The heart and soul of Chicago lives in our 77 vibrant neighborhoods and within the people who call them home. Start your exploration and discover 51 communities, each with their own mix of historical sights and attractions, arts and culture, dining, nightlife, shopping, and most importantly, personality.
Chicago’s newest neighborhood, McCormick Square, will be buzzing with activity as construction for the Marriot Marquis Chicago and a 10,000-seat event center will be in full swing. Conveniently nestled between the South Loop, Chinatown, the Prairie District and Bronzeville, McCormick Square was developed on a vision of growth, economic stability and entertainment for its surrounding communities. From McCormick Place to the new event center and the Marriott Marquis Chicago, to Motor Row, McCormick Square is a destination fit for tourists, convention goers and native Chicagoans alike.
The South Loop is such a dynamic mix of attractions and histories that the neighborhood tends to be seen as many different things to many different people.
Much of the eastern edge is encompassed by the Museum Campus, an impressive collection of cultural treasures, and Northerly Island, a peninsula sought out by nature lovers. History buffs point out the Motor Row District along South Michigan Avenue and nearby Prairie Avenue District. In the adjacent Printer's Row neighborhood, urban loft condos now fill the commercial spaces in what was formerly the center of the Midwest's publishing industry.
As Chicago's official downtown area, The Loop is one of the most important central business districts on the globe. In addition to its dynamic architecture and buzzing atmosphere, the area has an incredible concentration of cultural institutions along the Chicago Cultural Mile including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Michelin-rated restaurants, a shopper's paradise on State Street, and incredible green spaces in Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Grant Park.
A stylish urban neighborhood that borders the Magnificent Mile and is just across the bridge from the Loop, River North is the go-to district for those who appreciate fine art and design. And for those who appreciate fine dining and drinks, this entertainment district never disappoints with the latest trendsetting openings and late night energy.
With streets that are lined with historic mansions and specialty boutiques, the Gold Coast is an intensely popular area for residents and visitors.
A day of shopping on Oak Street becomes a night of revelry on the neighborhood's fabled Rush Street. Amongst the prestigious hotels and celebrated eateries, you will find a trove of booming nightlife hot spots and high-energy events. Treat yourself to the Gold Coast, you deserve it.
From artsy to affluent, this historic neighborhood has been home to immigrant families, hippies and young professionals alike over the years. Victorian-era buildings, brick alleyways and narrow, tree-lined streets are charming backdrops to a busy main strip that runs along Wells Street and features an array of dining options, specialty boutiques and shops, and nightlife options. Any visit to Old Town is not complete without a stop at The Second City, the birthplace of Improv.
Lincoln Park has it all; a 1,200 acre lakefront park featuring the free Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago History Museum and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Tony award-winning theatre, acclaimed restaurants, venues featuring Chicago’s famed music scene, and an amazing boutique shopping district. All this nestled within historic churches and residential landmark districts.
Logan Square is one of the hottest neighborhoods in the country right now and for good reason. Acclaimed restaurants, craft breweries, vintage shopping, gourmet coffee, and nightlife options galore give the neighborhood its proud hipster headquarters status. All these attractions are among Chicago’s fabled “Emerald Necklace," an expansive system of interconnected parks and boulevards dotted with beautifully-restored mansions, handsome greystone homes and majestic churches. A great way to see it all is along The 606, Chicago’s elevated bike and walking path that runs through the neighborhood and connects the area to the Wicker Park, Bucktown and Humboldt Park neighborhoods.
Anchored by Boystown to the east and Wrigley Field to the west, Lakeview is one of Chicago's liveliest neighborhoods. From its vibrant nightlife scene to Major League Baseball's second oldest stadium and the dozens of celebrated restaurants in between, there's something for everyone in this North Side community. Be sure to check out what is playing along the Belmont Theatre District to get a chance to experience Chicago’s renowned theatre scene.
Bronzeville's 20th century resurgence, which rivaled the Harlem Renaissance, is responsible for tremendous cultural and social advances. Pulitzer Prize recipient Gwendolyn Brooks, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, and legendary musicians Louis Armstrong and Nat “King” Cole were profoundly responsible for the area's development and subsequent cultural crusade, which included advances in civil rights, jazz, blues and gospel music.
Culture and Architecture reign supreme in Hyde Park. From the 1893 World’s Fair to present day, Hyde Park has been at the center of Chicago’s architectural legacy. Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Robie House, among the Victorian Gothic-clad University of Chicago.The neighborhood features Museum Campus South, a collection of seven cultural institutions including the Museum of Science & Industry and the DuSable Museum of African American History. Its no wonder that President Obama calls this neighborhood home and has decided to build his Presidential Library here.
Hipster culture and Mexican culture collide in this historic neighborhood just south west of the Loop. Thanks to this diversity, you'll find offbeat vintage shops, independent coffee houses, quaint cafes, art galleries, and Michelin-starred restaurants alongside bodegas, panaderias and restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine. The National Museum of Mexican Art is not to be missed when you visit Pilsen.
One of Chicago's creative epicenters lies just outside downtown Chicago in Wicker Park and Bucktown. These synonymous neighborhoods are famous for live music and nightlife, chef-driven restaurants and countless art galleries — many housed within the Flat Iron Arts Building. If you have an acute knowledge of craft cocktails or an affinity for coffee, plus want to sift through records or thrifted threads, there's no better area to sip and shop in the country.
Photos Courtesy of: City of Chicago; Adam Alexander; Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events