Autumn is nearly here, and a crisp breeze off Lake Michigan is bringing the most romantic season to the Windy City. From steaming cups of coffee and cocoa to iconic cultural hot spots to elegant dinners, Chicago easily provides a date-worthy day on the town, and there’s no better home base for exploring the city than the new Downtown Chicago apartments at NEMA. Keep reading for our guide to creating the ideal fall day for love, all centered around the luxury homes at NEMA Chicago on the southern end of Grant Park.

Start your morning around the corner at Little Branch Cafe for a delicious beverage and a tasty breakfast treat. Since 2007, Little Branch has been serving fresh cafe-style meals and drinks to the South Loop. Grab a healthy wrap or a decadent stack of pancakes and snag some patio seating for a cozy beginning to the day.

Once you’ve fueled up, head north along Michigan Avenue, with Grant Park on your right and the stretch of high-end shops and restaurants known as The Magnificent Mile, which you’ll find on both your left and right side. This historic corridor connects Chicago’s fine dining and shopping with its wealth of lakeside cultural institutions, including the photogenic Cloud Gate (also known as “The Bean”) and the Art Institute of Chicago. Snap a picture of your beloved beneath The Bean before heading into the Art Institute, which has adjusted its entrance and exhibition policies to accommodate social-distancing guidelines. Recreate the famous scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in front of Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte or head to the special exhibit Monet and Chicago, which is just the latest in a century-long series of artistic exchanges between Paris and the Windy City.

After an afternoon on your feet, it’s time to close out the evening with a special dinner and an evening spent enjoying the skyline from the privacy of your NEMA Chicago home. First, head to The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant for a reserved patio dining experience reminiscent of the finest Chicago chophouses of yore. Exquisite cocktails and decadent appetizers like oysters Rockefeller precede the epic main courses, which include classics like surf and turf, as well as specialties, including a roasted half chicken and a legendary meatloaf, all cooked to perfection and served on plates decked with sumptuous sides.

All that’s left is a short stroll back home through the gathering dusk, a quick elevator ride to your luxury home, and the pop of a champagne cork. Then settle yourself and your beloved on your private deck, champagne flute in hand, looking out over Lake Michigan and the city.

Intrigued? Head over to the NEMA Chicago website and schedule an in-person or virtual tour today before putting that Downtown Chicago date on the calendar!