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Where to Dine, Shop & Play on the South Edge of Downtown
Neighborhood in Brief: What's old is new again as the South Loop finds itself in the midst of a rebirth as one of Chicago's most desirable places to live and explore. The diverse neighborhood, which boasts the Chicago Museum Campus, a two-starred Michelin restaurant and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, was one of the city's first residential districts before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The majority of the hotels in the area are situated along Michigan Avenue, which is walk-able to most destinations and attractions, including the Art Institute, Chicago Symphony Center, Grant Park and a host of restaurants. Street parking is challenging, but there are plenty of parking lots to accommodate vehicles. Public transportation is very accessible.
The boundaries are Van Buren Street to the north, McCormick Place to the south, and from Lake Michigan east to the Chicago River west. The South Loop neighborhood encompasses the historic Prairie District, Printers' Row... and Central Station.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Where To Stay
Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel in Brief: The historic luxury property is directly across the street from Grant Park. It's played host to a number of U.S. presidents, dignitaries, celebrities and other notables, including Katharine Hepburn and Al "Scarface" Capone. There are 328 guest rooms and four suites.
Amenities: Highlights of the Renaissance Blackstone include great views overlooking Grant Park and Chicago Museum Campus for those who obtain rooms on Michigan Avenue. There is also ample private-events space, a fitness center and accommodations for pets. There is complimentary wireless throughout the building. The Spanish-inspired Mercat a la Planxa restaurant is on the lobby level of the Renaissance Blackstone.
Room Rates: Rooms range $258-$700 a night. Book reservations right here.
Parking: Street parking is available, but scarce. The hotel offers valet parking and there are nearby public parking lots.
Address: 636 S. Michigan Ave., 312-447-0955
Additional Hotels in... the AreaContinue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Where To Dine
Acadia in Brief: The two-starred Michelin restaurant specializes in contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on popular Maine fare. Acadia has also been nominated as a James Beard semi-finalist (Best Chef, Great Lakes Region) two years in a row. Diners may make reservations for 10 or five courses, or settle in at the bar for a separate menu and craft cocktails. Menus are all seasonal.
Address: 1639 S. Wabash Ave., 312-360-9500
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04 of 06
Where To Drink
Vice District Brewing in Brief: Every Monday is reserved for non-profit organizations at this ambitious South Loop brewery opened by two homebrewers in 2014. The philanthropic duo donates profits from beer sales to local charities and participates in many neighborhood events. The taproom is set up in communal style, encouraging guests to interact with one another as they sip craft beers from the tap. From the blonde ale Pleasure Trip to the black IPA Habitual, there’s a ton to choose from, as well as pretzels at the bar and menus from surrounding restaurants if you want to order in food.
Address: 1454 S. Michigan Ave., 312-291-9022
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05 of 06
Where To Play
Buddy Guy's Legends in Brief: Dubbed "the greatest living guitarist" by Eric Clapton, legendary Chicago blues star Buddy Guy opened his eponymous downtown live music venue in 1989. Throughout the years, the bar--considered one of Chicago's top live-music establishments--has hosted a who's who in show biz. The walls document the bar's rich history, featuring autographed photos, endless awards, retired Buddy Guy guitars and more. The menu offers Louisiana-style Cajun and soul food.
Address: 700 S. Wabash Ave., 312-427-1190
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Chicago Symphony Center
National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum
REFUGE Live!Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Where To Shop
The Shops at Roosevelt Collection in Brief: The open-air, mixed-use development is home to premium national and local retailers, 342 luxury lofts, Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatre and a vibrant central park. There are local and national retailers such as Banana Republic, White House | Black Market, LOFT and Bridgeport Coffee. Take a break from shopping to enjoy unrivaled views of Chicago’s skyline from The Rooftop at Roosevelt Collection, which provides a serene green space.
Address: 150 W. Roosevelt Rd., 312-379-5994
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