Travel Guide: Chicago

Traveling to a new city can be overwhelming. You want to make certain you hit the best restaurants and sights to ensure you are getting the best experience. Today we begin a series highlighting cities around the United States and showing you our tried and true favorite spots. Today’s spotlight is one of our favorite cities: Chicago.

 What to Do

Chicago is a city that works hard and plays hard. As a visitor, an important factor in determining your activities is definitely going to be the time of year that you travel! Chicago in January is very different from Chicago in the sweet summertime. Either way, you won’t have trouble finding things to do in the nation’s “Third Coast.”

Check out a Local Festival – Chicago hosts different themed street festivals all throughout the summer. Each festival features local food, music, and entertainment.

Museums – Chicago is home to a multitude of world-class museums and attractions like the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium all are great experiences for people of all ages.

Beaches – Chicago may not be known for its luxe and pristine beaches, but the view of the magnificent skyline while you dip your toes in the sand can’t be beat. Head out to North Avenue or Oak Street Beach on a warm day and soak up some sun.

Music – Chicago has deep roots in the music scene. Check out the House of Blues or take Chicago’s famed “L” train north to the Green Mill Jazz Lounge for a night you won’t forget.

 Where to Stay

Chicago is a large city, both population and area-wise. A central location is important when choosing a hotel in Chicago. We’ve chosen three all located in areas in walking distance to both attractions nearby, and public transportation access.

Cambria Hotel-Theatre District – Located in Chicago’s downtown “Loop” this hotel offers a great location for your centralized hub while visiting Chicago. The hotel is near great shopping and all major public transportation.

The Drake- A Chicago classic, this hotel is located right off the “Magnificent Mile” and near the lakefront. The luxurious grandeur of its 1920s design will transport you to another time for a wonderful stay.

Soho House Chicago – A boutique hotel with only forty rooms, Soho House is located in Chicago’s booming “West Loop” neighborhood. Featuring a rooftop pool reserved for hotel guests and club members, it’s perfect for an adults-only weekend getaway.

 What to Eat

Everyone knows Chicago for their deep-dish pizza, but the city has so much more to offer! From local pubs to Michelin starred restaurants, Chicago has a lot to options.

Big Star-With locations in both Chicago’s Wicker Park and Wrigleyville neighborhoods, this converted garage is now home to extremely flavorful and delicious tacos and other modern Mexican food.

RPM Italian-Owned by power couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic, you may think it’s all about the tourist hype. But, the fun atmosphere, delicious pastas and appetizers will blow you away for a night that will make everyone happy.

EL Ideas- If you’re a true foodie looking for a meal unlike many others, EL Ideas is the place for a unique dining experience. It’s off the beaten path, but it’s a true adventure for those looking for an exceptional dinner you won’t forget.

As always, before you travel or make any travel plans, log-in to FACT to save on car rentals, hotel reservations, or entertainment discounts.