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Rooftop Feature Image

It all starts with the first warm day. People from all across the state break free of their winter hibernation and flock to the closest outdoor space. For many, the start of warm weather means one thing – patio season is finally here! Luckily, Illinois has its fair share of rooftop bars and beer gardens to pull in patrons looking for cool brews and even cooler views.

A recent addition to Chicago’s restaurant scene, Cindy’s Rooftop is the perfect place to spend a summer evening. Located on the 13th floor of Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the rooftop restaurant and open-air terrace offers breathtaking vistas of Chicago’s Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Cindy’s atmosphere is airy, almost reminiscent of a beach house, complete with strung lights, whimsical greenery, communal, picnic-style seating and fire pits.

Cindy's Rooftop 2

The incredible setting isn’t the only thing that keeps visitors coming back time and time again. Cindy’s Executive Chef, Christian Ragano, works in tandem with Spirit Guide Nandini Khaund to create a seasonally-evolving menu full of shareable picnic-style food and drink offerings. From classic craft cocktails to wine and apothecaries, Cindy’s serves up beverages that suit the taste of a wide variety of diners.

Cindy's Rooftop

Down the road in Rockford, we leave behind the rooftop views for a waterside landing at Prairie Street Brewing Co. (PSB Co.), the largest outdoor riverfront patio in the city. The dock at PSB Co. is the perfect place to sit back on a sunny Midwestern day, and is the only spot downtown to publicly park your boat for an afternoon of fun.

“Prairie Street Brewing Company always comes to mind when suggesting unique, local spots in our region. Their eclectic food options, locally brewed craft beer and riverside dock set the scene for a perfect night out,” said Andrea Mandala, RACVB marketing & communications manager. “I love the great energy from their staff and experiencing the good vibes from local bands as they’re performing dockside at PSB Co.”

Prairie Street Brewhouse

Anyone in Champaign knows that Blind Pig Brewery is the downtown hot spot on warm summer evenings. As the first brewery in Champaign after prohibition, this iconic establishment has set the bar high for craft beer. Blind Pig has a robust menu made up of its own brews as well as craft beer from around the country. With taps rotating regularly, visitors have the chance to try out something new each time they stop by. The interior is rustic and British in feel, reflective of owner Chris Knight’s heritage, but step outside and you will be transported to a lush and luminous beer garden. With strung lights swinging above your head and the Champaign City Building looming just beyond, many will argue that there is no better place to be as the nights heat up than the Blind Pig Brewery beer garden with a cold one in hand.

Blind Pig Brewery

Looking to experience outdoor sipping for yourself? Here’s where you can check out the establishments mentioned above as well as some other hot spots around the state.

Cindy’s Rooftop

12 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

(312) 792-3502

Prairie Street Brewhouse

Prairie Street, Rockford, IL 61107

(815) 277-9427

Blind Pig Brewery

Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820

(217) 398-5133

Grafton Winery & Brewhaus

300 W. Main Street, Grafton, IL 62037

(618) 786-3001

Two Brothers Roadhouse

205 N. Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505

(630) 264-2739

Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery

835 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62704

(217)523-4466

– Illinois Office of Tourism

 

Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that fit the theme “street art.” Check out a few of these awesome shots from around the state below. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges, and remember to share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured in a future roundup!

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

Urbana - (at) carlcatedral

To kick off our challenge this week, we shared this awesome shot of @airurbana by @carlcatedral.

South loop - from doom to bloom - (at) mjacx27

Have you visited The Wabash Arts Corridor? Located in the south loop and regarded as a living urban canvas, you’ll find many amazing murals and street art! Great photo @mjacx27!

Kelly's Pub - Lincoln Park - (at) 1moremarathon

How many of you have seen the blue demon outside of Kelly’s Pub in the Lincoln Park neighborhood? (Photo by @1moremarathon)

West Loop - (at) stacyjoanna

We love the bright colors used for this piece of artwork located in the West Loop. Great shot @stacyjoanna!

8th & Wabash - (at) beckyzhang_

This piece can be found on 8th and Wabash, another project that is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor! (Photo by @beckyzhang_)

Northside of Chicago - (at) with_liza

Just your typical day in Chicago! (Photo taken on the northside of Chicago by @with_liza)

Pilsen - Pink Line - (at) out_with_alejandro

The Pilsen neighborhood is known for its beautiful street art, including this decorative CTA stop on 18th street! (Photo by @out_with_alejandro)

17 N State Street - (at) impermanent_art

We love the incredible detail that went into the Muddy Waters mural on State Street! Great shot by @impermanent_art!

State Street - (at) jotorr

Another great capture on State Street by @jotorr!

Rat & Girl - (at) readumandweep

We may be biased, but we think Chicago has some of the best street art in the world. (Photo by @readumandweep)

– Illinois Office of Tourism

Black and White Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that surround the theme “black and white.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

Chicago riverwalk - (at) tbtru2me Great River Road - (at) moll_kell Chicago Botanic Garden - (at) chi50mm Mississippi River Water Trail - (at) teddybeaubear West Dundee - (at) artistviejo Chicago Cubs - (at) movieman773 Volkening Heritage Farm - (at) volkeningheritagefarm Deerpath Park - Vernon Hills - (at) jasondanielphotography Thompson Center - (at) delia.seeberg Duncan Manor - (at) court_arbez St James Farm Forest Preserve - (at) meaghan_nelson Findlay - (at) sauk_it_to_me Salvage One - (at) sir_joe98 Galena - (at) outaherefast Mt St. Mary Park - St Charles - (at) yoga.gal Chicago - (at) professorbebo Old Towne Pub - (at) stufotog

Farmers Market Feature Image

Summer is just around the corner, and that means farmers market season. All over the state, markets filled with locally sourced fruits, veggies, meats, pastries, cut flowers, artisan-made goods and more are opening their doors – or should we say tents? – for the season. We’ve rounded up four of the best in the state here:

Green City Market, Chicago

As one of Chicago’s top farmers markets, don’t be surprised if you see some of the city’s premier local chefs buying ingredients for their weekly menu at Green City Market. The outdoor market is open in Lincoln Park every Wednesday and Saturday from May through October offering a wide selection of local produce, flowers, meat, seafood, breads, pastries and more. Check out Green City Market’s website for information on live demonstrations from local chefs and ready-to-eat food vendors at the market. Open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays May 7 –October 29.

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Photo credit: Green City Market

Market at the Square, Urbana

Looking for something outside the ordinary? Look no further than Urbana’s Market at the Square. As one of the largest and most diverse markets in the state, this unique farmers market has 170 vendors featuring arts and crafts, beer and wine, flowers, and locally-grown produce stemming from the richest farmland in the country. This Market also extends well beyond fresh produce – it offers entertainment from local musicians, kids activities with Sprouts at the Market, food trucks with doughnuts and fried egg sandwiches, and much more. Open 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays May 7-November 5.

Market Entrance

Photo credit: Visit Champaign

Old Capitol Farmers Market, Springfield

The Old Capitol Farmers Market can be found in the heart of downtown Springfield. You’ll find local farm and artisan vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods and cheeses, flowers, and more. The market is just steps from the Old State Capitol historic site and other sites like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lincoln Home and Dana-Thomas House – a Frank Lloyd Wright design! Open 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays May 13-October 31

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Photo credit: Visit Springfield

Rockford City Market, Rockford

Rockford City Market features local growers and vendors who sell natural products and unique retail items, live music, demonstrations and kids’ activities. The market is officially up and running as of May 20 and will be open through September. Open 3:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays May 20-September 2 and 3:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays September 9-30.

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Photo credit: Rockford City Market

Looking for more farm fresh ideas? It’s not just these markets that offer the freshest produce and local flavors. Illinois is home to a variety of farm-to-table dining experiences that you can enjoy this summer. Check out more on Travel Illinois online.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

FEATURE IMAGE

We hope your sweet tooth is ready!  Check out a few of our favorite “sweets” shots from around the state below. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges and as always, share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

Fruity Pebble Doughnut (at) pandadoughtnutcu

To kick off our “sweets” challenge this week, we shared this mouthwatering photo of a fruity pebble doughnut from @pandadoughnutcu.

Mitsuwa Marketplace - (at) geminisidephotography

Matcha and Vanilla twist ice cream has never looked better! (Photo taken at Mitsuwa Marketplace by @geminisidephotography)

Fulton - dutch days - (at) sauk_it_to_me

How many of you are celebrating Dutch Days in Fulton this weekend and will be eating poffertjes galore? (Photo by @sauk_it_to_me)

Colonial Cafe - (at) artistviejo

Luckily for us, Colonial Café in Elgin also serves real sundaes to devour! (Photo by @artistviejo)

All Chocolate Kitchen - Geneva - (at) yoga.gal

After seeing this photo, we’re definitely taking a trip to All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva! Thanks for sharing @yoga.gal!

Emack & Bolio's Ice Cream - (at) jakecbaum

Ice cream cones from Emack & Bolio’s remind us that summer is right around the corner! (Photo by @jakecbaum)

One of a Kind show - (at) molly_le_moose

Which candy apple would you choose? They look too delicious to just pick one! Thanks for sharing your photo from the One of a Kind Show @molly_le_moose!

Mama Lee's Gourmet Popcorn - (at) travelingmurphyk

Did you know that popcorn is the official snack of Illinois? Great photo taken of Mama Lee’s Gourmet Popcorn by @travelingmurphyk!

Ethereal Confections- Woodstock (at) chocolateuplift

Awesome photo taken at Ethereal Confections in Woodstock by @chocolateuplift!

Gotta B Crepes - (at) heatherlesz

How delicious does this crepe from Gotta B Crepes look? (Photo by @heatherlesz)

The Annex Coffee & Deli - (at) ekaterynab

Great shot taken at The Annex Coffee & Deli by @ekaterynab!

-Illinois Office of Tourism