We are located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. This is the premier residential neighborhood on Chicagos North Side, and is considered the "old money" section of town. It is also the ideal area for out-of-town guests!
To the east is Lake Shore Drive and Oak Street Beach. To the south is the Oak Street boutique district and Michigan Avenues world class shopping. To the west is the restaurant and nightlife district of Rush, State, and Division Streets. North of us, the Gold Coast historic district continues, and beyond is the lakefront's Lincoln Park and Lincoln Park Zoo.
What can be said about North Michigan Avenue Chicagos Magnificent Mile? From Tiffanys to Filenes Basement, you will find a complete range of retailers. In addition to flagship stores for the countrys best known specialty chains (Crate and Barrel, Borders Books, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Niketown, Disney, American Girl) Michigan Avenue has four vertical shopping malls with department store anchors: Water Tower Place (Marshall Fields, Lord and Taylor), 900 North Michigan (Bloomingdales), Chicago Place (Saks Fifth Avenue), and the North Bridge (Nordstroms).
Oak Street boutiques include Marilyn Miglin, Ultimo, Jil Sander, Hermes, Prada, Pratesi, Judith Ripka, St. Johns, Donald Pliner, Sulka and Barneys New York department store.
Tourist-Central is the Chicago Water Works across from the Old Water Tower at Michigan Avenue and Pearson Street. Here you can browse in the Visitors Information Center and gift shop, get a bite at Flatsammies, buy theater tickets at Hot-Tix!, or get on a sightseeing bus or horse drawn carriage for a guided tour.
The Observatory at the John Hancock Center, 875 North Michigan Avenue, takes you up to perhaps the most dramatic view of the city as you look down 96 stories to Oak Street Beach. You can get the same view, however, without the admission fee if you go for a drink at the Signature Room one floor below. (Take the elevators in the office lobby on the street level). The drinks are a bit more expensive than average, but the view can be priceless!
Much of the Gold Coast consists of historically significant residential buildings from the turn of the twentieth century. The most pleasant strolling streets are Bellevue, Cedar, and Elm (running east/west south of Division Street) and Astor, State, and Dearborn (running north/south north of Division Street).
A nearby house museum that is often not included in the tourist guidebooks is the Charnley-Persky House. Located at 1365 North Astor Street at Schiller (about three blocks north of The Flemish House of Chicago), this house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright while he was employed by Louis Sullivan. It shows the influence of two of Americas most celebrated architects! Now owned by the Society of Architectural Historians, the house is open for tours Wednesdays at noon, and Saturdays at 10:00 A.M. From April 1 through November 30, an additional tour is offered Saturdays at 1:00 P.M. (The second tour includes a walk on historic Astor Street and a visit to the nearby Madlener House, a Prairie School residence that is now the headquarters of the Graham Foundation.) Call 312/915-0105.
A little further from the Gold Coast is Navy Pier (Grand Avenue or Illinois Street at Lake Shore Drive), now the State of Illinois number one tourist attraction. Family-oriented fun is the primary objective here, and youll find simple amusements like the Ferris wheel ($2 once around), Carousel, and Winter Garden. Theres always lots of free entertainment like minstrels, jugglers, and live bands. The performance facilities include an Imax movie screen and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. There is a wide range of restaurant choices, from a food court to the high-end Rivas seafood. This is also the main departure point for most Chicago boat tours, ranging from simple half-hour rides and speedboat excursions, to elaborate dinner cruises. During the summer, fireworks displays are set at Navy Pier every Wednesday (about 9:00 P.M.) and Saturday (about 10:00 P.M.).
About a mile and a half south of the Gold Coast is Chicago’s newest tourist attraction, Millennium Park. Officially opened in July 2004 (only a few years behind schedule) the park has been constructed above a former rail yard that has been decked over with a new parking garage to conceal the tracks and the park on top. Chicago’s corporate elite were convinced to donate close to half of the park’s $475 million cost by sponsoring major artistic installations, including the Cloud Gate sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor , and the state-of-the-art Crown fountain by Spanish artist Juame Plensa. The signature installation is the outdoor music pavilion and adjoining pedestrian bridge designed by Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry. Free concerts are performed all summer long by the Grant Park Symphony and guest artists.
There are two health clubs in the neighborhood that sell daily guest memberships. The Gold Coast Multiplex (312/944-1030) is at 1030 North Clark (between Oak and Maple), and is a full-line club with swimming pool, full court basketball, and every imaginable piece of weight and aerobic equipment. The Fitplex (312/640-1235) is located at 1235 North LaSalle Street and is more basic, but has been recently remodeled.
For jogging, nothing beats the lakefront beaches and running trails. (Take the pedways at either Division Street or Oak to cross under "the Drive" or run up to the North Avenue underpass).
The North Avenue Beach House is designed to look like an Art Deco cruise ship planted on the beach. During the summer, you can rent bicycles and roller blades, relax with a snack, or go to the upper level restaurant for a meal or a drink. It's great for watching the beach crowd, volleyball players and terrific sunsets. Warm summer evenings also bring a live band to the restaurant.
From Gibsons Steaks to Dublins Pub and the delicate Vietnamese cuisine of Le Colonial, our neighborhood offers more than 30 restaurants within a few blocks. The hardest part of eating out is deciding where to go next! Dont worry, we provide our list of restaurant recommendations to all guests at check-in.