3 MIN READ – The saying “There’s something for everyone!” might be overused, but when it comes to the Chicago Loop, it’s just the truth. No matter what your favorite things to do may be, you can do them downtown. Are you a shopaholic? A foodie? More of a Sporty Spice type? A culture vulture? Or are you the type of person who loves a little bit of everything? Choose your own adventure, and get #BackInTheLoop.
For the Shopaholic
State Street, “that great street,” has been Chicago’s most famous retail corridor for more than 100 years. If you’re a shopaholic, work your way up and down the street for all your needs: clothing, shoes, accessories, bath and body, technology, books—you name it, State Street’s got it. Must-see stores include the flagship Macy’s, with its breathtaking Tiffany dome ceiling, elaborate water features, and signature clocks on the corners of the building from the days of Marshall Fields. Architecture buffs should definitely stop at Target, situated in the Sullivan Center, so named for the building’s famous architect Louis Sullivan. Those looking to stay, shop, eat and play need not look further than Block 37. Find all your shopping options here.
For the foodie
The Loop is well known for its fast-casual options catering to workers on the go, but there’s no shortage of upscale, sit-down restaurants for those looking for an elevated dining experience. Consider The Dearborn, an American tavern with a burger to die for. The Loop’s swankier hotels offer some of the best food in the neighborhood, like Grant Park Bistro at Le Meridien Essex Chicago or Land & Lake Kitchen and the LondonHouse Chicago. If a meal with a view is what you seek, there are a ton of rooftops to choose from with excellent cocktails and mouthwatering food. Check out ROOF on theWit for hip, upscale vibes, Raised for an industrial chic ambience overlooking the Chicago River, AIRE for fire pits and unbeatable downtown views, Cindy’s for an incredible view of Millennium Park, Cerise for one of the coolest nights out you’ll ever have, and Boleo for super-high ceilings and Argentine flavors.
For the active
If your idea of fun involves being outside and breaking a sweat, you’ll have a blast in the Loop. Take a walk, run, or bike ride along the Lakefront Trail with Chicago’s breathtaking skyline as your backdrop, or hit up the Chicago Riverwalk for a more urban vibe. Divvy around the Loop’s protected bike lanes (Dearborn for north-south travel, Randolph for west, and Washington for east). And swing by Maggie Daley Park to rollerblade or scooter around the skating ribbon, climb on the climbing wall, play a round of miniature golf, or hit up the tennis courts.
For the culture vulture
The Chicago Loop is home to the city’s official Theatre District, the second largest art museum in the country, a wealth of world-class public art and murals, and Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, home of a ton of live music and other programming. You couldn’t possibly take in all the culture downtown Chicago has to offer in one day—but you could try! For film buffs, check out the Gene Siskel Film Center, reopening in August (but with lots of excellent virtual programming until then). For architecture, check out the Chicago Architecture Center, as well as their walking tours and boat tours. Fans of theater, dinner, circus and the performing arts in general must see Teatro ZinZanni. For classical music lovers, check out the Grant Park Music Festival in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion all summer long. Literary fans can hit up the American Writers Museum for interactive exhibits. Visual art aficionados obviously need to make a stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, but Chicago Loop Alliance’s Loop Mural Walk is another fun option that takes you through alleys and other off-the-beaten-path locations. Plus, it’s free! Check out other public art in the Loop here.
For the jack of all trades
Maybe you’re the type of person who wants to experience a little bit of all of the above when you’re #BackInTheLoop. Pick and choose from our suggestions, or find even more options to explore here.
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