10 Rad Spots To Take A Selfie In Chicago

Photographed by Grace Willis.
Ah, your smartphone — that magical device you rely on for texting, tweeting, and, er, calling people. But, let's not forget one of the most popular ways you use portable technology: the selfie. Come on, we all do it. From basking in the sun on vacay to butting heads with your ladies on a Friday night, these DIY portraits have become a social-media mainstay.
But, make no mistake: You need not be on an incredible vacation to take a stellar solo snap. To prove it, we sent R29 photographer extraordinaire Grace Willis to show you 10 awesome spots for taking a killer selfie in Chicago. From an oh-so-refined high tea at the historic Drake Hotel to a Midwestern replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, there is no photo opp left unturned. So, even if you're camera shy, it's about time you said "cheese" at one of these iconic spots. It's an insta Instagram upgrade.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
The Palm Court in the Drake Hotel
Everyone from Princess Diana to Queen Elizabeth has hobnobbed in the regal surroundings of the Palm Court — but you need not be royalty to enjoy it, too.

The Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Place (at Michigan Avenue); 312-787-2200.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
When it comes to afternoon tea service, it doesn't get much better than the offerings at the Drake. Photo opportunities abound at this landmark hotel, from the harpist to the gilded surroundings to the towers of tea sandwiches and sweets. Just don't forget to wipe the crumbs from your mouth first.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Leaning Tower of Niles
Yes, this exists outside of Italy. Located in the suburb of Niles, the replica of the famed Pisa tourist attraction is actually a repurposed water tower, which was designed way back in 1934. It may be half the size of the original, but that doesn't stop folks from gawking — or taking pictures.

Leaning Tower of Niles, 6300 West Touhy Avenue, Niles; 847-647-8222.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Bonus points for tricking your friends into thinking you actually went to Italy — perfetto!
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Because standing among 106 pairs of legs seems like the perfect place to take a selfie. Not to mention, snapping one in front of the Bean is just a little too predictable.

Agora, Corner of Michigan and Roosevelt.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, these towering nine-foot sculptures can inspire some seriously creative shots. Or, you can just look freaked out like Grace.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Auditorium Theatre
If there's one word to describe this National Historic Landmark theater it would be stunning. Home to the Joffrey Ballet and host to countless theatrical and musical performances, this cultural institution is a must-visit for every Chicagoan.

Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway (between Wabash Avenue and Dearborn Street); 800-982-2782.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
If you really want a memorable selfie, don't take it from your seat. Instead, sign up for one of the auditorium tours (Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and noon, and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.), and you can capture your mug on the stage in true starlet fashion. The cost of the tour is $10, but your snap will be priceless.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Oak Street Beach
Chances are, you're going to spend a lot of time here this summer. So, when visiting the Gold Coast, take advantage of this wild and crazy wall art before heading to that beach volleyball game.

Oak Street Beach, 1000 North Lake Shore Drive (at Michigan Avenue); 312-742-5121.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
There are plenty of interesting backgrounds to choose from, whether you go with the painted birds or freakishly large hands. Just don't forget your sunnies!
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Union Stockyard Gate
While it may not be the most glamourous selfie spot in our mix, it certainly is the most historic. Designed by John Wellborn Root (of Burnham and Root) back in 1875, this gate serves as one of the only remaining footprints to Chicago's once thriving meat-packing industry. Look closely: The bull at the top pays homage to Sherman, a prize-winning beast owned by John B. Sherman, the superintendent of the yards.

Union Stockyard Gate, 850 West Exchange Avenue (at Halsted Street).
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Yup, kinda brings back memories of reading The Jungle in high school.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
No matter how many new watering holes pop up in Chicago, the Green Mill never loses an ounce of charm — glitzy exterior sign included. In fact, this place still feels as cool as it did when greats like Von Freeman were playing the sax.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, 4802 North Broadway Street ( between Gunnison Street and Racine Avenue); 773-878-5552.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
So, who's ready to go swing dancing?
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
A snap with Mr. and Mrs. Hot Dog (or shall we say, dawg) with the glowing red eyes? An absolute must. If the selfie existed back in the day when this carhop establishment first opened (1948), we have a feeling this eatery would have still made our list.

Superdawg, 6363 North Milwaukee Avenue (between Nagle and Highland Avenues), Norwood Park; 773-763-0660.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
You didn't think we'd suggest you take a selfie without getting something to eat, did you?
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Uptown Theater
This grand, '20s-era movie-palace-turned-music-venue may have closed its doors in 1981, but its stateliness still remains. Wanna know what it looks like inside? Be sure to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction, when it comes out this summer.

Uptown Theater, 4816 North Broadway (at Lawrence).
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
You are here.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Lakeview East Signage
If East Lakeview is the 'hood you call home, then you must take a snap in front of this retro-looking signage.

Lakeview East Signage, the corner of Broadway and Oakdale on the north-east side.
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Photographed by Grace Willis.
Tip: It's across the street from Cesar's (home of the killer margarita!), so it's worth a stop even if you're just sweeping in for some Mexican fare.

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