Where to Stay
Chicago is a neighborhood city. It is comprised of a ton of different areas through the city that all have their own unique personalities. The neighborhood you choose to stay will probably be based around what kind of a trip you are looking to have. Touristy, artsy, sporty, nature-friendly... We have something to suit every need!
- The Magnificent Mile, which spans along Michigan Avenue, is where most tourists tend to flock. The Mag Mile is where you will find all of your typical "big name" retail stores, The Hancock Building, Water Tower Place, many iconic buildings, and plenty of hotels and chain restaurants. Overall, it is a very touristy area with beautiful architecture and lots of people.
- The Loop is where you will find a lot of theaters, more big name retail stores, and some chain restaurants. It is a great place to walk around and see a show; however, because most of Chicago's businesses are located in this area, it tends to shut down around 7pm.
- River North is where some of the younger crowd tends to hang out. You will find plenty of trendy restaurants, clubs, and bars in this area. It close enough to the river and Magnificent Mile that you can enjoy it without the full feeling of being a tourist.
- The Gold Coast is known for being a residential area (mostly old money) and it is a lovely place to wander around to see the townhouses and brownstones. The Waldorf Astoria is located near an area of town called the "Viagra Triangle", which is a great place to hang and people watch. It is also a hop away from the beach! Streeterville is also around this area and located just east of the Mag Mile. You'll find some museums and restaurants around here, but it is mostly residential.
- Old Town is another trendy residential area for "yuppies". There are many sports and pub-like bars in this area. The iconic Second City theatre is also located in Old Town.
- Lincoln Park is a great area of town if you love being outdoors because there is Lincoln Park (free), Lincoln Park Zoo (also free), the beach, and tons of cute streets that have local boutiques, restaurants, and bars. (Personally, my favorite neighborhood...)
- Lakeview is another residential area of town, but also has a ton of local places to eat, drink, and shop. Wrigleyville is located on the north part of Lakeview, which is where you will go if you want to see a Chicago Cubs game. There are plenty of bars around the area to check out if that is your scene. Boystown, our well-known LGBT area, is located in Lakeview and has really amazing places to eat, drink, and walk around.
- Bucktown and Wicker Park are known for being the artsy and creative parts of town. It is full of culture and unique places to shop (especially if you like thrifting/vintage) and see. Jam-packed with local restaurants and bars to enjoy, as well as little small theaters to see shows. Since it is so walkable, it is a great place for warmer months.
- The West Loop is a really up-and-coming neighborhood that is just west of the river and Loop (duh...WEST LOOP). It is home to long street of chic, new restaurants called "Restaurant Row." If you are a foodie, this might be the spot you want to hang around.
- Other notable mentions: Logan Square, Andersonville, Pilsen, Little Italy, and Ukrainian Village. All great areas of town, not touristy at all, and all contain wonderful local places to eat, shop, and drink.