Travel blogger Mhde Askar continues his tour of Chicago, delivering his readers practical advice to make the most of a visit to the Windy City. Selecting the right neighborhood in which to stay makes a big difference when visiting a new city. Chicago has a plethora of neighborhoods to choose from, and your choice will have a big impact on the character of your trip. The good news is that from culture to nightlife, sports to peace and quiet, Chicago has something for everyone. Here are Askar’s recommendations of the best neighborhoods to stay in Chicago:
BEVERLY. Off the tourist’s track, this historically Irish south side neighborhood features rolling hills and some of the city’s best architecture, including a Frank Lloyd Wright house and churches that resemble castles. Rub elbows with locals instead of tourists at the Irish pubs on Western Avenue.
CHINATOWN. Compact but colorful, a stay in Chinatown is an experience. Fill up on noodles or dim sum in one of many authentic Chinese restaurants on Wentworth Avenue, then go exploring amid the art installations, mosaic tile murals, temples, and pagodas.
DOWNTOWN. Chicago’s central business district has charms of its own, not the least being Millennium Park (home of “The Bean”). Stay in an upscale Highrise hotel and you will be steps away from high-end shopping, Michelinstar restaurants, and breathtaking art and architecture.
GOLD COAST. Live like a movie star in this Midwest Malibu. Wealthy and trendy, the Gold Coast is a land of mansions and high-rises, boutique shopping and upscale casual dining. Kick it on the beach, or party like a rock star at posh nightclubs along Rush Street. For the culturally minded, the Newberry Library runs fascinating exhibits from its extensive collection of rare books.
HYDE PARK. It’s hard to beat a stay in a vintage hotel in historic Hyde Park, on the doorstep of the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. The ivy-lined streets and classic architecture charm locals and visitors alike.
KENWOOD. Visually arresting and family-friendly, Kenwood is a morning person’s delight. Walks along the coast of Lake Michigan will take you past art deco high-rises, Frank Lloyd Wright creations, and past former homes of Muhammad Ali and Barack Obama.
LINCOLN PARK. A hub of arts and culture as well as nature, Lincoln Park earns its name with 1200 acres of green space, including a free zoo and one of the world’s largest plant conservatories. This neighborhood also contains the theater district and the Chicago History Museum, as well as boutique shopping and dining.
MAGNIFICENT MILE. The Wrigley Building and the John Hancock Center form the backdrop for this shopper’s paradise — all the trendiest shopping and dining you could imagine, bustling with retail frenzy.
SOUTH LOOP. If you’re here to see da Bears, make camp here on the doorstep of Soldier Field. Then, if you’re feeling highbrow, trek over to Museum Campus to experience the world-class aquarium, planetarium, and other cultural wonders, amid the best of Chicago — the waterfront, the skyline, and great food.
WEST LOOP. West Loop may be too rough for some travelers, but for the bohemian soul looking to stay ahead of gentrification, this up-and-coming artist’s enclave features offbeat dining, pumping nightlife, and an arresting urban dreamscape of factories and warehouses.
WRIGLEYVILLE. Popular among the locals, Wrigleyville is serene and family-friendly by day, pumping with music and celebration by night. When the Cubs are in season, you can’t skip a day trip to historic Wrigley Field.