Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE travel. However, weekend getaways are often more hectic than relaxing and THIS weekend is already predicted to be an absolute madhouse for vacationing drivers. The combination of low gas prices and growing economic development, AAA estimates that you’d be sharing the road with 35.5 million other travelers if you stray from home this weekend. And why would you, when a staycation in Chicago could be so much fun?
The Traffic is Going to be Horrendous
If the national Labor Day travel stats don’t scare you off, remember that Chicago is a real congestion hub. Chicagoist reports that 1.7 million of the 1.9 million expected Illinois travelers will be driving. And that doesn’t even account for all the people driving through Chicago to get up to Wisconsin or Michigan. PLUS, the workers who operate the tollbooths on the Skyway may be striking this weekend which is sure to gum up the works for traffic in all directions south.
Do yourself a favor and stay off the roads.
There’s so much to do in Chicago
And there’s so much to enjoy right here this very weekend.
Jazz fest is running (free) all weekend in Millennium Park. Plus this is one of the last weekends for Chicago SummerDance at Grant park, with free lessons and then live music, nightly. This weekend has prohibition era jazz and jitterbug on Friday, salsa on Saturday and Cajun two-step Sunday. Plus we’ve heard the Field Museum‘s new China exhibit is stunning. Have you been there yet?
How well do you know your own city, anyway? Check out Timeout’s list of 101 Things to Do In Chicago and see how many you’ve actually checked out. I only had 18.
In between all that fun, you can visit some of the great restaurants designed by moss. Grab a sweet treat from Flirty Cupcake. Taste some excellent wine and cheese at Bar Pastoral. Stop by Saigon Sisters for some yummy Pho and Rice Bowls on the go. Pick up Brit fair extraordinaire at Jolly Posh. Or settle in for some great bear at Begyle‘s new Tap Room. We guarantee you’ll love it.
Northerly Island is opening this weekend
We’ve been admiring the eco friendly design for Northerly Island for quite a while. Their soft beach approach would be a great idea along more of Chicago’s shoreline. It opens to the public this weekend and we can’t wait to go see the results. Beat the crowds and get there before everyone else realizes its even there.
Chicago loves tourists – try being one
A recent survey of twitter chatter about tourists (by this nutty charter jet company – talk about burning gas!) broke regions, states and cities down by how positive (or negative) their comments about the local tourists are. Surprisingly, New York came in only second for how much it hates its out-of-towners. Chicago was number one for positive comments. So was Illinois.
Why not pull on shorts and a visor and go be a tourist in your own city this weekend. Or just put your feet up in the backyard and relax for a bit. Either way, do yourself, the rest of the city and planet, a favor and stay off the roads.