MSI

Hyde Park is a neighborhood eleven miles south of the Chicago Loop. I use to live there and became well versed in #6 and Jeffrey buses that shuttled me back and forth between Chicago's bustling downtown and this charming oasis. While visiting our city, take some time to explore the lively culture of our local neighborhoods, you'll be glad you did! Bring your camera and wear your good walking shoes. Let's go!

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See why President Obama calls it his home away from the White House. Find out why Aretha Franklin loves the BBQ. Explore a jazz and art scene that's frequented by Richard Roundtree and Lou Diamond Phillips. Follow me on an afternoon away from Downtown Chicago and to a beautiful place called Hyde Park.

Medici (1327 E. 57 Street)

Starting my day here means fresh coffee and homemade pastries. This pub is where a study hall meets an old English tavern. This place is frequented by University of Chicago students and locals, so it's a truly authentic way to get the neighborhood experience. The food is good, the portions are large and, best of all, it's BYOB.

Ribs & Bibs (5300 S. Dorchester)

I love the BBQ here and, when you go, you can't miss all the well-known faces on the walls. A lot of famous people and musical groups have dined at Ribs & Bibs. The place is family owned and always busy. Most importantly, the food is five-star. I always get a Bronco Burger, but the place is famous for its sauce. Thank me later!

Valois (1518 E. 53rd)

This well-known urban spoon is famous for its people watching opportunities. The place is always packed with locals and cops. The walls are lined with famous people who've dined there including Presidents past and present, famous actors, and athletes. My favorite dish is the lemon chicken with brown rice. Often times, I'll get two orders (one for the next day). Don't judge me. Once you try it, you'll be doing the same thing.

Sightseeing

There are so many shops to buy things and take back home. Creativity can be seen all over Hyde Park. Galleries, clothing boutiques, and stores that have art in the windows are commonplace here. You'll find herbal food shops. Yoga studios and small neighborhood store owners who, if you're a trained barterer, will often meet you half way on price. I always feel welcome here and my friends from out of state or abroad always feel the same.

Hyde Park Hair Salon (5234 S. Black Stone)

This famous barber shop has been President Obamas for 15 years. Today, you'll always catch small groups outside taking pictures of the President's chair, which has been encased in glass.

57th Street Beach

A good place to unwind and meditate is 57th Street Beach. No matter the season, you can sit on a bench near the sand and just take a few minutes for yourself. After you've had your moment, check out the Museum of Science and Industry and the Dusable Museum of African Art.

Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Drive)

For $15.00 you can spend all day here. It is my favorite museum in the city. Walking through the Museum, you will never feel bored. Your eyes dance the Sumba and don't stop until you depart.

Industry secret: Ask your concierge about the City Pass it saves you money on all the big attractions in Chicago. Each time you come back to Hyde Park you will see different things and have more adventures. City Pass can help guide you (and save you a few dollars).

DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Place)

Admission Adults $10, Students $7, Kids $3

This African American history museum is located in the Washington Park neighborhood, but, when you go to Hyde Park, you have to visit DuSable. To me it's a beautiful, elegant, soulful, and historical. I'm inspired by the struggle, pain and sacrifice of determined men and women, who made it possible for a generation to live, grow and succeed. Dr. Margret Burroughs and husband Charles established DuSable in 1961 and it has electric sculptures, mind blowing paintings, and more.

Hyde Park is cultural enlightenment at its finest. In Chicago, there are plenty more neighborhood adventures where that came from. I will see you on the next! Peace.