If you want to learn more about history, there is a range of hotels located near Chicago’s interesting museums. If you choose a hotel near Lake Michigan, you will enjoy beautiful views and a close proximity to the Museum Campus. This attraction features the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.
At the Field Museum you can see a T Rex skeleton, one the best specimens of its kind in the world. Also, don’t miss the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibition where you can see mummies and gold artifacts from this ancient civilization. Other exhibitions teach visitors more about the Earth through interactive displays and fun activities. This attraction is situated on Lake Shore Drive, with many hotel shuttle services making it easy to reach.
The Museum of Science and Industry is situated in a huge building on 57th Street, near the Loop. The Science Storm exhibition allows visitors to make an avalanche and tsunami. Also, don’t miss the You Experience, which teaches visitors more about the human body. You can check your own heart beat and pulse at this display area.
The Dusable Museum of African American History has grown from a small private collection to a large facility with extensive exhibits. There are in excess of 15,000 items on display here, including artwork as well as artifacts. This site aims to preserve the history of African people and this is also a venue for social activism and community events. The Founders’ Hall features mosaics of the people who established the museum, while the Africa Speaks displays exhibits more than 2,000 artifacts that depict the legacy of African people.
If you are travelling to Chicago on a budget, there are cheap hotel rooms available so you can save more money for attractions. In order to plan your holiday, you need to decide what your priorities and what you want to spend your money on. There is cheaper accommodation near the O’Hare Airport but, as the facility is quite far out, this makes it harder to reach the center of the city to view the various attractions.
If you want to spend more on accommodation, however, you can save money by visiting the city’s free attractions. The Chicago Cultural Centre offers free entertainment such as performances and live music, while exhibitions and art displays from international artists are also often free. This site is located on Randolph Street and can be reached by using the city’s public transport system, which is an inexpensive way of getting around. Alternately, you could visit the CenterSpace Gallery on Randolph Street to see the innovative work of up-and-coming artists.
There are more than 552 parks in the city where you can relax without spending any money. Save money by buying cheese and bread to have a picnic lunch in the park instead of eating at a restaurant. Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is an educational site with no entrance charge. Located on Halsted Street, the exhibits illustrate social issues related to the city.
Another important consideration if you have limited funds is the time of year that visit. If you travel outside of peak season you can find cheaper accommodation and stretch your money further.
Winter temperatures are extreme in the city, so fewer tourists visit during this period. However, numerous festivals are hosted during the winter, meaning you may end up paying more for accommodation if you arrive during one of these times.
Pick a hotel along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and you will be in the vicinity of upmarket restaurants as well as designer brand shopping stores. Hotel rates are more expensive in this area, but luxurious rooms will ensure that you have a comfortable night’s sleep. If you are on a budget, there are cheaper rooms a few blocks away, but still close enough to benefit from the charms of this popular area.
There are plenty of attractions to choose from, many of which you can reach with a hotel shuttle. The Chicago Water Tower is worth a visit, but if you are looking for a cultural outing, head to the Art Institute of Chicago. Grant Park is also in this area, as is one of the largest American art museums. You can see paintings by both local and international artists at this site.
If you stay in Michigan Avenue, you won’t have far to go to reach the Chicago landmark Michigan Boulevard District. This is a cultural hub boasting many attractions, such as art, theater shows and live music. If you are looking for nighttime entertainment, head to the Auditorium Theatre. You can also watch a free show at the city’s Cultural Center where performances are scheduled throughout the year.
This area is easy to get around as the CTA connects Michigan Avenue to other sites of interest. The South Shore Lines service this area and there are numerous stations located on Michigan Avenue. There is also an extensive bus network with frequent services and taxis are available.
If you choose a hotel close to the Shedd Aquarium when staying in Chicago, you won’t have far to go to find entertainment for the whole family. This attraction is located in the southern area of Grant Park, close to the Field Museum of Natural History. You will also find the Max Adler Planetarium in walking distance from hotels in this area. The aquarium and this renowned attraction draw thousands of tourists every year.
The Shed Aquarium was opened to the public in 1929, while expansion works, included the colourful Caribbean Reef, were completed in 1971. This Caribbean Reef exhibition allows visitors to see tropical marine animals up close. The huge tank is home to sharks and sting rays, among many other exciting species.
If you visit during feeding times, you can watch the divers at work and hear a commentary that provides educational information on the different marine species. The Oceanarium was built in 1991, while the Amazon Rising zone was added in 2000. The Oceanarium features Beluga whales and dolphins, and shows are held in an amphitheatre where you can watch the animals from a gallery. Visitors can see in excess of 20,000 ocean animals, and there are more than 1,500 species.
Alternately, attend a Wild Reef show to learn more about the Philippine’s coral reef ecosystem. This exhibit can be found in the building’s underground section. At the Tropical Water Gallery, you can see piranhas and iguanas.
This site is easy to reach as it is connected to Chicago’s public transportation network. To get to the aquarium via the subway, catch the red line. If you are staying in a hotel near the Shedd Aquarium, you will also be in close proximity to other places of interest such as Buckingham Fountain, Grant park and the Prairie Avenue Historic District.
The Chicago Cultural Center hosts free events and it is one of the most popular sites in the city. This attraction is located in Randolph Street, and if you stay in a hotel nearby you can enjoy music concerts, art displays and movie screenings on your doorstep. If you’re stayng farther away, it is easy to reach this attraction by renting a car or using the public transportation network. Bus routes pass the Chicago Cultural Center and taxis are also available.
The building itself is remarkable, with features including stained-glass domes and mosaics. Construction was completed during 1897 by a team of America’s best architects. The Tiffany dome, made completely out of stained glass, can be found to the south of the structure. The northern dome however, the work of Healy and Millet, has a Renaissance style.
The Chicago Cultural Center was set up at this site in 1991 to offer free events to both locals and tourists. This venue is a place for both famous and upcoming artists to showcase their work. One exhibition is Chicago Landmarks Before the Lens, a collection of photographs showing the history of the city’s well-known sites. Visitors can also see the Mist of the Earth Exhibition, which focuses on Brazil’s landscape and culture.
Tours are available during the week and there is a maximum of 20 people for each group. Private tours can also be arranged, but it is necessary to book in advance to secure a guide. The building is accessible to wheelchairs, and wheelchair loans are available on request. There is an information desk with friendly staff members, who are available to answer any queries on exhibitions and events. If you really plan to make the most of this attraction while in Chicago, make sure you stay close by.
There are plenty of reasons to choose a hotel in the Loop neighborhood, as there are numerous interesting attractions in the area. Architectural enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the Art Deco structures and modern buildings, the latter of which reflect current architectural trends. The Sears Tower is worth a visit just for these reasons, and it is also a venue for live music and markets.
If you are in Chicago to shop head, to State Street, which is also part of the Loop community. This street is packet with shops and boutiques, as well as department stores and markets. The Retail Historic District is also worth a visit if you’re looking to pick up the latest fashion trends and classic designer outfits.
For nighttime entertainment, go to one of the colorful theatres, which come alive with performances and dancing shows. The Millennium Park and Chicago Cultural Institute are located also in this area; the latter offers free events and art exhibitions.
Art-lovers should visit Grant Park, one of the biggest art museums in the country. In addition, visitors to the city can enjoy outdoor artwork by famous artists and sculptures like Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder.
Don’t miss the beautiful lakefront, which is the perfect spot to take photographs. The tranquil setting offers a suitable backdrop for the free music shows, which are held here during the warm summer months.
The Taste of Chicago festival is an annual food event where you can sample dishes from 70 different chefs. All year-round, however, tourists can go for a boat ride along the Chicago River and enjoy various informative tours. The river is dyed green every year to celebrate St Patrick’s Day!
There are numerous hotels in the vicinity of the Navy Pier, and booking a room here means you will be able to access one of the city’s most popular sites. The Navy Pier, situated at the edge of Lake Michigan, was constructed in 1916. It was designed by Daniel Burnham and first used as a cargo facility.
Attractions include the Ferris wheel, which was constructed in 1893 as part of the World Fair. If you go to the end of the Navy Pier, you also can visit the Stained Glass Museum, which has no entrance fee. The items on display here date back to the 1990s.
In the evening there are fewer tourists on the pier and the city lights add to the ambiance of the area. If you are on a budget, eat before you go, as food prices are high.
The pier is located in the Near North Side neighborhood, where there are plenty of other attractions on offer to those who choose to stay in this area. The Children’s Museum, where the activities are both fun and educational, is a good place to take the whole family. There is also an IMAX theatre and a popular flower and garden show in the area.
Visitors can go on tours, such as evening river cruises, which allow you to see the city from a different perspective. Events and festivals, such as Strictly Sail boat show, are also hosted at the pier throughout the year.
There are many reasons to book a hotel in the River North neighbourhood of Chicago, but art lovers especially will not be disappointed by the many nearby exhibitions. You can take a gallery tour of the area to see the many different art forms on display, including paintings, performance art and sculptures. Art fairs, where you can purchase a unique memento of your trip, are also held regularly.
The River North was originally the industrial part of the city, but many factories closed down during the 1970s. The empty buildings were purchased and renovated to make them suitable for rental, and soon artists and people on lower incomes started to move to the area. Since then, River North has become a cultural hub and a popular bohemian hngout for both locals and tourists alike.
Specialty stores and furniture shops are in a multitude in the River North area. In addition, the neighbourhood has a vibrant nightlife scene, so you won’t have to go far to find a place where you can relax and sip cocktails or dance the night away. Franklin Avenue is a well-known party street, but if you don’t find something suitable here, you can try Hubbard Street.
The area is serviced by the city’s public transportation network; if you are using the EI, catch the Brown Line and disembark at Chicago Avenue. If you need to find your way around, it is easy to familiarise yourself with the layout of the neighbourhood as it is divided into four sections: the Gallery District, Contemporaine Building, Kingsbury Park and the Design District.
Chicago is a great place to visit with children as there are plenty of activities to keep your whole family busy. It is important to choose the right hotel, however, as some establishments are more suitable for families than others. Considerations to be taken into account include the location and amenities of the hotel.
Hotels near Michigan Avenue are a good option, as there are numerous things to do in this area. The Art Institute, located here, offers an educational outing that everyone will enjoy. The Navy Pier is also worth a visit, and the Chicago Children’s Museum is of course a hit with youngsters. Alternately, you can spend the whole day at the Grant Park, which boasts a museum, aquarium and planetarium. Restaurants in this area are also suitable for family dining.
Many hotels offers adjoining rooms that are suitable for families, and some establishments offer packages, which make sightseeing in groups more affordable. Special offers may include complimentary meals and discounts on ticket fees for popular attractions. Also check out the onsite restaurant to see if it offers children’s meals and room service.
During winter, temperatures can get very low in Chicago, so it is important to check that your hotel is close to public transportation networks if you’re not planning on renting a car. Some hotels provide complimentary transportation, so you can avoid the hassle of waiting for buses during the cold winter months.
Chicago’s Old Town is located in the near North Side residential area, close to Lake Shore Drive and Clark Street. If you take a stroll in the neighborhood you can spot Victorian architecture that dates back to the 19th century. If you choose to stay in a hotel in this neighborhood, there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area.
Sports fans can head to Wells Street to watch matches and drink a beer at one of the bars on this road. You don’t have to go far for entertainment, as there are comedy shows at Second City. Party lovers can dance the night away at the bars on Rush Street, while other options for a night out are the establishments on Division Street.
If you are visiting in June, don’t miss the Old Town Art Fair, which is an annual event. One of the country’s longest running art fairs, it was first held in 1950. In the beginning the public was permitted to enter art pieces, but since then a selection committee chooses the artwork that is displayed at the event. The committee aims to select high quality work from a range of mediums and genres. Visitors can also watch live music shows, and there is an activity area to keep children entertained.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in the Old Town and visitors can find unique products in the boutique stores. Options include Sara Jane and Vagabonds, which sell clothes for women and men. Speciality shops also sell a range of items such as homemade paper, spices and books.