Hi there. My name’s Theresa, and in 2002 I started a little neighborhood guide to River North in Chicago called The Local Tourist.
Over the years it grew. And grew. And grew. It covered Chicagoland. Then U.S. travel in general. In 2015, I moved all of the Chicago stories to The Local Tourist Chicago, and the travel stories stayed on The Local Tourist.
Having two separate websites with essentially the same names and distinct content and missions was confusing. It’s confusing to me and I built the darn thing, and I know it’s confusing to my readers, associates, and clients.
It was time to reconsider, to rebrand. And now, we can! Traffic to both sites has plummeted to the point where it’s almost nonexistent because people can’t go anywhere. While that stinks, there’s a silver lining: this is the perfect opportunity to become Your Chicago Guide.
Now, the question is, when your mission is to highlight things to do and people can’t do those things anymore, what do you do?
You publish what you can do.
As I began the transition from The Local Tourist Chicago to Your Chicago Guide, I wasn’t sure what that would look like. People can’t go to museums right now, and they can’t eat out, and they can’t listen to live music, and they can’t take that painting class or visit the theater.
Except, they can. We can. Because when told we can’t, we find a way.
Museums are inviting people to explore their collections online, restaurants are offering curbside service, musicians and theaters are streaming performances, and skills are being taught through virtual classes.
While the news is filled with stories of loss, there are also countless acts of generosity and kindness. People are realizing that we’re interconnected and community matters. Those that can are helping others. We’ll get through this together, we say.
And we will. We are.
Re-branding and launching a site that’s all about exploring a city during this time may seem like an exercise in futility. But, you know what? I see it as an opportunity. Your Chicago Guide can be everything The Local Tourist Chicago was and more.
How? Here’s what you can expect:
- Our events calendar makes it easy to find virtual events and restaurants offering curbside pickup and delivery.
- We open a window into Chicago’s past with the stories that have shaped this vibrant urban landscape.
- We’ve got tips on how you can explore Chicago while safe at home.
- We’ll be highlighting locals and the people and places that make Chicago great.
- Our Facebook group will be a vessel for connection and community, providing another outlet for people to share what’s positive.
Your Chicago Guide is a happy place, a site you can visit when you need a break from drama, when you want to read something entertaining and, often, uplifting, and even when you’re looking for something to do.
We’ve also got all of the advice and guides written over the years on TLT, so when we can explore again, we’ll be ready.
Welcome to Your Chicago Guide.