Posted January 25, 2018

Three Unexpected Winter Getaways

Destinations CHI PDX DC

While everyone else is escaping to sunny vacation spots, explore bustling cities chock full of art, theatre, sporting events, shopping, dining and cocktails this winter. Here’s an urban trio worth bundling up for.

“Chiberia” has never looks more appealing.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
When the temperatures dip, the Windy City is jokingly referred to as “Chiberia” but it buzzes with indoor and outdoor discoveries.

Arts, Theatre and Laughs

Escape the cold with the Art Institute’s renowned collection. (Photo credit: The Art Institute of Chicago)

Pizza and Libations — It’s time to feast.

  • Lines stretch around the block for the new Italian outpost of Bonci (cutting its slices with scissors). Or channel Naples thin-crust plates inside the casual Spacca Napoli. For fireplaces, Italian-Med cuisine and wine are on the menu at Ella Elli.
  • Inside the design-savvy Prairie School, find artisanal sips and for cold brews, drop by Off Color Brewing’s funky space or Jolly Pumpkin Brewery which also has Detroit style pizza.
  • With tufted, leather couches and walls full of vintage encyclopedias, bibliophiles and style-hounds alike will love warming up at Vol. 39. Settle in to this classy spot, named “Chicago’s Best New Bar, 2017” by Food & Wine, and enjoy an expertly composed cocktail or tableside champagne and caviar service.

Move over, deep dish. This Sfizi ai Pomodori pizza is where it’s at. (Photo credit: Spacca Napoli Pizzeria/ Jacob Hand)

Sports and Skating

Rest your head at Kimpton’s Chicago hotels.

PORTLAND, OREGON
With its vibrant downtown and eclectic neighborhoods, Portland is a top choice for artisanal eateries, indie boutiques and music/film festivals.

Gardens and Festivals Galore

  • Kick off the Chinese New Year with a 2-week celebration of lion dances, martial arts and calligraphy at Lan Su Garden—an authentic Ming Dynasty style treasure. Nearby, the Portland Art Museum presents a behind-the-scenes look into the homegrown animation studio, Laikia, the folks behind Oscar-nominated “Coraline”.
  • Mix it up. The all-female Rose City Rollers team is a fun, rowdy spectacle.
  • The City of Roses has a banner winter festival lineup—Reel Music Festival and Jazz Festival celebrates all things tunes while the 41st International Film Festival screens worldly flicks.

Ring in the Chinese New Year with lanterns galore. (Photo credit: Lan Su Chinese Garden)

Bites and Sips — There’s also plenty to eat in the Pacific Northwest.

  • The Bon Appetit-approved Tusk doles out Mediterranean grub while the casual Mexican stop Guero serves tortas and veggie bowls. Score a reservation-only table at Mae for Southern snacks like pimento mac and cheese while the hip Korean flared Han Oak is known for its dumplings.
  • For sips, mimic eternal summer at Hale Pele with flaming Tiki drinks from waiters decked in Hawaiian shirts or nab a stool at Red Star Tavern for craft beers, libations and small plates. For the latest in bespoke cocktails and custom wallpaper, drop by Angel Face, Dame or the airy Capitol Bar (which also has karaoke).

Take the guesswork out of dinner with the “Deluxe Edition” tasting menu at Tusk. (Photo credit: AJ Meeker)

Indie-Shops and Sweets

  • Frances May sells their own label alongside Acne Studios and Rachel Comey and outdoor shop Poler Stuff stocks hats and backpacks.
  • For design, Canoe has Heath Ceramics and Noguchi lanterns and Woonwinkel carries bright blankets and textiles.
  • Let your sweet tooth guide you to Blue Star Donuts which carries kaleidoscopic flavors like bourbon and basil while dark chocolate bars reside at Woodblock.

How do you donut? (Photo credit: Blue Star Donuts)

Rest your head at Kimpton’s Portland hotels.

Washington, DC
The nation’s capital is full of history, classic art, and tasty delights.

Museums, Rinks and Tropics

Plan ahead to visit the Mall’s newest museum… Reservations at the National Museum of African American History is highly recommended. (Photo credit: Alan Karchmer)

Warm Fires, Burgers and Ramen Noodles

  • For hip, interactive (and highly-Instagrammable) art at the Southwest Waterfront, Artechouse, has glowing installations and in the evening, a cocktail bar to take you out of the cold.
  • Or warm up on Dirty Habit‘s patio with cocktails, blankets and roaring fires. On the waterfront, drop by the new seafood haven, Salt Line for oysters, lobster rolls and Chesapeake chowders.
  • Cozy up inside Union Market for a sprawl from Korean tacos and Indian food to grab-and-go gourmet or drop by and Salt & Sundry for locally curated wares.
  • Elsewhere, Lucky Buns has tasty double patty burgers with toppings from fried eggs to pickled beetroot. And for umami-packed ramen, Bantam King has you covered.

A boozy drink by the fire is the best antidote for a cold day. (Photo credit: Dirty Habit)

Rest your head at Kimpton’s Washington, D.C. hotels.

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