They’ve traded their tie-dyes for lab coats, and instead of peddling grilled cheese sandwiches on Shakedown Street, they’re selling computer software. But Deadheads of a certain age from all over the country will descend upon Chicago July 3–6 for three nights of sold-out Grateful Dead shows at Soldier Field. So what’s a Dead fan to do in Chicago? Well, we’ve got the tips: from late-night munchies to the hippest hippie attire, Chicago is a prime spot to serve the Dead’s devoted followers.
Sleep Near Soldier Field
A boutique hotel just a stone’s throw from Soldier Field and the adjacent Grant Park, the Langham boasts river and city views, a restaurant serving seasonal American cuisine, and modern accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms won’t come cheap, but you cannot beat the convenience. 30 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, 312-923-9988
Shop Your Style and Sound
Two stores in one, Architectural Revolution is as a “feel good Zen” store. Its owner travels the world to bring customers incense and incense accessories, ethnic masks and handmade jewelry. Its sister store The Alley houses the former, as well as items devoted to a counter culture such as graphic t-shirts and other wearable messages. 3228 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-752-7837
Have dreams of strumming like Jerry? Head up to Lincoln Avenue to the Chicago Music Exchange, which prides itself on its knowledge of used and vintage guitars, not just in Chicago, but worldwide. Guitar enthusiasts will swoon in the store’s guitar showroom, featuring everything from Gibson guitars to a Fender Custom section. 3316 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 888-686-7872
For those really looking to embrace their hippie style, this store is worth a visit. Located in suburban Lake Zurich, it’s a “hippie general store” that features a vinyl record collection, rock memorabilia, patchwork clothing, and any and everything tie-dye. Want to up the ante on the hippie look? Throw in a locally made hemp necklace. 708 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich, 847-550-9999
Late Night Eats
Nothing says, “I just saw the Grateful Dead” like a bad case of the late-night munchies. Thankfully, there are plenty of low- and high-brow food options right around Soldier Field, so you won’t need to travel far.
Foodies should head straight to The Gage, a pub with delectable such as mussels vindaloo, fish and chips, and brie fondue. The restaurant is open until at least 2 a.m. 24 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-372-4243
No visit to Chicago would be complete without a Chicago hot dog. Look no further than Devil Dawgs, where you can feast on a classic dog or satisfy a more daring craving with a “taco dawg” or “hot green chile-cheddar dawg.” Move over Cherry Garcia and make room for milkshake flavors such as Caramel Salty Pretzel, Hawaiian Pineapple and Latin Beat. 767 N. State St., Chicago, 312-583-9100
Since the Grateful Dead’s last concert (featuring the now deceased Jerry Garcia) at Soldier Field in July 1995, the Chicago Art Institute has opened its Modern Wing, a world-class architectural form in itself designed by Renzo Piano, featuring works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
After taking in the great works of modern art, take a stroll on the Nicholas Bridgeway to Millennium Park, one of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s crowing achievements. From there, visit the Lurie Garden, the Crown Fountain and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-443-3600
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