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kayb1 Feb 10th, 2004 09:29 AM

My husband, myself and 11 year old daughter would like to stay in downtown Chicago the first week of April. We have never been there and want to do all of the touristy things!! Where can you recommend to stay that is not to pricey but wehere we can still get the feel of the real Chicago?

carbogilligan Feb 10th, 2004 09:33 AM

The Doubletree Guest Suites is showing a rate of $99/night and is a block from "Magnificient Mile". Hotels on "MM" are showing rates of $120-$200/night.

cmeyer54 Feb 10th, 2004 09:36 AM

There are a ton of good hotels in the downtown/loop area. If you want a major player, there are hyatts, sheratons, hiltons etc. Smaller players are the Tremont, Whitehall, Drake, House of Blues, Courtyards (more boutique types), Hampton Suites, and so on. I'd look at and see what fits your budget. Personally, I'd stay no farther south than the Renaissance on State/Wacker or the Hyatt on Wacker. Call the hotel directly as you might be able to negotiate a deal for the length of your stay.

jp4ny Feb 10th, 2004 09:37 AM

We stayed at the Homewood Suites. the Red line was across the street. We fly into Midway and rode the L. We bought the visitor pass so we could use the bus or L to get around. Homewood Suites has a great breakfast every morning. Monday thru Thursday night there is a meal also.

jenifer Feb 10th, 2004 09:39 AM

"Downtown" Chicago can really be broken into two main areas - Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue north of the river) and the Loop.

Many people like to stay on the Mag Mile. It is close to a lot of shopping (somewhat upscale) and there are many hotels to choose from.

I personally prefer the loop area, but that's just me. There is also shopping in the loop (Marshall Fields, Carson Pirie Scott, discount shopping like TJ Maxx, Filene's basement, Old Navy). The shopping is more my speed, and you can get a free trolley to Mag Mile, or ride the El, or walk if it's a nice day. Check out the Allegro hotel. I know they're currently having winter specials, but not sure about April.

The Loop is close to the Art Institute and other museums, but the Mag Mile is closer to Navy Pier (again, not someplace I enjoy, but popular with many others). I have always gotten good deals in the Loop area (mostly through priceline, but not always). It's a business area, so weekend deals are pretty common there, but I'm sure they are on Mag Mile also.

Oh - and the Hancock building is at the north end of Mag Mile (for great views), and the Sears tower is nearer the Loop. Both areas have advantages and disadvantages. :)

patg Feb 10th, 2004 11:11 AM

The North Michigan Avenue area has a lot of activity for a tourist. It gets my vote because it is livelier at night than the Loop. The two areas are a 15 minute walk apart, so shop around for the best price. There is a good hotel map at

If an indoor pool is important, check the hotel website carefully, because many hotels won't have one.

Be aware that April can be a big convention month here. Also, prepare for cold, rainy weather- 30 to 40 degrees at night, 50's during the day. The first week of April is definitely not springtime yet.

Rachel Feb 10th, 2004 12:05 PM

I've gotten great rates for chicago hotels at Mag Mile is the place to say with your daughter. She might be interested in the American Girl store which is in the Mag Mile. It is amazing. she might alo like Ed Debevics for lunch or dinner (a replica of an old dinner with singing/dancing waiters/waitresses.

Pumpy Feb 11th, 2004 05:40 PM

I've taken my daughter (now 10) to Chicago twice and here's a few things we/she enjoyed (no particular order):

1. John Hancock Building (better view from top than Sears - we've done both)
2. Cheesecake Factory restaurant (I know it's a chain) is in the basement of Hancock building
3. Navy Pier (childrens musuem/15 story ferris wheel & more)
4. Science Museum and/or Field Museum
5. Shed Aquarium
6. If you arrive via Midway airport - take the train downtown
7. Eat at the original Uno's pizza (they claim to be the original deep dish pizza)
8. Walk/Shop on the Magnificant Mile (FAO Schwartz, etc)
FYI- Stayed at the Palmer House but any downtown hotel should suit you fine

rjw_lgb_ca Mar 18th, 2004 09:20 AM

Not to stir the pot here, but aren't you a TRAVEL AGENT (as you have noted in other posts)?! Wouldn't you yourself have the inside scoop on hotel deals?

Well, in any case you're getting excellent advice. For your first time (!), Magnificent Mile is the place to be. When I go, I tend to stay up near Water Tower Place at the Knickerbocker-- a bit out of the way, but a grand old hotel. I'm sure you can get some kind of deal there somehow.

Uma Mar 18th, 2004 11:30 AM

I would stay either along north Michigan
Avenue area or in the loop - don't stay
any further north. Check Omni Suites on
Michigan Avenue. I would second the
recommendations for: top of the Hancock
Building, or at least go to the restaurant on the 95th floor, walk up to
bar on the 96th floor to see the wonderful view. The Art Institute is great - and has one of the largest collections of Impressionist art. Field Museum has Sue, the t-rex. The Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium are fun. Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free. Uno's -
or Due's - is good for pizza; or try
Lou Malnati's. If weather permits, take a boat ride on the river or Lake Michigan. You might also check out plays while you are there - maybe a fun musical.

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