You know me, always the hunt to find colorful places. My most recent mission took me to Chicago. While the city isn’t really known for pigmented places, I actually was surprised to find several colorful places in Chicago. Who knew that the Windy City would be so bright in the winter?
I usually spend a lot of time looking for color in the least expected place. My challenge on this trip was time. I was on a quick trip that was mostly for work but allowed some time for pleasure. The chilly temperatures added to the adventure. Funny enough, this was my third time visiting Chicago in the frigid winter. In previous trips, I allowed to cold to keep me for doing too much exploring, but this time I grabbed my pink coat (and accessories) and hit the town.
To find the most colorful places in Chicago!
From places to see, things to eat, and hot spots for shopping, I’ve rounded up a list of the most colorful places in Chicago.
Color guide: 11 of the most colorful places in Chicago
Wabash Arts Corridor
You’ve probably noticed I’m a fanatic for street art and public art in general. If you’re anything like me, Chicago is a haven for urban art. There is public art displayed around the entire city, especially within the Wabash Arts Corridor.
This colorful area is located in the South Loop of Chicago. It was a project started in 2013 by Columbia College Chicago to bring students and the community through public art. In addition to large-scale murals like this beautiful piece by Brazil’s artist Eduardo Kobra, the area is bustling with art galleries, performance halls, shopping, and dining.
Pro Tip: This is basically an outdoor art museum that spans several blocks. Dress according and remember, with the Chicago breeze, you can never have too many layers.
Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and a love for color, Stan’s doughnuts is where it’s at. They are mostly known for their gelato milkshake topped with a mini donut, but their colorfulness is close behind. There are several Stan’s Donuts locations throughout the city, but my favorite one is off Michigan Avenue because it has colorful Kitchen Aid wall. The location on Lake Street is also pretty fun too because they have a ceiling covered in doughnuts! Oh, and don’t forget to try a pistachio lemon doughnut while you’re there, it’s my favorite.
Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower is the talent building in Chicago. In just 45 seconds the elevator takes you up 10- stories to get a 360 view of Chicago. With so many buildings you’re probably wondering where the color comes into play. That’s all going to depend on the season. To really see Chicago come to life in full color, I would suggest this activity for a summer visit to Chi-Town. That’s when the city comes to life and the view of Navy Pier from the Willis Tower is stunning.
After being a long time online customer of plus-size retailer Elloquii, I was stoked to finally visit one of their brick and mortar locations. The store was even more intriguing than I had imagined. There was a beautiful wall with the faces of all types of women, complemented by a stylish seating area. This location makes for a colorful IG post! Not to mention, a great place to shop for plus size clothing in Chicago.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
I’m pretty sure there is nowhere more colorful than a candy store and Dylan’s Candy Bar doesn’t disappoint. This location is right on Michigan Avenue, so once you satisfy your sweet tooth, you can enjoy shopping at one of the most popular shopping destinations in the country.
Flamingo mural at The Rum Club
I wasn’t expecting to find my flock in Chicago, but to my surprise, I found this amazing flamingo mural at The Rum Club. This is venue is actually a Cuban-themed restaurant and cabaret and is only open for private events. Luckily, this beautiful display of public art on the outside of the building is always open. The mural is HUGE and wraps around the building, but the only downside is that the best side of it has street parking along the side. Make sure you arrive early if you want to get a wide shot of the mural without cars parked in front.
Broken English Taco Pub
I have to be honest, I don’t know if their tacos are good because I didn’t eat there. However, according to Trip Advisor it’s a great place to stop in if you’re in the theater district for show. What actually drew my attention to this spot was the colorful mural outside. What can I say, I just go where the color is at!
The Bean at Millennium Park
The bean may not be super colorful, but it’s definitely one of the most Instagrammed places in Chicago. It’s actually a great backdrop to bring color to. I encourage you to wear bring colors and fun prints but make sure to bundle up if you visit Chicago in the winter because it’s going to be a chilly place to snap selfies with the lake being so close.
Museum of Contemporary Art
When it comes to arts $ culture, Chicago doesn’t disappoint. There are so many museums to enjoy, but my personal favorite is the Museum of Contemporary Art. Their permanent collection dates back to the 1920s and since then the museum has been committed to connecting artists to their community. Their exhibitions rotate regularly, but the current exhibition in the museum’s atrium by Costa Rican artist Federico Herrero called Alphabet is filled with color and natural light. This exhibition will remain open through April 2019.
Nando’s Peri Peri
Some come here for the world famous Peri-peri chicken, I came for the colorful interior. They have a beautiful space filled with color that aligns perfectly with their flavorful fares.
Giordano’s Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
Ok, ok, I know. This isn’t technically a colorful place, but you have to eat while you’re color hunting, right? And what a better way to stay fulled than to eat PIZZA! Plus, pizza can be colorful depending on what you put on it.
Giordano’s is one of the top places in Chicago for deep dish pizza, so expect a wait when you arrive. Their pizza is good, although I have to say I’m a New York style pizza kind of girl. But, you have to try deep dish pizza while in Chicago and you can decide for yourself on who has the best pizza. On a side note, if you love it, you can take a frozen pie to-go with you on the plane.
If you enjoyed my color guide to Chicago, make sure to also check out my guide to the most colorful places in West Palm Beach, Florida.