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Thompson Hotels Chicago X Daniel Kelleghan


Hello everyone! My name is Daniel Kelleghan and today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite spots in Chicago. I’ve lived in the Chicagoland area my whole life and still call it home when I’m not traveling for work. And that reminds me, for work I’m an international photographer that specializes in shooting architecture, people, and everything in-between. Check out my top picks & photos below.

Millenium Park - DK photo

millenium park

I know what you’re thinking: Such a basic answer, right? Wrong! I am still in awe when I go to Millennium park, especially for outdoor concerts. If you’re lucky, you can even catch the CSO practicing during lunchtime. I mean, what goes better with a sandwich and soup!?  It should also be noted that if you can find a vantage point looking over Millennium park, go to it. The views are outstanding- it’s so easy to forget how amazing it looks from above! If you’ve already been to Millennium park, try going to places that are less traveled- ditch the bean for the gardens of the art institute. I also love the Harris theater- It’s a hidden gem!

Winchester- DK Photo

the winchester

All I have to say is, avocado toast. It would be my last meal if I had to choose! Everything else on their menu is stellar and this place is perfect for a Sunday brunch, or a weekday work sesh. It effortlessly transitions from cafe to bar, because we both know your annual reports go by faster with a Manhattan in hand. Aesthetically this place is a dream. It’s really clean and white with wood accents and makes for a great Instagram cameo. The servers are down to earth and will happily entertain even the most mundane conversations…

Lake Michigan - DK photo

the lakefront

I have to include the lake, or as I call it, Michigan Ocean. I mean hey, if you can’t see the other side, it’s an ocean, right? This place has been a point of refuge for me ever since I moved to Chicago. I use it to unwind from my day, throw a Frisbee around, and cool off after a nice long run. It makes Chicago winters bearable (barely) by making the summers that much better. There’s simply no comparison, except for maybe a real ocean 🙂


plein air cafe 

Plein Air Cafe is located in Hyde Park, which you may or may not consider a hike from downtown Chicago- but don’t be fooled! This place always has a great feel to it and the location is incredible (it’s next to a Frank Lloyd Wright home!) The coffee is great, and the food is superb. You sometimes have to wait for a table on the weekends but it’s totally worth it for the Pleasant Pies! During the week it’s a great place to hole up and get some work done. And like everything on this list, it photographs very well which is essential! Be sure to take a walk around the University of Chicago Campus when you’re sipping your coffee- it’s a really unique place with amazing architecture and personality.

Daniel Kelleghan Studio 2

daniel kelleghan studio

A list of my favorite spots wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the place where I spend most of my time- my studio! Located in Pilsen, it’s just the perfect blend of natural light, minimal interior design, and functional photography studio. It’s also a great spot for entertaining- I’ve had parties with DJ’s, I’ve got a great stereo (essential for me!), and a projector for an awesome movie theater experience and photo shoot experimentation. It’s been my precious project since august and I’ve put so much time and sweat making this place what it is today and I’m very proud of it!

Daniel Kelleghan Studio