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Chicago Attractions and Parks Near Michigan Avenue Hotel
There’s never a reason to be bored in Chicago… If you’re not sure what to do, check out these fun attractions:
Stroll down to Buckingham Fountain for a free water display every hour from mid-April to mid-October. When the sun goes down, the show is accompanied with colorful spotlights and music.
In the mood for a personal day? Choose from a swim in our rooftop pool with views of Grant Park or a workout in our fitness center.
Is shopping more your style? There is something for everyone on Chicago’s most famous shopping street, Michigan Avenue, also known as The Magnificent Mile®.
Like shopping and entertainment? Check out Navy Pier, which has more than 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, restaurants and attractions. There’s also a free fireworks show at Wednesday and Saturday nights during the summer.
Navy Pier is also home to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, which features more than 150 windows and has free admission.
The Museum Campus is a 57-acre museum park that sits in front of Lake Michigan and is home to three of the city’s most notable museums. Choose from the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium or the Field Museum of Natural History. The Museum Campus is within walking distance, or you can choose to take the free Essex Inn shuttle!
Visit the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, The Museum of Science and Industry. Enjoy live science experiences, tour a World War II sub, catch big-screen films and more! Illinois residents receive free admission on select dates.
Are you an animal lover? Don’t miss out on Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the nation’s oldest zoos, which houses 120o animals representing 230 species. You can check out the animals 7 days a week and admission is free!
North of Lincoln Park Zoo is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Its rooftop gardens are a showcase of energy efficient technology and the greenhouses are home to rare butterflies. The museum is free for Illinois residents on Thursdays.
Tear it up at any of Chicago’s free skate parks. Locations include: Grant Park, 31st Street and Lake Shore Drive or Wilson Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.
Visit Grant Park, home to many music and cultural festivals. Better yet, go to the Grant Park Symphony in Millennium Park. The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus presents approximately 35 free concerts between June and August. Concerts are generally performed on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, and occasionally on Sundays. The lawn and general seating section in the pavilion are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a breathtaking 360° view of Chicago, visit the John Hancock Observatory, located in the heart of The Magnificent Mile®. These views stretch across 4 states and Lake Michigan. You can experience the city 1,000 feet up, as well as enjoy the recently installed interactive screens that let you zoom in on different locations and learn about the city!
For an unforgettable experience, check out Willis (Sears) Tower, a 108-story skyscraper. At time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the world and was so for nearly 25 years. You can experience the city of Chicago below your feet, literally! You’ll have the chance to step out on the SkyDeck’s glass boxes that extend 4.3 feet from the building.
Stroll along the lakefront. It’s fabulous any time of year! You can get a beach report for the lakefront beaches here.
In the winter, ice skate in Millennium Park (it’s free as long as you have your own skates).
Wrap up in your warmest gear and sled at Solider Field Sledding Hill.
During the summer, take your blanket down to a nearby park and enjoy a film for free. The Chicago Park District puts on free outdoor films in parks citywide from June until September.
And don’t forget the Essex Inn, for free extras and a great value on a place to stay
We often have special deals for our guests at local attractions, restaurants, shops and more! Ask at reception and discover more of Chicago for less. And, don’t forget about all the great extras you get for free staying at the Essex Inn.
Free rooftop pool, with a great view of Grant Park
Free fitness center with treadmills, lifecycles, elliptical machines, weight machines and free-weights
Free shuttle around downtown, ask at reception for schedule and availability
Free wireless internet
Panoramic views from our rooftop garden overlooking the parks and Lake Michigan
Combine these extras with our affordable rooms and suites, reasonably priced valet parking and unbeatable location in the heart of downtown and you’ve got the ultimate downtown hotel to experience Chicago.
Essex Inn is the downtown Chicago Hotel for attractions and events
The Essex Inn is one of the best value Chicago Hotels. We offer excellent accommodations at fantastic prices and free extras to make your stay special. And we don't cut corners on comfort or location.
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue, with Chicago's finest attractions within walking distance, we have comfortable rooms, hotel suites and family rooms overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Our free pool, fitness center and rooftop garden, free shuttle and reasonably priced parking all make for a better Chicago vacation or business trip.
We offer Chicago hotel deals and packages for all interests and budget, so when you're planning your next trip to Chicago, check out The Essex Inn's hotel specials and vacation packages. Whether you want to see a game at Soldier Field, shop the Magnificent Mile, soak up culture at the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, attend an event, go to a Broadway In Chicago show, or attend a convention at McCormick Place we'll have the Chicago hotel deal for you.