The Ultimate Midwest Travel Guide

Next stop on our Fall Edit is to share what inspired us and fed our creativity. My hope is this may inspire something for your home, or your next visit to the midwest! There is just something about getting away, seeing things you may have seen before, but with a fresh lens that sparks new thinking. After spending years living in Chicago, the midwest will always hold a special place for me. This time around we took a quick spin through Chicago, Grand Rapids and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I personally try to soak in as much design as I can when I travel because it feeds creativity into future projects. These are my travel snaps and while they’re merely iPhone photos, I can’t help but feel inspired when looking back on them.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

A quick stop in Grand Rapids left us only enough time to see a dear friend, her charming home decor store, beautiful coffee shop and unbelievable renovation of her historic home. If you’re a fellow design lover, you have probably seen this all over the internet; but if you haven’t yet- this creative zone of genius has left us completely blown away. I don’t know how you could visit Grand Rapids and not make this a first stop in your visit. Maybe it’s just the proud friend in me, but I don’t think so!

Stoffer Home 

The Madison Home Tour 

The Bradbury Cafe

Traverse City & The Upper Peninsula, Michigan

After many trips to the UP, I will say; nothing beats the summer months. However, a visit in the fall has been on our list ever since we were living in Chicago. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! The colors inspired the most amazing fall paint guide for us, and we’re already finding ways to use them. There are so many fun places to go in the UP. It’s tough to narrow down the list, but these are just a few of our ‘musts’ whenever we go. We didn’t get the chance to stay at The Fern Haus this trip, but we’re including it here because the design is just.so.good. We can’t wait to come back.

EAT / DRINK

  • Black MRKT Coffee
  • Boondocks
  • Bubba’s
  • Hexenbelle
  • Little Fleet 
  • Taproot Ciderhouse
  • Warehouse MRKT 

SHOP / DESIGN / STAY

  • Akin
  • Angela Saxon Art
  • Antiquities Warehouse
  • Freshwater Textiles
  • Warehouse MRKT
  • Fern Haus (Airbnb)

ACTIVITIES

  • Lake Michigan 
  • Bike & Kayak Tour
  • M22
  • Pyramid Point
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes 

Chicago, Illinois

Our list for Chicago is endlessly long, and constantly changes as new places open and neighborhoods evolve; but when we’ve got 24 hours in the city, these are our GO.TO.SPOTS. Consistent, vibey, delicious, and packed with design goodness. There are too many neighborhoods to spend time in for 24 hours, so we kept things simple this time around.

EAT / DRINK

  • Bavette’s 
  • Hoxton Hotel 
  • Momotaro 
  • Beatrix 
  • Good Ambler
  • Beatnick 
  • Au Cheval
  • Pizzeria Portofino

SHOP / DESIGN / STAY

  • Soho House
  • The Fine Line
  • Farrow & Ball
  • Montauk
  • Lightology
  • The Merchandise Mart

ACTIVITIES

  • Walk on the lakefront + Lincoln Park Zoo (it’s free and great animal watching with a cup of coffee)
  • Millennium Park Stroll
  • Chicago River Boat Cruise

Now what to pack…

Fall fashion is the most fun, we can probably all agree to that. We aren’t suggesting we are the fashionistas to follow; however, people ask us what they should pack all the time. After years in the midwest and strategizing how to appropriately dress for the minute to minute weather shifts, my go-to fall midwest packing list is pretty spot on. 😉

One carry on, five days… This line up gets us an outfit for any type of occasion, and keeps us warm and layered when we need it. 

THE ESSENTIALS

  • Two pairs of jeans: one denim and one black
  • Casual black joggers 
  • Nicer black slacks / trendy pant 
  • One body suit
  • T-shirt 
  • Tank 
  • Workout outfit

OUTERWEAR

  • Trenchcoat
  • Blazer and/or leather jacket 
  • Lightweight shacket 
  • Puffy vest 
  • Sweater
  • Long cardigan
  • Two sweatshirts: one with a hood, one without 

ACCESSORIES

  • Moto boots 
  • High top converse 
  • Tennis Shoes 
  • Ball Cap 
  • Beanie 
  • Scarf 
  • Gloves 

SHOP OUR WARDROBE ESSENTIALS

Check out our fall / winter fashion guide for more of our favorite picks for the season!

November 8, 2021

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