Launch your next Chicago trip with this essential guide to its most popular neighborhoods

Chicago is known as the Second City. But with vibrant dining, culture, arts and history options, it’s clear Chicago should come first on any Spring or Summer travel list.

Whether you prefer arts and culture, seek out sports and entertainment, live for shopping or have a taste for the culinary scene, Marriott Bonvoy hotels are conveniently poised as a launch pad for any adventure. 

With more than 30 brands to choose from, Marriott Bonvoy provides an idyllic destination for any type of Spring or Summer Chicago escape. From a luxurious couples’ getaway to a wellness-centric ladies’ retreat to a budget-friendly family vacation, Marriott Bonvoy is committed to exceeding expectations and helping you and your loved ones create unforgettable experiences. And when it comes to service, Marriott Bonvoy Hotels go the extra (Magnificent) Mile.

Plan your Chicago adventure with help from this neighborhood guide. But whatever you choose to explore in the Windy City, Chicago Always Delivers.

Situated in the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, Raised, an Urban Rooftop Bar, is the perfecting setting to gather for happy hour or celebrate a special occasion.

The Loop

At a glance: Named for the circle that the elevated train follows around the neighborhood, The Loop is the heart of downtown. It’s home to a wide range of theaters, museums, parks and public art, with award-winning culinary destinations in between. 

See the spots: Take the requisite photos at Cloud Gate—aka “The Bean”—and the Crown Fountain, with towering 50-foot projections of real Chicago citizens. Also visit Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, home to festivals like the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.  

Take in the culture: The Loop features the storied Art Institute of Chicago, with thousands of works from around the world, as well as natural history institution the Field Museum, home to Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. 

Savor the flavors: Avli on the Park honors Chicago’s rich Greek history with modern, upscale Greek food in an intimate environment. 

Seeking a rooftop bar for your evening itinerary? Marriott Bonvoy’s Chicago hotels have you covered for your Windy City weekend escape.

Raised, an urban roof cocktail bar in the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, pairs locally sourced, snackable dishes and craft cocktails with views of the Chicago River and the surrounding skyline. 

Situated near museums and across from the park, Grant Park Bistro in the Le Meridien Essex Chicago serves contemporary American food, and because it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s an ideal spot for kicking off or winding down your day—or taking a break while sightseeing. 

Rest and recharge: Stay at one of the neighborhood’s Marriott Bonvoy hotels, with a range of price points, styles and amenities perfect for any type of traveler.

The Blackstone, Autograph Collection 
JW Marriott Chicago 
Le Meridien Essex Chicago 
Marriott Marquis Chicago 
Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel 

“Patio SZN” is here to stay! The Shore Club on North Avenue beach welcomes guests all summer long with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and elevated fare inspired by the Mediterranean.

Streeterville & River North

At a glance: Next-door neighborhoods Streeterville and River North are bursting with shops, restaurants, history and culture, and anchoring it all to the east is the ultimate Chicago sight: Lake Michigan. 

See the spots: The legendary Magnificent Mile is a shopping wonderland, with over 400 retailers. But you’ll also find public art, iconic architecture, sightseeing opportunities and many coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

It’s easy to spot Navy Pier from a distance, thanks to the 200-foot Centennial Wheel. But look closer and you’ll find shopping, culture, food and access to waterfront cruises and tours. Navy Pier also hosts firework shows every Wednesday and Saturday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

Whether you embark on a river adventure or prefer to take in the views, you can’t go wrong in Chicago. The Sheraton Grand Chicago has expansive views of the Chicago River into Lake Michigan.

See the city sights from the water as you kayak or paddleboard the Chicago River. Guided tours, classes and equipment rentals are available. 

Scenic Lincoln Park houses a conservatory, lakefront views and the nation’s oldest free zoo. Surrounding the park are tree-lined streets with historical architecture, quaint boutiques and charming restaurants. 

The trail along Lake Michigan is a must for any visit. Rent a bike and beach-hop from Oak Street Beach to North Avenue Beach to Montrose Beach as you pedal north on along the lakefront.

From a budget-friendly stay to a luxurious retreat, Marriott Bonvoy’s unique hotel brands in Chicago provide the idyllic couples’ urban staycation.

Take in the culture: Located on Michigan Avenue, the Museum of Contemporary Art houses one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary art, with new and experimental works in all media. 

Built in 1914, Wrigley Field is the second-oldest ballpark in the country. Take in a Cubs game, or schedule a tour of the Friendly Confines for a closer look. 

Savor the flavors: Helmed by celebrity chef Fabio Viviani, Siena Tavern offers modern, from-scratch Italian food and drinks in an upbeat and trendy atmosphere. 

Resident robots Leo and Cleo add to the immersive scientific-inspired interior design at the EMC2 Hotel, Autograph Collection.

For an extra-unique dining experience, enjoy a carefully crafted dish at contemporary restaurant the Albert, located in the unconventional EMC2 Hotel. (Stop by the front desk to meet the hotel’s beloved resident robots, Leo and Cleo.)

Seeking a rooftop bar for your evening itinerary? Marriott Bonvoy’s Chicago hotels have you covered for your Windy City weekend escape.

Rest and recharge: Escape the hustle and bustle at one of several Marriott Bonvoy hotels in the area, which provide an oasis in the middle of the city—while making sure the action is never too far away. 

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile  
Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection 
Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk 
The Talbott Hotel 
Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago 
Aloft Chicago Mag Mile 
Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North 
Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Mag Mile 
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Loop 

Shopping, entertainment, public art and parks make Chicago’s suburbs a must-see destination during your travels.

The Best of the ‘Burbs

At-a-glance: There’s nothing sleepy about the Chicago suburbs, as these enclaves are filled with opportunities to stay and play before or after you fly out of Midway or O’Hare International Airports – or a standalone visit to experience Chicagoland like a local.

Just north of the city, The Village of Rosemont is home to trendy—and budget-friendly—Fashion Outlets of Chicago; intimate performance and music venue Rosemont Theatre; and new Pearl District commercial area. It also Plus, it has Parkway Bank Park, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment venue with 15 restaurants, indoor skydiving, bowling, live music and more—all surrounding the great lawn, which hosts seasonal events. Finally, Benchmark restaurant, located in the Westin O’Hare, serves upscale, chef-driven American cuisine in a cool but casual environment.

West of Chicago, Schaumburg is an arts and culture hub. Catch a performance or festival at Prairie Center for the Arts, or explore the Chicago Athenaeum International Sculpture Park, with 20 acres of public art. Or visit Woodfield Mall, an outdoor shopping complex with top retailers, restaurants and entertainment.   

Known as the crown jewel of Naperville, the Riverwalk is a two-mile stretch of brick paths, fountains, public artwork, recreational areas and riverfront dining that makes the southwest suburb a popular destination.

Quaint Lincolnshire features the tranquil Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, home to rare species, beautiful natural areas and 6.5 miles of trails. The area is perfect for families, thanks in part to Park-King Skill Golf and miniature golf course that’s far from small. 

Bring the kids for some urban exploration and relaxation in Chicago this summer to Marriott Bonvoy’s diverse portfolio of hotels.

Rest and recharge: Marriot Bonvoy is well represented across the Chicago suburbs, bringing comfort, style and service anywhere that your travels take you. 

Chicago Marriott Midway 
Courtyard Chicago Waukegan/Gurnee 
Courtyard Chicago Highland Park/Northbrook  
Courtyard Chicago Lincolnshire 
Chicago Marriott Naperville 
Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Schaumburg 
Four Points by Sheraton Chicago Schaumburg 
Marriott Chicago O’Hare
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel 
Springhill Suites Lincolnshire 
TownPlace Suites Chicago Lombard 
Westin O’Hare 

This article has been supplied by Marriott Bonvoy Hotels of Chicago, a paid advertiser. The editorial staff of Chicago magazine had no role in this post’s preparation.