Oak Park, Illinois is one of my favorite places to visit.  Located right outside of Chicago it was designed for families that want that city feel without actually living in the city.  Oak Park has been home to some influential people, including Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright; In fact, you will find many of his home designs here.  Downtown Oak Park is full of shops and restaurants and hosts countless community activities year-round.  I made the trip with my mom and niece to see Andrea Bocelli, but we took full advantage of the area while we were there and so I want to share with you the places we stayed, dined, and shopped along the way.


Where we stayed:

We stayed at The Carleton Oak Park, which is nestled in a residential area but within walking distance to everything you could want to do.  This boutique hotel is a local landmark, open for over 90 years, with two dining options on site.  We stayed in a suite and would recommend for groups wanting a little more room to spread out.    

Where we ate:

My mom and I had brunch at Munch on Saturday morning.  It’s a cute and cozy vegan spot with delicious food. It’s been there for 13 years. I ordered the BLT and a side of lentil soup. My mom ordered the kale and mushroom polenta.


We stopped in at Crepas Culichi for a unique drink that did not disappoint. I had the whimsical cotton candy mimosa and my niece ordered a pineapple margarita.  The décor is beautiful and the menu looked amazing – I definitely want to have a meal here on my next visit!

We had dinner at Victory Italian one evening.  They specialize in classic Chicago Italian dishes, as well as fine meat and seafood. You will find handmade pasta and award-winning meatballs here.

Saturday night before going to see Andrea Bocelli we met 2 of my lifelong friends for dinner at La Notte Italian restaurant, located on-site at our hotel. I haven’t laughed that hard in years! It was so much fun. The chef was so gracious with us and the service was all around impeccable.  You will find contemporary twists on ancestral recipes from Rome, Tuscany, and Bari here.

What we did:

We saw Andrea Bocelli Saturday night at All State Arena in Rosemont, IL.  This experience alone was worth the trip.  Phenomenal. 

There are also many cute shops in downtown Oak Park.  I found countless unique finds at Jayne Boutique and Careful Peach Boutique


I always like to encourage you to branch out to lesser-known places when planning your getaways.  There are so many wonderful towns full of richness to explore.  Oak Park is one of the top of my list and I can’t wait to return.