For an unforgettable experience, check out the famous Willis (Sears) Tower. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the world and held the title for nearly 25 years. You’ll have the chance to step out on a deck of glass boxes that extend 4.3 feet from the building.This 108-story skyscraper is located a mile from Essex Inn.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Ten minutes north of Essex Inn is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Rooftop gardens showcase energy-efficient technology, and rare butterflies are on display in greenhouses. Illinois residents get free admission on Thursdays.
Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center is less than a mile north on Michigan Avenue. Located in the building that once housed the Chicago Public Library, the center is considered a neo-classical masterpiece and one of the most splendid structures downtown. Daytime concerts are often staged here in Preston Bradley Hall.
A 15-minute stroll from the hotel, this 57-acre park houses three of the city’s most famous museums. Visit the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium or Field Museum of Natural History.
One of the most popular cultural attractions in the Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium contains 1,500 species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians and insects.
One of the largest natural history museums in the world, the Field Museum contains gems, meteorites, fossils and cultural artifacts from around the globe.
Don’t leave Chicago without visiting the city’s most famous shopping strip, the Magnificent Mile, just 6 minutes north of the hotel on Michigan Avenue. Considered one of the top 10 dining and retail destinations in the world, this 13-block strip is packed with more than 460 stores and 275 restaurants.
Take a 10-minute stroll to Buckingham Fountain to see free water displays every hour (from mid-April to mid-October). Music and lights accompany the fountain after dark. Located at the center of Grant Park, the fountain is considered one of the largest in the world.
Located a 7-minute drive north, Navy Pier puts on a fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night in the summer. While you’re there, check out the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, which has free admission.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Are you an animal lover? Don’t miss out on Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the nation’s oldest zoos, which houses 1,200 animals representing 230 species. Located 10 minutes north, the Lincoln Park Zoo offers free admission, seven days a week.
For a breathtaking view of the city, take a 7-minute drive to 360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory), located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. You can experience the city from 1,000 feet up, and interactive screens allow you to zoom in on different locations.Views stretch across 4 states and Lake Michigan.
800 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605