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Downtown Chicago
Welcome to Downtown Chicago Hotel

Welcome to Downtown Chicago! We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in booking you hotel stay in beautiful Downtown Chicago, Illinois.

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Bright orange flames shot out of the O'Leary barn, licking the night sky in a fiery foreboding of the coming destruction. Dennis Sullivan ran inside and managed to save a calf before the heat and smoke drove him out, but beyond that all he or anyone else could do was stand by and watch as the wooden structure was consumed quickly.

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Boat trips travel along the Chicago River, through the locks into Chicago Harbor and Lake Michigan.

One of the best ways to get oriented and view a multitude of sights in a short time is to take a bus tour. American Sightseeing Tours, (312) 251-3100, in the Palmer House at 17 E. Monroe St.; and Gray Line, (312) 251-3107, at 17 E. Monroe St., offer city orientation tours, including land and lake tours.

Several of Chicago's manufacturers offer tours of their facilities; check with the Chicago Office of Tourism.

Exploring the area's scenic bluffs and historic sites can be as simple as hopping in a car. Beginning in Illinois and ending in California, Route 66 served as an important link between the Midwest's rural communities and Chicago. The road now paves its way through America's cultural past, with an abundance of drive-in movie theaters, homey diners, vintage gas stations and other charming landmarks found along its course. Information and maps can be obtained from the Illinois Route 66 Heritage Project Inc.; phone (217) 525-7980.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation Shop and ArchiCenter, 224 S. Michigan Ave., offers an array of walking tours as well as bus, boat and bicycle tours..

One of Chicago's many architectural landmarks is the Merchandise Mart, on the north bank of the Chicago River between Wells and Orleans streets. Covering two city blocks, it is one of the world's largest commercial buildings. About 7.5 miles of corridors link hundreds of wholesale showrooms that display millions of dollars' worth of commercial and home furnishings. Except for the shops on the first two floors, the Merchandise Mart is closed to the public. A guided walking tour, however, is available Friday at 1; phone (312) 527-7762 for reservations.

The city’s tourism office presents a series of guided walking tours of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Among the various Chicago Neighborhood Tours offerings are strolls through Chinatown, Polish Chicago, Little Italy and the Mexican enclave of Pilsen and Little Village. Visitors also can choose from among such themed tours as Great Cemeteries of Chicago, Chicago’s Hidden Murals, Chicago Theaters and tours of the Pullman Historic District. Tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph St. at Michigan Avenue; phone (312) 742-1190 for reservations and schedule.

Also departing from the Chicago Cultural Center are free visitor orientation tours. The Chicago Greeter program offers 2- to 4- hour walking tours of more than 25 neighborhoods. Visitors are matched with local volunteer guides based on special interest and language. Visitors must register for tours at least 7 business days in advance; phone (312) 744-8000. Free 1-hour downtown walking tours departing from the InstaGreeter booth in the cultural center are offered on a first-come, first-served basis Fri.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 11-4.

Not all of Chicago's art is confined to museums. The Richard J. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn streets, offers the controversial sculpture known as “The Chicago Picasso.” Farther south on Dearborn, at the First National Bank Plaza at Monroe Street, is “The Four Seasons,” an acclaimed mosaic by Marc Chagall. The bright red “Flamingo” that dominates Chicago Federal Center Plaza, Adams and Dearborn streets, is by Alexander Calder. A wind-activated mobile is atop the Sporting Club at the corner of Stetson and Lake.


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