Thank you .. ‘Dirt du Jour’

for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"

Hotels & Inns

The Willows ... Chicago Touring

Always find myself thinking about Chicago ’round this time of year…

The Willows Hotel - Chicago

Where to stay in a city with countless boutique hotels? I’ve chosen The Willows Hotel on Chicago’s North Side most often for its convenient location, and for ease of movement on public transportation.

No matter the season, I always plan a sojourn to stroll through the Lurie Garden, and I check to see if there’s a free concert scheduled in the gorgeous Gehry-designed bandshell in Millennium Park.

Chicago Millennium Park Footbridge and Rill Photo © Alice Joyce

Summer, of course, is a time of lush and colorful plantings throughout the city and especially the downtown area. First-time visitors are often delightfully surprised by the lavish displays of foliage and flowers.

Chicago Millennium Park Plantings Photo © Alice Joyce

For all my friends from abroad, I’d advise the following: If you cannot arrange a visit during the lovely Springtime awakening of Chicago’s gardens and landscapes, or if you shy away from tourist crowds in Summer, then be sure to visit in September ~ a most beguiling month.

One way or another, Spring or Fall, Chicago always draws me back. Am I boasting when I say that my home town is one of the friendliest, most vibrant urban destinations you can include in an itinerary when putting together a tour of the United States?  I don’t believe so!

Below: A view of the Art Institute of Chicago –  Pritzker Garden

AIC Pritzker Garden E. Kelly's White Curve Photo © Alice Joyce

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