Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Author

Max Grinnell

Max Grinnell is an urbanologist, writer, and public speaker who has written three books about Chicago. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Rough Guides, Frommer's and he's been a guest numerous times on National Public Radio to talk about all things urban. As a graduate of the University of Chicago, he has a particular fondness for Hyde Park. You can keep up with Max and his musings via Twitter (@theurbanologist) and his website: www.theurbanologist.com 

Posts

Kinzie Hotel + Chicago Riverwalk + Andy's Jazz Club: Where to Stay and Things to Do in River North

Kinzie Hotel Chicago

If you’re coming to Chicago from near or far, you may well enjoy the charms of being out and about in River North. It’s right next to the Chicago River (hence its clever name) and you can walk into the Loop or over to Michigan Avenue in just a few minutes. With a raft of lively bars and nightspots, there’s quite a bit to do. I’d recommend a stay at the lovely Kinzie Hotel, as the staff are welcoming and the amenities in the rooms are quite fine. 


A Walking Tour Through Ravenswood: Exploring Chicago A–Z

Deagan Building

The colorful Ravenswood corridor in Lincoln Square hugs the Metra right-of-away as it makes its way north through a clutch of North Side Chicago neighborhoods. Many of the former industrial buildings along this street now house a range of booming businesses (including craft breweries!), and spending an afternoon in these parts is quite pleasant. Why not take a short trip and visit a few of our favorite Ravenswood gems. Let's get started!


The Alise Hotel in Chicago: An Overnight Stay in an Architectural Masterpiece

The Alise Hotel

Chicago is an architecture buff's playground—it's even, some have argued, the best architectural city in America. Stay overnight in the marvelous Alise Chicago Hotel while visiting the city, and you’ll be staying in a masterwork by Daniel Burnham, urban planner famous for his 1909 plan for Chicago, and architect of many great Chicago buildings, including the Columbian Exposition.


Q is for Queen's Landing: Exploring Chicago A–Z

Buckingham Fountain Chicago Grant Park

Over the past 170 years, Chicago has played host to a range of royalty from all over the world. One of the more momentous visits was by Queen Elizabeth II on July 26, 1959, when she arrived by yacht for a whirlwind 14-hour tour of the city led by then Mayor Richard J. Daley, Governor William Stratton and other prominent persons. The next time you plan an outing to Chicago's lakefront, visit the historic spot in Grant Park yourself, aptly named "Queen's Landing."


Sightseeing in Lincoln Park: A Bridge off the Beaten Path

Cherry Avenue Bridge

If you’re a city wanderer like I am, you’re probably looking for those curious moments out and about as you walk around. Well, I have a real gem for you in Lincoln Park: the Cherry Avenue Bridge.


Hotel Allegro: Your Spot to Stay in the Chicago Theatre District

Kimpton Hotel Allegro

The bustle at the Kimpton Hotel Allegro starts as soon as you step off the sidewalk on Randolph Street in the Chicago Theatre District and up the stairs into their lobby. With its Art Deco interior and the welcoming feel you’ll get when checking in, it’s easy to see why so many people make the Hotel Allegro their home-away-from home when visiting Chicago.


ACME Hotel Chicago: A Rock & Roll Night Out in River North

ACME Hotel Chicago King Suite Bedroom

Perched right on Ohio Street, the ACME Hotel Company Chicago offers up a lodging experience that is the most rock and roll thing about the bustling neighborhood River North. It’s the perfect headquarters for an entire weekend that might include stops at the nearby Eataly food emporium, the Redhead Piano Bar, and back to the ACME’s own Berkshire Room for a night cap. Explore the ins and outs of ACME Hotel Company, and the restaurants and things to do nearby.


A Weekend at Dana Hotel and Spa: What's New & Nearby

Dana Hotel and Spa Chicago

Amid the hustle and bustle of River North, the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago offers a bit of tranquility with its wonderfully appointed rooms and suites. The hotel always offered a bit of nightlife of their own with Vertigo Sky Lounge, which for eight years was their four-season rooftop lounge. Just announced is a new cocktail concept which will take the 26th floor space to even greater heights!


Spend a Weekend at the Fairmont Chicago, Your Home Base for Exploring Chicago

Fairmont Chicago

Located in the hustle and bustling Lakeshore East neighborhood just east of Michigan Avenue and south of the Chicago River, the Fairmont Chicago is a perfect home base for a weekend out in the city. Whether you’re coming from another corner of the city or from farther away, it’s the place to relax and also do a bit of local exploration.


P is for the Palmer House Peacocks: Chicago A–Z

Palmer House Peacocks

Every major American city has a jewelry story that has appealed to high society, and Chicago is no exception. The city's first jewelry store was run by one Elijah Peacock, which he opened in 1837, the same year Chicago was established as a city. In a very real sense it predated the establishment of a nouveau riche class of Chicago residents. Nevertheless, the store served members of the moneyed elite, who stepped into the store through a set of doors that exemplified the riches


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