The American Club and Chicago: A Weekend Travel Guide

The American Club and Chicago: A Weekend Travel Guide

We just got back from the most relaxing and enjoyable trip to Chicago and to a little town called Destination Kohler, near, Sheboygan, Wisconsin…random, right? It totally was, but also completely amazing. My mom, Charlie and I tagged along with Will, my dad and their friends on their golf trip to Wisconsin and I am so glad we did.

Since we were barely in Chicago, this is by no means an all-encompassing guide to the city, rather just a quick taste of the town. My guide to Destination Kohler and Sheboygan is a bit more comprehensive.

Chicago:

Because we could all get nonstop flights into Chicago, we decided to start our trip and celebrate my mom’s birthday with 24 hours in Chicago. We stayed at the Fairmont Millennium Park, which was nice, but I didn’t love it and am not sure if I would stay there again.

Pizza in the Park!

Since we knew our time was limited, we hit the ground running as soon as we landed. We picked up a deep dish pizza from Giordano’s which was around the corner from our hotel and had a picnic lunch in Millennium Park (home of the infamous Bean). I know there is a heated debate about deep dish pizza in Chicago, but honestly, I will eat any pizza, any time so I was just happy to try one of the many famed establishments. Pro tip: order your pizza ahead of time online because they take about 50 minutes to cook.

Enjoying the Architecture River Cruise with my boy and a little Gin and Tonic.

Once we were done with our lunch, we walked from Millennium Park over to Navy Pier, where we boarded a boat for the Chicago Architecture River Cruise. This is my absolute FAVORITE thing to do in Chicago because I love being on the water, but I also love learning about the Chicago architecture. It is truly stunning and all of the boats have a bar so there is no better place to spend the afternoon in my mind.

We celebrated my mom’s birthday while we were in Chicago and had the most delicious meal at RPM Steak. We all loved the food and the service was incredible, but the music was really loud and the vibe was something like what I would have been into in my early 20s. I would highly recommend it and also suggest trying Bavette (and making reservations early!)

Destination Kohler:

The Iconic American Club.

The main part of our trip was spent in Destination Kohler–an idyllic town outside of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The area is well-known for its golf–Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run which each have multiple courses within them, and the Kohler Waters Spa.

Although the beginning of our trip was a bit stressful–we were staying at the Inn on Woodlake which at the time legitimately seemed like a frat house for golfers, and my mom, Charlie and I were getting a lot of unwanted attention, by the end of the trip, we were all raving about how we had the best time. My mom and I relaxed, went paddle boarding, did two days at the spa (if you’re getting a facial or a manicure, ask for Dawn–she is incredibly talented and a truly wonderful person), went shopping at Sweet Potato’s and the Woodlake Market (I live for a good grocery store) and we are already planning our return trip.

Where to Stay:

My husband booked our stay with a golf package so we could only stay at the American Club or the Inn on Woodlake. By the time we booked, the rooms at the American Club were fully booked. The next time we go, I definitely want to stay at the American Club rather than the Inn on Woodlake. If you’re not planning to book through a package and just want to explore Sheboygan, I would suggest the Fairfield Inn or the Grandstay hotel.

Activities:

I know we just barely scratched the surface in terms of activities, but my mom and I really enjoyed ourselves and didn’t want to over do it. Obviously the boys golfed so we took full advantage of the spa and the recreational activities at the Sports Core on Woodlake which included paddle boarding. I would also recommend stopping by Sweet Potato’s for some retail therapy. They have everything from Birkenstock’s to Vince and CBD oil–mom and I loved so many things there.

One of my favorite activities wasn’t exactly planned, but we kind of stumbled upon it. After our massages one day, mom and I were both craving just a really simple sandwich so we picked up Jersey Mike’s and then my mom had the brilliant idea to eat it by the lake. We discovered Deland Park which is a beautiful park right on Lake Michigan. Lots of green space and even beach access so we had a gorgeous lunch and Charlie loved running around.

Where to Eat:

The food really blew all of us away on this trip. I asked our group after to rank our meals and it was nearly impossible because we enjoyed each one so much. In my opinion, I guess I would have to say my favorite breakfast was the burrito at Whistling Straits and my favorite dinner was at Trattoria Stefano–the food was delicious and we had the best waiter. My mom and I loved grabbing coffee and snacks from the Woodlake Market and lunches at the Horse and Plow were so good! Our waitress there even showed me the most delicious trick–dipping sweet potato fries in honey–genius!

Truly the best trip! I am so thankful for the new memories made with my parents, Will, Charlie and our friends and I can’t wait to go back to Destination Kohler!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

For the third stop on Brit’s Summer Travel Series, we are heading to the Lone Star state! Until a few months ago, I was just a visitor to Austin, not a resident. Through my visits to Austin over the years and after living here for a while, I have learned a few things about the capital of Texas and am sharing them with you for your next visit!

I’ve always thought Austin is where Texas meets L.A., and it’s crazy to think that nestled in the rolling hills of Texas, there is a burgeoning tech hub with chic restaurants and more outdoor activities than you can imagine. The first thing to figure out for your trip is where to stay and Austin hotels do not disappoint.

The coolest hotel in my opinion is the Hotel Saint Cecilia. This boutique hotel is in the heart of the city, just off of South Congress and a quick jump across Lady Bird Lake from downtown. If you’re interested in proximity to town, the South Congress Hotel and W Austin are both great options.

The Commodore Perry Estate is brand new and I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it looks incredible! Auberge Resorts brought the nearly one hundred-year-old Commodore Perry mansion back to life and the storied estate looks better than ever.

Austin’s restaurants are as delicious as they are well designed. My absolute favorite restaurant has to be Clark’s Oyster Bar. It is my vibe to a tee and the food is SO good! If you are a seafood lover like me, then this is the place for you. My husband and I love going for dinner together and it’s also a wonderful brunch spot with your girlfriends! I’m not sure if there is anything better than a dozen oysters with Clark’s famous French fries and a glass of one of their many fabulous wines. Their sister-restaurant, Perla’s, is also fabulous and is a larger space if you’re looking for a group outing.

If you’re interested in Mexican food or TexMex, ATX Cocina and Matt’s el Rancho are my favorites. Matt’s el Rancho is more traditional and great for larger groups and families… you can’t leave without getting the Bob Armstrong Dip! ATX Cocina is a gorgeous restaurant in downtown and they serve modern Mexican food and delicious margaritas.

For sushi, we prefer Soto on South Lamar, we love going for happy hour and getting the Chef’s Choice–it’s five pieces of some of the most amazing and innovative sushi I’ve ever had! We also can’t get enough of Sway…I think about their Blue Crab Fried Rice all of the time and the design of all of their restaurants is just so cool.

For lighter fare with subtle French vibes, I highly recommend Launderette and June’s All Day. The food is incredible and again, the vibe will not disappoint. If you’re looking for the most romantic spot in Austin, I suggest Mattie’s. The food is described as southern and it is delicious. But the setting in out of this world. The restaurant is in an old mansion and the grounds have the most beautiful oak trees that have…Peacocks in them! It is so wonderful and perfect for a date night or special occasion.

Austin is known for its taco scene and for good reason. We are still working on this list, but trying out taco trucks and restaurants in Austin has been one of my favorite things to do with my husband since we’ve moved here. If you’re not interested in driving around to look for a taco-focused restaurant, but still want a taco, you’re in luck. I’ve noticed all of the coffee shops here also sell breakfast tacos, which is something I am more than okay with!

The activities in Austin are endless and if you love the outdoors, you will be in heaven here! Unlike many other parts of Texas, Austin is jam-packed with lakes, rivers, hiking trails and plenty of bike lanes!

Whether you’re a Texan looking for a weekend getaway or from out-of-state, Austin will be the perfect destination for you! Come back next week to see Brit’s next stop on the Summer Travel Series!

XO,

Brit