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brittany schmidt

Chicago Girlfriend Getaways

ALL THAT GLITTERS A visit to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without stopping in one of the city’s renowned museums. From Oct. 23, 2009 – March 28, 2010, Chicago’s Field Museum welcomes visitors to its cool new exhibition, The Nature of Diamonds. The Field’s group sales department (312-6657300, fieldmuseum.org) has designed an immersion itinerary around the exhibition with women of all ages in mind. Suggested group excursions: • Take a walking tour of the famous Tiffany domes of Chicago • Create your own sparkle – beaded necklaces, earrings or bracelets with a jewelry-making expert • Learn about the “Four C’s” of diamonds with a diamond buyer • Enjoy a South African wine lunch or dinner at Lawry’s The Prime Rib • Relax with a private champagne tasting and presentation • Indulge in a luxurious spa treatment GREEN GIRLFRIENDS North Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile offers a huge variety of fine retailers, restaurants and hotels. Girlfriends 46 August 2009

Gal groups like downtown Chicago.

GRN nail and facial therapies were designed to combat the adverse effects of environmental toxins on the skin while promoting relaxation and rejuvenation. Customizable group packages are available. (945 N. State St., 312-753-6500; exhalespa.com) Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. Architecture cruises (through Nov. 22) showcase some of Chicago’s most beautiful and famous buildings. The company embraces a comprehensive program to limit the environmental impact of its cruises. Its three vessels use 11 percent biodiesel fuel and recycle used oil, batteries, beverage containers, cardboards and papers. Brochures are printed on recycled paper and cruise maps are recycled as guests disembark. (Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, 847-358-1330, cruisechicago.com)

free-range naturally fed beef, biodynamic wines and more. Of course, the 2008 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence doesn’t hurt either. (200 E. Chestnut St., 312-280-5454, saloonsteakhouse.com) NoMi Lounge and Garden in the Park Hyatt. This is a fabulous place to sip on some organic cocktails while waiting for reservations, meeting up with friends or just taking a few moments to kick back. The lounge’s signature drinks are crafted with organic vodka from Peak Spirits in Colorado and fresh-grown produce from Harvest Moon farms. (800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030, nomirestaurant.com) Exhale Spa. Exhale’s GRN (Grow, Restore, Nurture) product line is an ecoconscious, paraben-free skincare line that produces visible results while honoring Exhale’s dedication to sustainability. The

TRENDY TREASURES For those hip ladies who live to shop, the Belmont area can’t be beat. A short trip north of downtown, Belmont offers a great range of trendy, fashion-forward shops anchored at the intersection of Clark Street and Belmont Avenue. Shops offer a wide variety of clothes, accessories and other gear for any style you can think of. Favorites include The Alley, Tragically Hip, Pink Frog, Fashion Tomato and Hollywood Mirror. There are plenty of specialty shops selling used books, posters and gifts. Restaurant choices for those allday shopping jaunts include Ann Sather, the Swedish restaurant famous for its brunch menu; Philly’s Best, specializing in Philadelphia-style pizza and sandwiches; Shiroi Hana, a reasonably-priced sushi restaurant; and Giordano’s, featuring Chicago’s deep-dish pizza. LGT

will have no trouble enjoying this fashionable area in a totally eco-friendly way. Consider the following: Saloon Steakhouse. Enjoy an earthfriendly dinner at one of Chicago’s greenest restaurants. Saloon Steakhouse uses re-usable table coverings, energy-efficient lighting, recycled menus and to-go paper,

© City of Chicago/GRC

THERE’S NOTHING AVERAGE about today’s woman. She works hard and takes care of her family, whether that means plants, pets or children. She does it all. So why would she expect any less from a getaway with her girlfriends? From Lake Michigan to the Magnificent Mile to that hidden local hotspot, Chicago is a great destination for any group of women looking to relax, have fun and create some fantastic memories. Here are a few options:

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Chicago Girlfriend Getaways