an afternoon bite. And when you need to rest from all that shopping, grab a latte on the ground level cafe and refuel.


Old Town Social

455 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610

The name of this friendly neighborhood bar in Old Town says it all. A huge indoor bar boasts plenty of seats for one, and the friendly bartenders and lively scene will keep you coming back for more.


The Bristol

2152 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Communal seating and a constantly changing menu (displayed on a chalkboard) make for an always-entertaining experience at Bucktown's Bristol restaurant. Indulge in seasonal favorites and choose from one of the specialty cocktails?in summer, they even offer outdoor seating in a hidden backyard patio space. But call first--this place is a popular destination for many area residents.


Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

830 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

When a craving for a sweet treat arises, head to one of Chicago's most popular destinations'the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop in the Gold Coast. From homemade sundaes dripping in hot fudge and whipped cream, to indulgent cones other treats, you'll wait in line for your order, but it's worth it. Grab a sidewalk table--if you're lucky--and watch the passersby as you savor each bite.