Hyde Park is an up-and-coming neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, an area beloved by visitors and locals alike. Home to the Hogwarts-like University of Chicago, complete with a bustling campus life, there are so many things to check out - you could easily spend a day getting a taste of what it has to offer. Here's what an ideal visit to Hyde Park might look like.
Transportation: Metra or 6 Bus
Coming from the Loop, the easiest route to Hyde Park is from Millennium Station. There are several Hyde Park stops to take the Metra depending on which part you'd like to start. Another option is taking the 6 bus that runs express to Hyde Park from the Loop.
Brunch: Valois (1518 E. 53rd St.)
As you're probably already well aware, President Obama used to teach at the University of Chicago. If you like Valois (American comfort food), then you're kindred breakfast spirits, as it's a cafeteria he used to eat at EVERY DAY. Grab a tray and order - and make sure you bring some cash because they don't accept cards!
Shopping: Seminary Co-op Bookstores (5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.)
Since we're talking about visiting a neighborhood that features a campus, you might as well pick up some educational materials while you're there. The Seminary Co-op Bookstore is a large independent bookstore owned by its members. They have many special events on a weekly basis so check the schedule on the website before your visit to see if you can get in on one!
Entertainment: Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Drive)
Of all the amazing museums in Chicago, The Museum of Science of Industry is one of my favorites. Where else can you find a submarine, robots and trains all in one place? If getting hands-on with science is something that excites you (or your kids), this museum is a must-do. And if you're an Illinois resident - check out Choose Chicago's list of free museum days, and spend your extra cash on a delicious dining experience.
Dinner: A10 (1462 E. 53rd St.)
Named one of Chicago's 2015 Michelin Bib-Gourmand winners, A10 is worth the trip to Hyde Park without considering any of the other options on this list. A10 has done Groupon offers in the past (as well as participating in the annual Chicago Restaurant Week and Chicago Chef Week), so plan accordingly for big savings. They have some great daily specials worth mentioning and they sell their homemade pasta in local stores and markets if you can't get enough.
Bar: The Pub (1212 E. 59th St.)
The Pub is located in the Ida Noyes Hall on the University of Chicago campus. I don't know how normal it is to have a pub on campus (my University had some pretty strict rules for alcohol in campus buildings), but that's not even the most interesting thing about The Pub. In order to gain access to The Pub, you must accompany a University of Chicago student, staff or faculty member who already has a membership. A visitor's day pass is $3, but becoming a (temporary) member of a "secret" club is priceless.
Chicago locals - are there any must-hit spots we missed in Hyde Park? Let us know in the comments!