Neighbourhood Feature: The Loop

The Loop is one of 77 small neighbourhoods making up the city of Chicago.  It’s known as the business hub of the city, but there is much more to see than just high-rise office towers. Here is a quick guide to exploring the heart of Chicago.

We also have guides to exploring more Chicago neighbourhoods, including River North and Wicker Park

Start your day with brunch high above the city at Cindy’s Rooftop Restaurant. The restaurant has an open-air concept that adds to the already stunning view of the Chicago skyline. The outdoor terrace overlooks Millennium Park and stretches as far as Lake Michigan. Cindy’s is located atop the recently transformed Chicago Athletic Association building that now includes a hotel, residential and student accommodations. This property is one of many historic buildings that have been restored to preserve Chicago’s architectural heritage.  

If you have been to Chicago, chances are you’ve passed by the big shiny piece of architecture named Cloud Gate, which is affectionately known as “The Bean”.  The structure is made of highly-polished stainless steel plates that are meant to reflect the Chicago skyline but doubles as the perfect place to take a selfie.

The Bean is located in Millennium Park, a 25-acre green space that was initially planned in 1997 to celebrate the new millennium, which is how it got its name. The park is the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic, take in some local art or catch a show at the amphitheatre.

Chicago Theatre

After exploring the park, grab a coffee at a beautiful café, make your way to N. Michigan Avenue and head towards the Chicago River. In the middle of the bustling downtown district, you’ll find the interesting contrast of the slow paced-boats as they cruise along the channel.

The Chicago River

Once you’ve had your share of boat-watching by the river, continue towards the lakeshore. On the way, make a pit-stop for a quick bite at Shake Shack – River North. Even if you’re not a burger lover, you have to try the crinkle-cut fries and shakes. We promise it is worth the calories, especially after a day of exploring the city on foot.

Crinkle cut fries and milkshake at Shake Shack

Continue your journey north of  The Loop, towards the Navy Pier; an expansive space covering 50 acres of land with a park, garden, restaurants, shops, and attractions. 

The beach at Navy Pier
This way to Navy Pier!

You can’t miss the oversized Ferris wheel that can be seen from a distance as you approach the Pier. It’s 45-metres to be exact and was inspired by the world’s original Ferris Wheel built in 1893 on the same site when Chicago hosted the 1893 World’s Fair.  If heights are not your thing, check out the mini-golf course, funhouse maze, beer garden, or take in a show at the IMAX Theatre.

Ferris wheel at Navy Pier
Ferris wheel and atrium at Navy Pier

The next time you’re in Chicago for business or leisure, make sure these landmarks are on your must-see list.

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