Why we love it
It’s an ultra-stylish, ultra-urban district of sleek art galleries and studios, all tucked away into former warehouse buildings. It’s also home to one of the city’s hottest nightlife scenes, with trendy bars and clubs that keep the party going till the early morning hours.
Bordering The Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast, River North is the go-to district for art and design lovers. theMART, which sits on the multi-award-winning Chicago Riverwalk, anchors the district. Its most recent claim to fame is Art on theMART, the world’s largest video projection art installation. Just north of theMART you’ll find a concentration of fabulous art galleries, specializing in everything from Asian art to wax paintings.
Architecturally, the area bursts with energy, with history-defining buildings like the twin corncobs at Marina City and the 330 N. Wabash skyscraper by Mies van der Rohe. At the stunningly preserved Richard H. Driehaus Museum, you can immerse yourself in the Gilded Age within the Nickerson Mansion, aka Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”
Cultured by day, River North shifts into high gear by night. The dining scene is always buzzing, from authentic Italian food hall Eataly to high-end steakhouses like RPM Steak to the award-winning Pacific Standard Time. For some after-hours fun, enjoy tiki drinks and tropical vibes at Three Dots and a Dash or order a bathtub-size cocktail at sultry The Bassment.
Explore like a local
Get that Rat Pack vibe with old-school crooning at Redhead Piano Bar. Fill up on soul food and soulful song at the Sunday Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues. Dance the night away trendy club-restaurant hybrid TAO.
Chicago Greeter: free guided tours
Taste, shop and explore the neighborhoods with a friendly local as your guide. Explore rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and hidden treasures. See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, and take away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests.Request a tour with a Chicago Greeter