Gather the Gals: Girlfriend Getaways on the North Shore
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Gather the Gals: Girlfriend Getaways on the North Shore

Take a break from everything that’s going on and grab your best gals for some well-deserved R&R. Tell your college roomie to come up for a visit or text those local pals who are itching to find cute fashions with a side of frosty Frosé. Your girlfriends getaway itinerary is a breeze to put together with delightful distractions in shops, restaurants, and other fun stops. Getting out and about in the woods, gardens, links, or lakefront in Chicago’s North Shore will help you reconnect with each other, clear your heads, and work up an appetite

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female friends having ice cream


You may as well start with tasty treats from Kneads & Wants (8042 Lincoln Ave.). Those carbs will come in handy so you can cover shopping galore at Westfield Old Orchard (Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd.). With big names like Bloomingdales to small finds at North Shore Exchange, everyone in your squad will discover treasures. While there, treat yourself to a mani pedi, a fresh blowout or get fully zen with a massage or body treatment from Mario Tricoci. Insanely large margaritas from Uncle Julio's or the frozen rosé phenomenon, Frosé, from The Hampton Social (Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd.) provide a boost for a walks through the woods in Harms Woods or the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park.

L: Hampton Social, Skokie; R: Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie
L: Hampton Social, Skokie; R: Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie


A dose of fruits and veggies in the new line of juices from Three Sisters Juice at Found (1631 Chicago Ave.) will amp up a day out. Book “EyeHancement” services like a brow or lash tint at Dawn Skin Studio (828 Davis St., Ste. 102) located in Downtown Evanston. Shop retail stores along Main Dempster Mile like Secret Treasures (605 Dempster St.) and Ten Thousand Villages (915 Chicago Ave.); Downtown Evanston’s artsy duo of Ayla’s Originals (1511 Sherman Ave.) and Artem Popup Gallery (1627 Sherman Ave.); and Central Street with Stella (2116 Central St.), Raven & Dove Antiques & Gifts (1810 Central St.), and Notice Accessories for Living (2112 Central St.). Eat al fresco at Peckish Pig (623 Howard St., Evanston), Cupitol Coffee & Eatery (810 Grove St.), or Ten Mile House (1700 Central St.). Cap it all off with craft cocktails to go from Ward Eight (629 W. Howard St.) or a walk along the soothing lakefront

Evanston Beach
Evanston Beachfront Biking


The self-guided hikes through the River Trails Nature Center (entrance at 3120 Milwaukee Ave.) meander through a natural wonderland of forests, wetlands, and woods with habitats for an astounding variety of birds, plants, and wildlife. After a morning on the trails, grab bites from Grill House (3061 Dundee Rd.), a Greek hotspot with salads or wraps, dogs or grinders. You’ll need some of that fuel to shop stores at Northbrook Court (1515 Lake Cook Rd.), home to Neiman Marcus, H&M, the free-standing 36,000-square-foot Crate and Barrel Home Store, and so much more.

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook


The Glen Town Center (Patriot Blvd. at Navy Blvd.) is a truly pleasant way to spend a summer’s day. Put together cool new “lewks” from boutiques like Apricot Lane or department stores like Von Maur. You can complement new duds by stopping in for a skin rejuvenation session at Skin Deep Med Spa. Fuel up with Poke Nachos, entrée salads, and craft beers at Yard House or classic cocktails, signature burgers, and a choice of 300(!) whiskeys at Oak at the Glen. Your day out can wrap with a tasty cup of gelato for dessert from Your Pie and a stroll around the walking path that circles the petite lake adjacent to the center.

L: The Glen Town Center, Glenview; C: Oak at the Glen, Glenview; R: Your Pie, Glenview
L: The Glen Town Center, Glenview; C: Oak at the Glen, Glenview; R: Your Pie, Glenview


Spend a glorious morning or afternoon taking in the scent of the flowers and trees blanketing Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd.; preregister for timed entry). Shop at BlackSheep General Store (346 Park Ave.) with its curated selection of affordably-priced home decor, stationery, jewelry, toys, bath and body goods, and more. Or hunt for treats from the one of the best luxury consignment shops around, North Shore Exchange Glencoe (372 Hazel Ave.). You’ll all be more than ready for dinner and some fine wine at Guildhall Restaurant (694 Vernon Ave.) with their herb-basted Grand Banks Swordfish or Valor (667 Vernon Ave.) for a Smoky Mezcal Margarita with Steak Frites dressed in Cognac Sauce au Poivre.

L: Blacksheep General Store, Glencoe; R: Valor, Glencoe
L: Blacksheep General Store, Glencoe; R: Valor, Glencoe


A foodies and shopaholics paradise, Winnetka is your go-to spot for taste sensations and gorgeous goods. Fancy bevvies and bistro fare—like the Avocado Toast Sampler—are divine outside at 501 Local (501 Chestnut St.). You can hop next door for a food demo from Chef Bruno at Tocco (507 Chestnut St.). Spend the afternoon getting great gift, home, and fashion ideas and goodies at some of the finest boutiques on the North Shore: Maze Home (735 Elm St.), skändal (907 Green Bay Rd.), Mattie M (990 Green Bay Rd.), and Ellen’s on Elm (847 Elm St.) just to name a few. Ending your excursion on the outdoor patio experience from Michael Lachowicz's Aboyer (64 Green Bay Rd.) will be a delicious and memorable experience.

L: 501 Local, Winnetka; R: Mattie M, Winnetka
L: 501 Local, Winnetka; R: Mattie M, Winnetka


Keep it close with cute, compact power shopping in the Northfield Village Center area. As the adorable boutique that channels “Energy, Nature, Attitude and Zest” for life, ENAZ (309 N Happ Rd.) has outfits and accessories that are fire. Polish off that new style and up your sandal game at Lori’s Shoes (311 N Happ Rd.). You can relax and gab over a casual lunch at The Happ Inn Bar & Grill (305 Happ Rd.). Surely prosecco goes with the Happ Inn’s Famous Guacamole just fine. Top it off with an afternoon kayaking all around the Skokie Lagoons (canoe and kayak rentals available or BYO-…K?).

Skokie Lagoons (entrance on Tower Rd., Winnetka)
Skokie Lagoons (enter on Tower Rd., Winnetka)


Get out on that green and hit a round of golf at Traditions at Chevy Chase Country Club (1000 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The championship course that fans out across rolling hills and beautiful fairways is private but has no membership requirements. Turn down a cobblestone drive for your scheduled outdoor Wine By The Glass tasting at Lynfred Winery (971 N. Milwaukee Ave.). After a day of fresh air and a winery, Italian fare on a patio is almost a given. Feast at Wheeling's Saranello’s Restaurant (601 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Go casual or wrap up the evening at Spears Bourbon Burgers Beer (723 N Milwaukee Ave.).

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