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Valerie
Los Angeles

Chicago

What's the best neighborhood in Chicago for a first time visitor?

I've never been to Chicago and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Chicago is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!


9 Answers

answered by
Roe from Philadelphia

Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Lincoln Park (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Atul from Chicago

I would suggest you to stay in Downtown Chicago, since public transportation is very convenient. Google map will show train/Bus routes.You can go both airports from downtown by taking train and all attractions are accessible.Try Hotel.com or kayak,you will find them for $100 range.If you can rent a car,them there are many options of staying in suburbs like Arlington Heights and commute to downtown.


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Arlington Heights (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Dabs from Chicago

Most of the hotels are concentrated in one or two areas, you won't find a lot of options out in the neighborhoods.  I too would recommend looking in River North and would try to stay closer to Michigan Avenue so you have more options for transportation if you want to visit other areas of the city.  There are a ton of restaurants and bars in River North, good access to the main shopping areas of the Mag Mile and State Street, an easy walk to most of the theaters


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. River North (neighborhood)
1 thanks


answered by
Lauren from Chicago

For a good central area for a first time visitor I would stick with River North - there is so much to do and see within walking distance and you have easy access to everywhere else. There are so many fantastic hotels but I would probably recommend The Langham, Chicago (high-end luxury), Thompson Chicago (new and trendy with great staff), Acme Hotel Company Chicago (fantastic location, very hip), or The James Chicago Hotel (boutique hotel right in the hear of River North) . 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. River North (neighborhood)
  2. The Langham, Chicago (hotel)
  3. Thompson Chicago (hotel)
  4. Acme Hotel Company Chicago (hotel)
  5. The James Chicago Hotel (hotel)
1 thanks


answered first by
Will from Chicago

If you want classic, then you should head to Drake Hotel which is right near Lake Shore Drive in River North.  Most of the nightlife, shopping, and beaches can be found in River North.

If you want to be close to the museum campus and the classic Chicago downtown, you'll want to stay at either Virgin Hotels Chicago or new The Chicago Athletic Hotel (http://chicago.curbed.com/tags/chicago-athletic-association).  The Chicago Athletic Hotel recently just opened and they used to be the most exclusive gym in Chicago.  The history of it is amazing.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Drake Hotel (attraction)
  2. River North (neighborhood)
  3. Virgin Hotels Chicago (hotel)
1 thanks


answered by
Jose S from Antioch

If choosing hotel by priceline / hotwire, i would choose Millennium Park or Magnificent Mile areas.  That will put you in the heart of the downtown and within walking distance to many of the cities tourist attractions and restaurants.  Generally i take visitors to:

1. union station and its grand hall

2. Willis Tower

3. Millennium Park / The Bean "The Bean"

4. Navy Pier

5. Michigan Avenue

6. Wrigleyville


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Millennium Park (attraction)
  2. Magnificent Mile (attraction)
  3. union station (attraction)
  4. Willis Tower (attraction)
  5. Navy Pier (attraction)
  6. Michigan Avenue (attraction)
  7. Wrigleyville (neighborhood)
  8. The Bean (attraction)


answered by
John

Years ago I would have said River North. Now I'd add South Loop.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. River North (neighborhood)
  2. South Loop (attraction)


answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Old Town Chicago


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Old Town (attraction)


answered by
Rockland from Chicago

Valerie that all depends on what scene you're into. Every neighborhood has different demographics and scenes. If echo park is your thing in LA then Wicker Park would be very similar( hipsters). If your into hanging out around college age suburbanites go to Lincoln Park, or Wrigleyville right outside Wrigley Field. Catch my drift? Seriously though you'll have fun in most neighborhoods, there just different. Do a little exploring. Go to one and if you find it lame, catch a cab and head somewhere else 😀


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Wicker Park (neighborhood)
  2. Lincoln Park (attraction)
  3. Wrigley Field (attraction)




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