One of the benefits of living in Chicago is that it is close to the center of the country making it easy to travel to most of the United States in 2-3 hours. Today I am sharing a list of easy weekend getaways for foodies. These are destinations suited for a 2-3 day trip involving lots of eating!
Nashville, Tennessee: Nashville is better suited for a fun trip with friends than a romantic getaway. We found ourselves surrounded by bachelorette parties (it was excellent people watching).
Distance: 1 1/2 hour flight
Stay: The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Eat: Hattie B‘s and Biscuit Love are Nashville staples not to be missed. I loved brunch at Kitchen Notes in the Omni Hotel too.
Do: Visit the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame, shop at Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James boutique, explore Belle Meade Plantation, and go to a honky tonk (I recommend Robert’s Western World on Broadway).
Kohler, Wisconsin: This is a popular destination for romantic weekends and last minute babymoons. Kohler is a pristine town, and The American Club is host to a wide variety of events.
Distance: 2 1/2 hour drive
Stay: The American Club
Eat: Don’t miss the Sunday Brunch at the Wisconsin Room, it’s epic.
Do: Hit the spa (I recommend the hydrotherapy treatments) or one of the four golf courses. Or plan a trip around Kohler Food & Wine, or the chocolate festival or beer festival.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee is the easiest choice for a weekend away since it is a short drive from Chicago. If you love beer there are breweries to explore, and if you love music go for Summerfest the world’s largest music festival.
Distance: 1 1/2 hour drive (buses and trains are also options)
Stay: The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
Eat: Brunch at Cafe Benelux and have dinner at Odd Duck.
Do: Beer tours! I recommend visiting both Lakefront Brewery and PBR.
Kansas City, Missouri: Kansas City is an affordable city loaded with top notch barbecue joints for you to explore.
Distance: 1 1/2 hour flight
Stay: Hotel Phillips
Eat: Char Bar has exceptional BBQ and don’t miss the mac and cheese.
Do: Explore the Nelson-Atkins Museum, go on a BBQ tour and spend your evening listening to live jazz at Ça Va.
New York, New York: NYC has an element of magic, it is the city that never sleeps and where anything is possible. If you want an active weekend in a city, this is the place to go.
Distance: 2 1/2 hour flight
Stay: I crash with my sister because puppy cuddles are free there, but the Carlton Hotel (an Autograph Collection property) and the Loews Regency New York look like perfect options.
Eat: Pizza at Artichoke Pizza, ice cream at Milk Bar, Morrocan food at Cafe Mogador, brunch at Prune, and pizza by the slice late night.
Do: There is so much to see, do, and eat in NYC that you could easy spend two weeks there. I recommend picking a part of the city to focus on if you are only going to be in town for a weekend. If you love photography, take the tram to Roosevelt Island to capture photos of the city from above. Try to score last minute tickets to a broadway show, or shop your heart out.
Charleston, South Carolina: If you want a side of history and a touch of romance, Charleston is perfect place for a quick trip.
Distance: 2 hour 10 minute flight
Stay: Belmond Charleston Place
Eat: Biscuit’s from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, oysters and fried chicken at Leon’s Fine Poultry and Oysters, and try to get a reservation at Husk. The Belmond is the place for cocktails, and it is one of few places that wasn’t filled with college kids and bachelorette parties.
Do: Take a history tour (we picked a pirate themed tour), see Rainbow Row, and take a trip out to Fort Sumter.
Austin, Texas: The tacos are so good that it is worth the trip.
Distance: 2 hour 45 minute flight
Stay: The Westin or the W
Eat: Torchy’s Tacos, brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe and Vox Table, dinner at Odd Duck (no relation to the Odd Duck in Milwaukee), and barbecue at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ.
Do: Download Fasten becaue they don’t have Uber. Then visit the shops on South Congress Street and drink beers and listen to live music at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden.
And if you don’t live in Chicago…
Chicago, Illinois: I am lucky to live in one of the best foodie cities in the world! In the summer Chicago has a huge food and music festival lineup, and the weather is warm and perfect for exploring the many restaurant patios.
Distance: 2 hour 45 minute flight or less from most of the US
Stay: Soho House or The Conrad
Eat: brunch at Cindy’s Rooftop and 3 Arts Club Cafe, dinner at Avec, Roister, Duck Duck Goat, The Bristol, Balena, Bavette’s, or Bar Siena.
Do: Go to one of the many festivals! And be sure to go on an architectural tour on a boat through the river.