Four-Star Hotel Just North of Chicago’s Loop
The MileNorth hotel sits in the heart of Chicago, just minutes from the shops on the Magnificent Mile, the theater district, and lakefront parks. Despite the scope of its surrounding sites, the hotel feels intimate and chic. There are only 11 guest rooms per floor, each furnished and decorated with a blend of neoclassical, modern, and art-deco styles. Architect Joel Hillman designed the hotel to showcase Chicago’s iconic skyline, so you’ll find large picture windows in most guest rooms.
Onsite restaurant Ferris & Jack features all-day dining in the lobby living room with smoothies, pastries, sandwiches, and shareable plates. Reopening in early 2014 with a revamped menu and design, the indoor rooftop lounge will offer stunning views of the skyline.
Chicago's Gold Coast: Ritzy Neighborhood with Historical Mansions and Hip Restaurants
Just north of the Loop, Chicago’s downtown area, the Gold Coast neighborhood hugs the shore of Lake Michigan, occupying some of the city's most desirable real estate. The area's reputation as an upscale residential spot dates back to 1882, right after the Great Chicago Fire, when wealthy businessmen began building castle-like mansions along the waterfront. Some of them still stand today: the International Museum of Surgical Science, for example, is housed in a 1917 mansion modeled after a French chateau. The Gold Coast's ritzy legacy is alive and well today at the many clothing stores lining North Michigan Avenue—the so-called Magnificent Mile—and on Oak Street, home to a slew of luxury boutiques from designers such as Chanel, Prada, and Hermès.
For a hip evening out, head to Rush and Division, where you can find plenty of trendy restaurants and nightclubs—many of which stay open until 5 a.m. on the weekends. This see-and-be-seen intersection is known for people-watching and the occasional celebrity sighting, as well as upscale shops, classic Chicago taverns, and diamond-encrusted parking meters.