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Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

230 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60601

4.0 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (5,249 reviews)

On Michigan Avenue and across from Millennium Park, this rock-inspired hotel occupies the 36-story, Art Deco-style Carbide an …

£99
Loews Chicago Hotel
Loews Chicago Hotel

455 North Park Drive, Chicago 60611

4.5 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5 (672 reviews)

Located in Streeterville, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building. Navy Pier and …

£112
Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago
Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago

701 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (7,564 reviews)

Located on Michigan Avenue in the middle of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, this 1920s Italian Renaissance hotel is surrounde …

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DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile

300 E Ohio St, Chicago 60611

3.5 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (4,112 reviews)

Located in the northern part of downtown, Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile is 2 blocks from Magnificent Mile shopping an …

£70
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago 60611

5.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (1,551 reviews)

Located in Near North Side, this family-friendly Chicago hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wrigley Building and Tribune Towe …

£259
Celeste Celebrity Suites
Celeste Celebrity Suites

68 E Cedar St, Chicago 60611

4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gold Coast, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of John Hancock Center and Chicago Water Tower. Tribune Towe …

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The James Chicago
The James Chicago

55 East Ontario Street, Chicago 60611

4.5 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (3,097 reviews)

Right on Magnificent Mile, The James Chicago puts guests in the middle of Chicago's famed shopping district filled with …

£114
Virgin Hotels Chicago
Virgin Hotels Chicago

203 N Wabash Ave, Chicago 60601

4.5 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (1,036 reviews)

Centrally located in downtown Chicago’s Loop business district, this upscale hotel is a 10-minute walk from the iconic Bean …

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Swissotel - Chicago
Swissotel - Chicago

323 E Wacker Dr, Chicago 60601

4.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (3,586 reviews)

This triangular, 43-story glass hotel is across the street from the Chicago River, 3 blocks from the lakefront running path …

£95
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

20 E Chestnut St, Chicago 60611

4.5 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5 (3,545 reviews)

Located 1 block from Rush Street nightclubs, Oak Street shopping, and the Magnificent Mile, this 32-story Gold Coast hotel is …

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Pocket Guide: Chicago

With its famous skyline of tall buildings, and its breathtaking natural surroundings, the Midwestern metropolis of Chicago is a truly dramatic location. Home to the highest skyscraper in the Western hemisphere, the Sears Tower, yet close to Lake Michigan, a body of water bigger than some European countries, the Windy City is a place where urbanisation meets nature.

"The Windy City"

The channelling of strong gusts between Chicago's skyscrapers may make it seem like it's windier here than anywhere else in the US, but there's another reason why Chicago is nicknamed the Windy City. Chicagoans are crazy about sport, from the Chicago Bears (football) to the Blackhawks (hockey) and the Bulls (basketball). Nearby Cincinnati is equally competitive and the term Windy City was probably first used by Cincinnati newspapers covering the rivalry between the two cities.

Reaching for the Sky

Chicago is known for its architecture, not at all surprising when you consider that 10 of the 50 tallest buildings in the world are located here. The Illinois capital has been at the forefront of progressive architecture and tall buildings since the late 19th century when large parts of the city were rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1871. While two of the most prominent buildings, the Sears Tower and the Aon Centre, date back to the 1970s, the boom continues. Donald Trump's luxury apartment complex was completed recently and the 2000-foot Chicago Spire is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

It's not sheer height alone that makes the city's architectural face so interesting; some of America's greatest architects have left their mark on Chicago, including Solon S. Beman, Walter Burley Griffin, and perhaps the greatest of all, Frank Lloyd Wright. A Chicago Card gives you admission to the city's best-known skyscrapers and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Society, and includes architectural walking tours.

Chicago and the Arts

One of the best-known American paintings, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, is exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago. Next to Hopper, the museum houses an impressive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and American paintings. Also worth a visit is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which focuses on visual art from 1945 to the present day with emphasis on surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography, and works by Chicago-based artists.

Chicago is serious about culture and you'll find museums dedicated to everything from Swedish-American life to Science and Industry. A definite must-see for young and old is the Field Museum - home to "Sue", the world's largest and most famous Tyrannosaurus Rex. To get a comprehensive overview of what the city has to offer, opt for a half-day sightseeing tour, which includes museum admission as well as a trip up Hancock Tower to see the city from above. However much time you spend exploring during the day, make sure you keep some time aside for a night out in Chicago. It's not called the home of the blues for nothing, and venues like the Chicago Blues Bar on North Halsted pay tribute to that seven nights a week.