Planning a bachelor party or just looking for an excuse to get away on a quick trip with your best buddies without having to worry about your wife, girlfriend or other female companions? With so much culture, sports, bars, restaurants and recreational activities, Chicago is the perfect destination for a “mancation.” So grab your gear and get ready to hit the road with the boys. You’re sure to be in for a good time by following our guide to a guys’ weekend in Chicago.
While staying at a Days Inn typically might not be your first choice for accommodations for a guys’ weekend, this one is actually worth a second look. Known unofficially as the Rock & Roll Days Inn, the Days Inn Chicago has hosted some of the most famous names in the music industry, like Kurt Cobain, Ace Frehley, Beck, Sheryl Crow and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And, the hotel is within walking distance to Wrigley Field, iconic music venues like the Metro, the Vic Theatre and the Riviera and a ton of bars and restaurants, meaning that you’ll never have too far to go to find some fun.
Where: 644 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614
Speaking of Wrigley Field, Chicago is a professional sports lover’s paradise. It goes without saying that the city is home to the aforementioned ballpark, the second oldest Major League Baseball stadium that is currently in use, and its home team, the Chicago Cubs. During baseball season, it’s tough to score a ticket to a Cubs game, so if your guys’ weekend falls during this time, make sure to get tickets in advance. If you can’t grab a ticket, or if it’s the off-season, you can still tour the stadium and see where baseball history has been made.
Where: 1060 West Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613
If you and your buddies are sonically inclined in the slightest, you’ll be psyched to know that Chicago is a major center for music. Perhaps most known for its history with blues and jazz, the Windy City is now showing up on the musical map for hip hop, with artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Twista representing Chi-Town, house music, punk, hard rock and metal. The city is packed full of music venues, so rather than traipse around the city trying to hit up all the hotspots, stick to one that is known to be one of the best: the Vic Theatre. Opened in 1912, it’s one of the oldest venues in the city, and you can always catch a good concert here.
Where: 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
If you’re looking for an adrenaline-producing, heart-pumping activity to do on your guys’ getaway, round up your buddies and head out on a skydiving adventure. Located just a few miles west of the city in Ottawa, Skydive Chicago is a 220-acre mega resort that offers group rates and top notch instruction. The entire skydiving process only takes about three hours, so once you’re back on solid ground, take advantage of the different activities Skydive Chicago offers, such as horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, sand volleyball, wakeboarding and a fitness area.
Where: 3215 E. 1969th Road, Ottawa, IL 61350
From four-star fine dining to amazing, hole-in-the-wall dives, Chicago is truly a foodie’s city, containing some of the best restaurants in the world. But rather than spend the evening picking at perfectly manicured shrimp on your plate, get in touch with your manly roots at ManBQue, a Chicago-based, gentlemen-only organization promoting beer, music and, well, barbeque. The group hosts routine events where anyone from grill masters to backyard novices are welcome to attend and share stories, recipes and eat copious amounts of grilled meat.
Where: Bars and restaurants around Chicago
If locally brewed, delicious craft beers float your boat, Chicago has a ton of options for you. One of the more famous is Half Acre Brewery, a hip, young local beer company. For a small price, you’ll get an informative tour, a look into the brewing process, a souvenir pint glass and four of the brewery’s signature brews. Even if you choose not to take the tour, you can still stop in and pick up a few growlers of the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale or the Gossamer Golden Ale to enjoy in the hotel room.
Where: 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
Photo credit: iStockphoto/Deklofenak