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Navy Pier, The Field Museum and Michigan Avenue represent key stops for any Chicago visit, but if you’re looking to really experience all that the Windy City has to offer, it’s time to dig deeper. Skip the long lines and get ready for an adventure as you explore these hidden gems of Chicago:

Twin Anchors Restaurant & TavernTwin anchors
One of the oldest restaurants in Chicago, Twin Anchors dates back to 1932. Known for its barbequed baby-back ribs and chili, this historical establishment in Old Town counts Frank Sinatra as one of its most famous patrons. You can also catch a glimpse of this neighborhood tavern in major movies like “Return to Me” and “The Dark Knight.”

Lurie GardenLurie Garden
Millions of visitors head to Millennium Park each year but many overlook the five-acre garden on the southern end of the park. Lurie Garden serves as a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown no matter what the season. Relax among the perennials and ornamental grasses, and be sure to check out the 15-foot “shoulder” hedge in honor of writer Carl Sandburg’s description of the “City of Big Shoulders.”

Room 13Room 13
To the left of the Old Chicago Inn down an alleyway, you’ll stumble on the 1920s speakeasy, Room 13. While finding this prohibition-style bar is a feat in itself, you’ll need a password to actually make your way inside. Rumor has it that the hotel front desk may help you out, but you may need to ask around to ensure you can enjoy Room 13’s classic cocktails and jazz tunes. Take note of the dress code, too – jackets are a must for men.


Myopic Books
If you’re looking for character, Myopic Books is where it’s at. One of the city’s largest and oldest used bookstores, Myopic has three floors filled with more than 80,000 books. Wonder through this Wicker Park bookstore to browse books on your topic of choice from art to religion to mythology to cooking. Stop on a Monday evening, and you’ll be able to listen in on an experimental music performance.

Baby Wants Candy improv showBaby Wants Candy
Chicago is home to a thriving theater district hosting top Broadway shows, but across the city, many unique theater troupes are pushing the envelope when it comes to on-stage performances and delivering laughs along the way. The Baby Wants Candy improve show does just that by improvising a musical every Friday night at the Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park. No show is the same, but laughs are guaranteed.