Welcome to my blog

Hello! Thank you for checking out my blog. I am a native Chicagoan who is still living in the city. I am an explorer and a city girl at heart. Always have been. My role as a certified tour guide, leading private walking & driving tours covering the amazing history, art & architecture of Chicago for the last ten years as a part-time freelancer, has inspired my blog.

I share the random & not-so-random adventures I’ve had in this big, beautiful city I call home. Covering uniquely Chicago things to do, from the Blues to bridges, I hope to enlighten visitors and locals alike of interesting things to do. From must-see landmarks to historic, hidden neighborhood gems many locals don’t know about. I am naturally curious, so I am still exploring, discovering & sharing my discoveries, such as hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are typically BYOB. Btw, Did you know Chicago has over 6,000 BYOBs? I know, right?! Crazy but so awesome.

There is so much to do here. Chicago has an incredible variety of museums that will satisfy many travelers’ tastes. It also has many (77!) diverse neighborhoods to explore. I’ve covered a few and will continue to do so. If you love your neighborhood, email me or leave a comment. You can give me a tour, and I’d be happy to feature you. It always helps to get insight from a local.

Are you looking for must-do things when visiting Chicago? Check out my guides for recommendations for all seasons. Though summer has better weather, it is more crowded, so don’t pass up coming here other times of the year. Well, maybe not during a pandemic or in February. LOL I’m a snowbird so I won’t be available.

People ask me all the time how/why did I become a tour guide? Growing up on the city’s southwest side, I fondly remember, as a child piled in the station wagon with my siblings, coming downtown to Buckingham Fountain & Ohio St Beach/Olive Park after ice cream (Rainbow cone!) on Sundays. Both places have spectacular backdrops of the city. Or perhaps it was heading north on Lake Shore Drive (fondly referred to as LSD), peeking through my fingers that covered my eyes while rounding the dangerous S-curve? It was frightening & exhilarating at the same time. I like to think that these experiences were early inspiration for me to become a city girl.

After college, I moved to the north side. I was thrilled to be closer to the lakefront and all the cultural activities available without having a car. Luckily this is possible since Chicago has good public transportation. Also, definite environmental & financial perks of being carless.

Professionally, I am a recovering graphic designer. As a creative person, I am naturally drawn to the art & architecture prevalent in the city. While I was an Art Director, I took classes to become a docent with the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). In exchange for the education from local experts, you volunteer to give walking tours. It was a great distraction from a stressful job AND helped me get over my fear of speaking in front of crowds.

After about five years as a docent, I realized my interest in tourism and became a part-time freelance tour guide. I work for many different tour companies and cover a variety of routes. One of the best things about being a tour guide is meeting & connecting with amazing people from all over the world!

What kind of routes do I offer? Go to toursbycitygirl.com to check them out. Check back often since I will keep adding different routes. Perhaps I will offer a food tour? Stay tuned. I also offer personalized custom tours. Email me with some advance notice at mimi@toursbycitygirl.com.

As a proud, lifelong Chicagoan, I enjoy showing off my city’s world-renowned art, architecture & fascinating history. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. If so, please leave me a comment & subscribe to get updates.

I look forward to our next adventure!

I am a partner with Choose Chicago and a long-standing member of CTPA (CTG – Certified Tour Guide)

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