Where to Go From Here

Three-Day Weekends from Chicago

by Daniel Schwartz
Spyhouse Photo courtesy of Spyhouse Coffee.

You've done literally nothing but tear through Netflix this winter. Make up for adventures missed like a true weekend warrior with these three-day trips from Chicago.

CHICAGO – Winter is almost over in the Windy City. It's time to unfurl from the blanket burrito and channel your pent-up cabin fever into weekends away in America's northern country. Whether the weather blooms balmy or surprises with a snowy spell, you're covered for options. Adrenaline, art, booze, and farm-to-table bounty are all a weekend away from Chicago.


If you're in the mood for: history, silence, and solid slopes.

Route to take: Drive three hours west on US-20.

On your agenda: Stroll the cobblestone streets, note that most of the beautiful brick buildings are included in the National Register of Historic Places, then tour the . Ski on , defrost at , and toast at . Fall asleep by the fireplace in your lakeside cottage at . You came to the country. Keep it simple.

Avoid the Sunday blues: Hit the slopes early and have lunch on Chestnut Mountain at as you gaze off at the Mississippi River Valley. Think of the rush and the views as souvenirs.

The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The dining room. Photo courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer.

Dish from The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Vegetables from the rooftop farm. Photo courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer.


If you're in the mood for: eye candy, hipster shopping, and a farm-fresh food coma.

Route to take: Fly O'Hare International (ORD) to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP). The hour-and-a-half flight is roughly $100 roundtrip and lands in the middle of the Twin Cities metropolitan area so you can hit the ground running.

On your agenda: Taste the terroir at , experiment with new Nordic cuisine at , suit up for reservations at , or skip downstairs to for fancy cocktails and epic burgers. (Instagram at least once from each.) Pack on pastrami at if the selfie-taking set grows old. Shop at and for the north country look and for dreamy kitchenware. Grab a growler from before retiring to by the river.

Avoid the Sunday blues: Chances are, you'll wake up dazed from the salt and booze that kept you going Saturday night. Revive with massage therapy from and an espresso from before leaving town with local stationary from .

Aga Khan Museum, Toronto

Geometry. Photo courtesy of Aga Khan Museum.

Mjolk, Toronto

Design envy. Photo courtesy of Mjolk.

Big Crow, Toronto

A carnivore's delight. Photo courtesy of Big Crow.


If you're in the mood for: art and booze.

Route to take: Fly Porter Airlines to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). The hour-and-a-half flight costs around $350 and lands 1.5 miles from downtown Toronto.

On your agenda: Toronto is a hotspot for high-culture and emerging artists and there are weekends' worth of treasure at the city's best art museums — for Islamic art, for big-name collections, and for high fashion. But better for short agendas are the avant-garde galleries in Junction, namely , , and . Combat fatigue with caffeine from or another kind of buzz from . For lunch, go healthy at or go home and sleep after barbecue at . After sunset, head to no-reservations tapas hot spot and nearby for brews and bocce ball.

Avoid the Sunday blues: After check-out from , shop 'till you drop at or buy something your design friends will really envy from home decor store . A more masculine memory is the bourbon, cigar, and haircut experience at .


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