POINTS OF INTEREST
General tourist information available at www.choosechicago.com
Navy Pier is a not-for-profit originally opened as a shipping and recreational facility in 1916. Located on Lake Michigan, it has served many purposes throughout its rich history and currently encompasses more than fifty acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and exhibition facilities and is the top leisure destination in the Midwest, drawing nearly nine million visitors annually. Navy Pier allows for a full fun experience including restaurants, a large centennial Ferris Wheel, beautiful gardens, dinner cruises on the lake, the Chicago Children's Museum, the IMAX theater, fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday night and much more!
Directions from the Marriott to the Navy Pier are:
- A 10 minute drive: Head south on N Michigan Ave - Follow East South Water Street to N Columbus Dr - Take E Lower Wacker Dr, Lower North Lake Shore Dr and E Illinois St to E Grand Ave - Turn right onto E Grand Ave - Arrive and park in the pier parking garage.
- A 15 minute transit ride: Walk heading east toward N Michigan Ave - Turn right onto N Michigan Ave - Arrive at Michigan (Lower) & Illinois transit station (5 Stops & Stop ID: 751) - Arrive at Navy Pier Terminal Walk About 7 min onto Navy Pier.
The Shedd Aquarium is the largest indoor aquarium in the world, with more than 8000 aquatic animals. With exhibits such as Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, Abbott Oceanarium, Polar Play Zone, Waters of the World and Wild Reef there is so much to learn and see. The Shedd Aquarium also has many interactive exhibits for hands on fun experiences.
Directions from the Marriott to the Shedd Aquarium are:
- 15 minute drive: Head south on N Michigan Ave - Follow East South Water Street to N Columbus Dr - Follow N Columbus Dr to E McFetridge Dr - Continue on E McFetridge Dr. Drive to E Solidarit Dr.
- 30 minute transit ride: Walk heading east toward N Michigan Ave - Turn right onto N Michigan Ave - Arrive at Michigan (Lower) & Illinois transit station (146 Museum Campus, 16 stops, stop ID: 1102) - Arrive at Solidarity Drive & Aquarium - Walk heading west toward Lakefront Trail - Arrive at Shedd Aquarium.
The iconic Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the highest observation deck in the US with The Ledge - glass boxes that extend out 4.3 feet from Skydeck allowing visitors to essentially stand in a clear glass box 103 floors above the street directly below.
Directions from the Marriott to Willis Tower are:
9 minute drive: Head south on N Michigan Ave - Turn right onto E Upper Wacker Dr/W Wacker Dr - Continue to follow W Wacker Dr - Turn left onto W Jackson Blvd - Destination will be on the left.
17 minute transit ride: Walk heading east toward N Michigan Ave - Turn right onto N Michigan Ave - Arrive at Michigan (Lower) & Illinois transit station (151 Union Station, 10 stops, stop ID: 1102) Arrive at Adam & S. Wacker - Head W on W Adams St. - Turn left onto S. Wacker St. - Destination will be on the left.
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the few free zoos left in the country and is just a short bus/cab ride north of the hotel and close to the North Avenue beach (also FREE). It boasts the world renowned Regenstein Center for African Apes (gorilla enclosure), the Kovler Lion House, Butterfly Boardwalk, Farm in the Zoo and a carousel for kids. Just north of the zoo is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Millenium Park (over 25 acres of public space in the center of downtown Chicago to enjoy).
Cloud Gate (aka the "Bean") - Chicago's famous outdoor structure/sculpture captivates visitors and offers unique views of the city - it is NOT to be missed.
Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden.
Maggie Daley Park - beautiful and very new park for kids highly recommended for kids of all ages.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion outdoor music and dance venue offers free performances throughout the summer.
Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park - south of the Chicago Art Institute.
Museums and other points of interest - recommend to purchase a City Pass or Explorer Pass if you intend to visit more than a couple of these highly acclaimed museums - the costs can climb quickly. All but the Museum of Science and Industry are in the Loop/Downtown area.
360 Chicago - another view of the lake shore from the top of the John Hancock center on North Michigan Avenue.
Chicago's culinary tradition is alive and well.
Our own Rick Bayless just won the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurant award for his Topolobampo - a short cab ride from the hotel and next to his Frontera Grill - also excellent.
For a lower budget, quick service alternative, XOCO is in Wicker Park. Bayless previously won Beard honors for outstanding chef in 1995 and Humanitarian of the Year in 1998.
Alinea is the 2016 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant award winner and is located just north in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Here is a list of the best in Chicago:
Finally, Food Network favorite chef Mario Batali's Eataly market is about two blocks from the hotel.
No need to go further than out the hotel door.
The Magnificent Mile is a 13 block stretch of Michigan Ave from the Chicago River to the John Hancock Tower at the north end which boasts 460 stores.
Everything from from Dylan's Candy Bar to luxury boutiques and high end department stores Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.