Chicago has a ton to offer: the highest concentration of museums in the U.S. outside of Manhattan, a majestic lake with crystal-clear turquoise waters, historic art deco architecture, and a collection of Michelin-starred restaurants that will make you never want to leave. Not to mention it's home to the iconic Wrigley Field, the infamous Bean, and the Insta-friendly Skydeck.
But knowing exactly where to stay in Chicago can come with its own set of challenges: Are you looking to spend your weekend in museums? Do you plan to try every hot new restaurant in the city? Do you want to shop your heart out? No matter your traveling style, we outlined the best areas to stay in Chicago, our favorite hotels included. Don't delay—book a trip to the windy city while it's still nice and balmy outside.
River North is also known as the gallery district. It hosts the largest concentration of art galleries in the United States outside of New York City, so you certainly won't get bored. It's also set by the river and a walking distance to Magnificent Mile, making it an ideal base to step out and explore the best of Chicago.
Stay: Pamper yourself and book a room at the iconic Langham Chicago, located in a historic Mies van der Rohe skyscraper. This hotel is luxury at its finest.
The Gold Coast holds its name well. Bordering the turquoise waters of Lake Michigan, this affluent neighborhood is made up of mostly stately residential homes and high-rise residential buildings. The area also offers high-end shopping and fantastic restaurants.
Stay: The Ambassador is the new name of Public Hotel, one of Chicago's original boutique hotels. In its nearly 100 years of existence, it has hosted anyone from Frank Sinatra to Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and David Bowie. Today, it has a younger, more relaxed vibe, but it still holds a rich history.
The West Loop is the younger, funner, and hotter loop of Chicago. Once an Italian neighborhood, it's located to the west of the Chicago River and is vibrant with restaurants and bars, including some of Chicago's best: The Girl and the Goat, The Aviary. Expect a fun and vibrant scene.
Stay: Chicago’s Ace Hotel is one of the newest from the Ace franchise. The guest rooms boast skyline views while the public areas and restaurants are vibrant with tourists and locals alike. Like any other Ace hotel, you’ll find a trusted Stumptown Coffee franchise in the lobby.
Chicago’s Loop may have the reputation of being a sleepy business district, but with the opening of the Kimpton Gray and the Chicago Athletic Association, that’s about to change. People are flocking back to Chicago’s downtown the same way they are returning to FiDi in Manhattan. Besides, you really can’t be more central.
Stay: The Chicago Athletic Association is the number one reason to stay in this neighborhood. The iconic 1893 old-world Chicago private club was revamped into a hotel and social club that also hosts Cindy’s the hottest rooftop in the city. Yet, it retains all the classic charm of yesteryear.
If you loved the romantic thriller by the same name, featuring Josh Hartnett, Rose Byrne, Diane Kruger, and Matthew Lillard (how’s that for a throwback), you may want to take residence in Chicago’s Wicker Park. The West Chicago neighborhood is famous for its live music and nightlife and houses great restaurants and the Flat Iron Arts Building.
Stay: The Robey made waves on the Chicago scene when it opened a couple of years ago. Perched top the neighborhood in an iconic art deco building, it was meticulously renovated with a modern perspective by famed Belgian architect Nicolas Schuybroek.
Next up: 98 things to do when you're bored.