Ok, students...class is in session. Today, we're going to learn all about the wonderful world of Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago, the Obama family (at one time) and some of the city's most unique spots.
Best of the nightlife
Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap
This Hyde Park pub has been a haunt for locals and University of Chicago students since 1948, and it houses a motley crew indeed. It's the sort of place where you'll see a 50-something clad in denim fist-pound a 20-something with an afro, listen to tales of the latest Facebook drama or sit next to a weary Englishman fresh off the plane.
Good for groups
Seven Ten Lanes
It seems like this bar, overloaded with activities and a huge menu, is singlehandedly attempting to make up for Hyde Park's lack of nightlife options. The main room, with a forest of tables and TVs aplenty, is capped off with a sizable bar that dishes out a wide selection of drinks, including multiple varieties of Goose Island. The menu of bar food, served until 11 p.m., offers stick-to-your gut favorites like quesadillas and a great catfish sandwich. If that's not enough, there's a whole room devoted to pool ($12 an hour) and another devoted to bowling ($16 an hour).
Hyde Park Gyros
Despite the simple name, this family-run spot has a menu that will make you sweat. From burgers and hot dogs to salads and barbeque, you'll need a specific craving or a lot of time to make your selections here. Add to the menu the long list of daily specials (from two chili cheese hot dogs for $4.10 to a pizza puff for $3.50) and you'll see that this place is all about options.
Where to chill
Smart Museum of Art
An artistic and intellectual force among the city's many art collections, this museum on the University of Chicago campus houses some 9,000 works that span more than 5,000 years. One of the collection's many strengths is its commitment to the work of Chicago artists such as Ed Paschke and other Imagists, as well as newer emerging artists working in this city. It hosts a series of ongoing free events (aligned with the daily free admission to the galleries) including lectures and tours.
A rocky peninsula that provides the perfect place to gaze across the lake or sunbathe on a summer afternoon, the Point was designed by Alfred Caldwell in the Prairie School Style of architecture and opened in 1937. With a ring of terraced stone steps leading into the lake, it seems like a natural extension of its surroundings. It's even beautiful in winter, when it takes on a frosted appearance with the first snowfall of the year.
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