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Hotels in Chicago (Illinois, USA)

Hotels in Chicago

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Chicago: The Greatest City in the Midwest

Are you looking for your next adventure in the city? Then check out Chicago. The third largest city in the U.S., trailing behind New York and Los Angeles, the “Windy City” is a force to be reckoned with. There is something for everyone to enjoy on a trip to Chicago, and with a great public transportation system you’ll have no problem seeing all the city has to offer. Although there are four distinct seasons, and the winters are not for the faint of heart, entertainment will always be at your fingertips no matter the weather.

Always be in ‘The Loop’…

When you visit Chicago, you may want to sleep near all the action. Finding a hotel downtown, or as locals call it, ‘The Loop’, will be your best option. There are an abundance of hotels, hostels and motels that will fit your travel needs in the area. The best options are the hotels that offer all of these perks and are still affordable. One perfect example of this is the Fairmont Chicago; it’s in the heart of some of the best places in the city. If you stay in this hotel, you’ll be able to walk to popular attractions. You’re a five-minute walk from the famous Millennium Park and a ten-minute walk from the Magnificent Mile, as well as many restaurants.

Another good affordable option in The Loop is the Best Western Grant Park. This hotel has its own restaurant and a coffee bar. You would also be conveniently located to many of downtown’s main attractions, by foot.

… But Being Out of ‘The Loop’ is OK Too

If sleeping amongst the hustle and bustle is not your thing, there are also great hotel options in quieter neighborhoods. The Chicago South Loop Hotel is located in the Bronzeville District, near the McCormick Place but a quick bus ride will bring you downtown in no time. If you’re looking for a luxury hotel, the Palmer House a Hilton Hotel is one of the most historic hotels in Chicago. It offers two well-known restaurants, a spa and health club, and a beautiful venue for weddings. Outside of the hotel, you are close to shopping, more restaurants and transportation is right outside of the hotel’s doors.

Chicago’s Lawn is an Expansive Green Space

Your vacation itinerary must include a trip to “Chicago’s front yard”, also known as Grant Park. Constructed in the heart of the city, much like New York’s Central Park, Grant Park is home to many of Chicago’s well-known sites. The sites include Millennium Park, the Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Maggie Daley Park. Grant Park is so huge, you could spend a whole day exploring the park by itself.

Museum Campus: Engross Yourself in History, Science, and Sports

On the southern end of Grant Park, you’ll find the Museum Campus, home of some of the best museums in the city. This includes the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. Solider Field, home to the Chicago Bears, is also a part of the Museum Campus. If you’re a fan of nature and greenery, Grant Park has tons of it. After leaving the Museum Campus, walk the trails and take in the flowers, especially during the warmer seasons. There is also lots of artwork constructed throughout Grant Park, which is worth seeing.

Music Festivals and a Larger than Life Water Display

As you make your way through the park, in the center you’ll find the Buckingham Fountain. The Buckingham fountain is one of the world’s largest fountains and it’s a great hangout destination for tourist and locals. Grant Park also hosts the annual Lollapalooza music festival and as you continue on your way, you’ll run into the spot where they host the famous summer concert. But if you prefer something a little more classical, the Grant Park Music Festival is an annual 10-week classical music concert series. On the central, western edge of Grant Park, closer to Michigan Avenue, you’ll also run into the Art Institute of Chicago. You should definitely take a tour and view the great artwork.

Spend the day in Millennium Park

Located on the north-western end of Grant Park, you’ll find Millennium Park. There is so much to do in this portion of the park it could stand alone and best yet, it’s always free. While you’re here, you must see the Crown Fountain and visit the Lurie Garden. Jay Pritzker Pavilion is also located here, and it’s often known to host local musicians during park hours. Don’t forget to take a picture under the “Cloud Gate”, while you’re in the area. Although, locals will definitely know you’re tourist if you don’t call it the “Bean”. Finally, before you leave stop by and view the beautiful gardens of Maggie Daley Park, this area is dedicated to the former mayor’s late wife. During the winter months, you’ll also be able to ice skate along the “Ice Skating Ribbon”.

Walk the Mile and End up at the Pier

For you shoppers, walk the long strip of North Michigan Avenue to an area known as The Magnificent Mile. ‘The Mile’ is filled with some of Chicago’s authentic boutiques, name brand stores and restaurants. The Water Tower Place is at the end of this shopping excursion, and it’s the most visited mall in the city. Everything you can imagine is found in The Water Tower Place.

After a few days of shopping, you must include a visit to Navy Pier. This is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks and you can spend an entire day here if you desire. Take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel and visit the other outdoor attractions. View a play indoors or catch a 3D movie at the IMAX Theater, or dine at one of the well-known restaurants with drinks. If you’re really up for an adventure book tickets for one of Navy Pier’s many cruise lines. Enjoy food, drinks and dancing, while you cruise around Lake Michigan and view Chicago’s Skyline. Although these cruises can be enjoyed during the daytime, they are fabulous at night.

Indulge in Chicago’s Local Fare

As far as food goes, whatever your taste, Chicago has it. While it’s home to a plethora of international restaurants, before you leave, you must try two local foods. The first is a decadent deep-dish pizza. The deep-dish is only one type of Chicago-style pizza but if you love cheese, you are in for a treat! For authentic deep-dish pizza, both Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s make the list, although there are many other options as well. The next is a Chicago-style hot dog. The authentic Chicago hot dog is an all-beef frank topped with yellow mustard, onions, sweet relish, dill pickle, tomato, peppers, and a dash of celery salt - and no ketchup! Both local dishes will go a long way after a day of exploring.

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