Photos courtesy of Brian Cassella of the Chicago Tribune and 

The long awaited Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier finally opened yesterday to celebrate the pier’s 100th anniversary. This high-tech DW60 wheel is the only one of its kind in the U.S., and features impressive safety features, including a fortified foundation that can withstand winds up to 115 mph!

After a glitch yesterday, the Centennial Wheel is back up and running until tonight at midnight. An estimated 8,000 people have ridden the new wheel thus far.

Navigating the hustle and bustle surrounding this opening day could be a challenge – to say the least – but not to worry. We’ve created this handy guide to ensure you get to savor every moment of your Navy Pier weekend.


Start with a Bike Tour with Bobby’s Bike Hike

Getting to the pier early is essential with the unpredictable volume this weekend will bring. Beginning at 9 a.m., Bobby’s Bike Hike will get you to the area and get your blood flowing.

Grab a Beer at the LandShark Beer Garden at Navy Pier

A quick beer will soothe any nerves about the 196-ft. journey you’re about to take into the sky on the Centennial Wheel. The LandShark Beer Garden is a Navy Pier classic.

Ride the Wheel

Hold on tight! This ride is not only taller and longer than its predecessor, it’s also faster.

Savor some Seafood

For a nice bite after, check out DMK Burger and Fish Bar. The Crabby Patty, a crabcake sandwich with Old Bay mayo and pickled onion on a house-baked bun, is a timeless lakefront treat.

Finish with Fireworks

As always, Navy Pier’s fireworks are some of the best in the world, and these 100th anniversary pyrotechnics are sure to cap off your day with a bang.


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From the Encyclopedia of Chicago, “Residents of Beverly often identify their community as “Beverly Hills,” a reference to the glacial ridge just west of Longwood Drive, the highest point in Chicago.”

The historic neighborhood of Beverly is also known for its tree-lined streets and spacious homes. With tremendous natural light pouring in, this fully remodeled property at 10841 Longwood Drive features 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.


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Micro Apartments: Is Smaller Better?

Our Opinions on Micro Apartments


Micro apartments, or micro-dwellings, have been cropping up all over the Chicago area in recent years. A trend that popped up in the United States in 2013 in NYC, these teeny living quarters are gaining popularity amongst those who choose to live the minimalist lifestyle in an urban setting. Though more expensive cities like Miami, NYC, and San Francisco are digging the tiny living lifestyle, people in Chicago and Seattle are becoming a little skeptical of the whole idea. Some residents have complained that high-density micro-housing changes the character of neighborhoods, suddenly increasing demand for parking spaces and other amenities. So what’s so great about these micro apartments? Well…


The Furnishings

micro apartments

For us Chicagoans, we’re lucky enough to have Cedar Street Companies; they’ve developed several micro apartment locations around the city called FLATS (clever) that are fully furnished by CB2, IKEA, and various local antique shops. Half the battle of living in micro apartments is deciding how to puzzle-piece together a livable space without sacrificing aesthetics.

The Rent Prices

Fully furnished, renovated, updated apartments near the hottest bars and restaurants in Chicago? Let’s not scare you with how quickly those rent prices sky-rocket. BUT – a studio micro apartment at 4875 N. Magnolia Ave. can be had for $850 per month. Another benefit is the option of a Short Stay – a flexible option for travelers to pay low rent with all of the amenities for a short period of time, plus additional amenities like a sport key fob entry, cable TV and next cleaning service are available as well.

The Push to Explore


Having small living quarters can push even the most introverted of us out into the city to explore. The cabin fever is enough to force you to meet new people and find new hangout spots all over Chicago. Plus, for the workaholics, it makes sense to only pay for what you need: if you’re spending twelve hours a day at the office and just need a place to rest your head at night, micro apartments are an excellent choice.

The Amenities


Many micro apartment complexes make up for their tiny living spaces with fancy amenities like fitness centers, included wi-fi, in-unit laundry and private bicycle parking.


Although there might be some downsides to living small, clearly we’re loving the micro apartment movement. Do you? Leave us a comment below.