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Chicago (Illinois) Hotels and Apartments
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Chicago Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Chicago
From 5-star riverside lodging to bohemian-chic rooms for backpackers, Chicago has accommodation options that’ll speak to all holiday budgets. Whether you’re wanting somewhere with multiple on-site facilities, or just somewhere to lay your head, this is a city that has all preferences covered.
Found along the Great Lakes shoreline, Chicago attracts hundreds of thousands of travellers each year, eager to absorb themselves in the city’s music scene, iconic architecture and cultural attractions. It’s a city that’s loved by the whole family, making it the ideal destination in the USA for a getaway to remember.
Where to stay
Whether you’re short on time or just want to be in the middle of everything, the Loop has got you covered. Home to the city’s iconic skyscrapers, this central business district overflows with chic and stylish hotels for your holiday, with only short walking distance from many of the top sights - from the Art Institute of Chicago to Grant Park.
For a touch of luxury on holiday, there’s nowhere better to head to than Chicago’s Gold Coast. Hotels are typically high-end, but there are also some affordable mid-budget accommodation options too. During the warm summer months, Oak Street Beach is popular with locals and tourists wanting a quiet place to soak up the rays - and during the winter months there’s even an annual Polar Plunge, where hundreds of people jump into the freezing water for charity.
Brimming with a diverse range of restaurants and quirky vintage shops, the Westside of Chicago offers a different perspective. A good option for travellers who like to get more out of a destination than the traditional tourist spots, the Westside offers authentic Chicago charm in abundance. Pilsen is an area that’s particularly loved by offbeat travellers, with colourful murals dotted around the streets and independent coffee shops rustling up delicious hot beverages.
What to see
Skydeck Chicago is the first port of call for many first-time Chicago visitors. From the 103rd floor you can get your bearings; on a good day you’ll even be able to lap up views extending out to four different US states. Skydeck also has the iconic clear observation boxes which you can step into if you’re feeling brave! Another unmissable sight is Cloud Gate, the reflective ‘bean’ sculpture that can be found in Millennium Park. It’s great for selfies with a difference.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile pedestrian stretch that takes in river views and heaps of entertainment. Along the way you have the option to grab a snack, enjoy a drink in one of the bars, or even step out onto the water with a kayaking tour.
Chicago is full of things for the whole family to enjoy on holiday. There’s Navy Pier, a year-round destination that’s home to plenty of rides, games and restaurants. There’s also the Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Children’s Museum - not to mention the variety of other museums to hand, including the Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago History Museum.
From roaring clubs to quirky live comedy, Chicago’s nightlife has just about everything. Whether you’re after a party that goes on until the early hours of the morning, or just fancy a casual drink downtown with some friends, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. You’ll find a sizeable offering of evening entertainment dotted around the Magnificent Mile - expect everything from hip cocktail bars to craft breweries, rooftop bars, jazz clubs and live music venues.
What to eat
If you don’t try an authentic slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza, have you really been to Chicago? One thing’s for sure - you don’t have to look far for a place to buy some cheap and tasty pizza. Chicago-style hot dog is another firm favourite, with the secret being in the rich and tasty toppings: expect everything from yellow mustard to chopped onions and spicy sport peppers.
Comfort food is a Chicago crowd pleaser, with fried chicken and doughnuts being unmissable snacks to try before you fly home from your holiday. Accompanied by its selection of local vendors, Chicago French Market is also worth swinging by. It’s open every day apart from Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Home to almost 500 retailers, the Magnificent Mile is the place to be for serious shoppers. Whether you want to pick up some gifts for loved ones back home or want to treat yourself with something special in the designer boutiques, you’ll find just about everything along this stretch of road.
There are even three shopping centres to keep you busy! For collectables and bargains, pop by Maxwell Street market on Sundays. As well as clothing and offbeat home pieces, you’ll also be able to lap up some Mexican and Latin street food.
Fast facts about Chicago
Direct flight time: 9 hours from London
Transfer time: Around 34 minutes
Time zone: GMT-5
Currency: American Dollars
Average price of a domestic beer: $3.86
Average price of a bottle of wine: $16
Destinations in Chicago (Illinois)
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Chicago (Illinois) Reviews
24 June 2011
Barry Trump, Newcastle UK
Fantastic city. NY, NY with manners
15 July 2011
Chicago beats New York for a city break.
Rob Anderson, Bedford, England
New York will always be special to me, as it was the location of my first trip to the States in 2000. However, I'd choose to go back to Chicago over NYC. It's quick & easy to get about on foot, the river is a great viewing point for the city's stunning architecture, and the lakeshore offers a further dimension. Shopping opportunities are many and various, and the range of restaurants and bars offers something for everyone, whilst the vibrant music scene is sensationally eclectic.
The best thing about my stay was ...
A photographer's dream