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CHICAGO: Cheap Hotels in Chicago

Chicago attracts large numbers of visitors with its theaters, restaurants and good shopping centers. Chicago hotels come in all shapes and sizes and there are a good number all around the city.

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Chicago

When to visit based on price

You’ll find your best rates between January and March during winter months.

Key attractions

Chicago is famous as the town of Gangsters for a reason, because it’s history is full of organized crime. So what better to do when visiting than by taking a Chicago Gangster Tour? You will visit Mount Carmel Cemetery where you will visit Al Capone’s final resting place and the Biograph Theater where the infamous John Dillinger was gunned down.
Make a stop at today’s tallest building, the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago. And during the day or especially at night, view the Buckingham Fountain and it’s spectacular light show. You’ll never forget the beauty of this fountain, with its four horses.
While at the very top of the Willis Tower, test your nerves of steel by stepping out on its Skydeck Chicago. This is a clear glass ledge, totally enclosed, but with a glass floor also. Might be advisable to do this before lunch.
Combine fun and one of Chicago’s premier attractions visiting Navy Pier. This lakefront fifty acres of fun features rides, restaurants, museums, gardens and so much more. Especially popular is the 150-foot Ferris wheel that operates all year long.

Having fun

There are two excellent museums in Chicago, the Field Museum and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Another great place to visit if you’re interested in fine art is the Art History Museum that houses the biggest collection of Impressionist artwork in the United States.
If by chance you are visiting during the summer, for sure check out he free Outdoor Summer Concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
If your thirst for experiencing the old days of prohibition, then find your way to the old “mob” hangout, and oldest “speakeasy” in Chicago. We’re talking about the “Green Door Tavern” on New Orleans Street. This is an excellent opportunity for you to try one of their prohibition-style drinks and possibly some lunch or dinner. It’s still a very popular hangout, so keep an eye out for Machine Gun Kelly and his gang of thugs.

Shopping

You’re in Chicago and looking for the best shopping area. Hands down you should head to the Magnificent Mile Shopping District. This strip in downtown Chicago is chock full of history, lying between The Michigan Ave Bridge and Oak Street.
Here you will find yourself entertained with days of shopping in brand name boutiques, mega malls, luxury outlets and retail stores lining the street.
There are three-mega mall that you shouldn’t miss on your quest for packages. The Shops of North Bridge, 900 North MichiganShops and the Water Tower Place should be your target.

Nearby

A truly awesome experience is a day trip to “Starved Rock” where you get to walk some forty plus nature paths overlooking one of Mother Nature’s canyons.
Why not take a trip to Milwaukee, which is only about an hour and a half drive. Visit the home of the Harley-Davidson Museum; sip a beer on the tour of the Pabst Mansion.
You can also take a drive to Lake Geneva Wisconsin, a very popular resort town where you can hang on the beach or maybe take a cruise on a paddleboat on the lake.
Another interesting way to spend a day is to visit Amish Country in Indiana; only a couple hours drive away. Some very interesting shopping with homemade pies, quilt shops, jams, etc. It’s a great experience for young children and quite the education for adults too.

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Most popular hotels in Chicago

  • Book Hotel Allegro, a Kimpton Hotel in Chicago.
    Hotel Allegro, a Kimpton Hotel
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 369 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Restaurant
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      Spa services on site
    High end, quality hotel rooms that provide comfort during your vacation whenever you need it.
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    Rooms from
    $108.00
  • Book Hyatt Regency Chicago in Chicago.
    Hyatt Regency Chicago
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 5290 reviews
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      Business center
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      Free WiFi
    The Hyatt welcomes it's guests like movie stars and wants to treat them the same way when walking inside, find the room made for you.
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    Rooms from
    $129.00
  • Book The Whitehall Hotel in Chicago.
    The Whitehall Hotel
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 849 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Free WiFi
    Modern luxuries, large windows and impressive views welcome you within the Whitehall Hotel when you book your stay.
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    $103.00
  • Book Best Western Grant Park in Chicago.
    Best Western Grant Park
     
    Tripadvisor rating 3.5 based on 1001 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Business center
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    The Best Western is well known for their high end services when you stay with them, come stay in comfort and enjoy the rooms around you.
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    Rooms from
    $69.00
  • Book Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront in Chicago.
    Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4.5 based on 3878 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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    The Wyndham looks like a castle, because it was meant for a king and queen, come stay and live like royalty if only for a little while.
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    Rooms from
    $105.00
  • Book Raffaello Hotel in Chicago.
    Raffaello Hotel
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 1914 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Free WiFi
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    4 star hotel meets those guests that wish to stay somewhere they can trust, the Raffaello is high end and beautiful.
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    Rooms from
    $138.00
  • Book Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in Chicago.
    Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 4425 reviews
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Free WiFi
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      Indoor pool
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      Sauna
    Look out on the water, and be high above the entire city looking down when you stay within a room at the Sheraton.
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    Rooms from
    $209.00
  • Book Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago in Chicago.
    Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 1184 reviews
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      Airport transportation (surcharge)
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      Babysitting or childcare
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      Bar/lounge
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    Where history and modern art comes together, the Allerton Hotel provides guests with a splash of both and comfort wrapped in the mix.
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    Rooms from
    $116.00
  • Book Club Quarters, Central Loop in Chicago.
    Club Quarters, Central Loop
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 1489 reviews
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Free WiFi
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    Club Quarters is well known throughout the city, and provides you with the ease, comfort and enjoyable atmosphere a vacation should have.
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    Rooms from
    $107.00
  • Book Red Roof Inn Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
    Red Roof Inn Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
     
    Tripadvisor rating 3 based on 1081 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Business center
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      Free WiFi
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    Home away from home is what you can expect when it comes to the Red Roof Inn nestled in the heart of Chicago.
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    $59.00
  • Book Hard Rock Hotel Chicago in Chicago.
    Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 2341 reviews
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      Concierge services
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      Spa services on site
    The Hard Rock Hotel is where you will find rich history and an enjoyable experience that everyone has to try at least once in their lifetime.
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    $139.00
  • Book Hotel Felix Chicago in Chicago.
    Hotel Felix Chicago
     
    Tripadvisor rating 3.5 based on 1468 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Concierge services
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      Free WiFi
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      Restaurant
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      Spa services on site
    Flashy looks and high quality surround you within the lobby and rooms of the Hotel Felix, be able to splurge a little on the room of your dreams.
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    Rooms from
    $99.00
  • Book Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago.
    Congress Plaza Hotel
     
    Tripadvisor rating 3 based on 2281 reviews
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      Business center
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      Free WiFi
    Built for Presidents but welcoming all, this hotel provides a little mystery, luxury and history behind each corner of the walls.
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    Rooms from
    $98.00
  • Book Inn of Chicago, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member in Chicago.
    Inn of Chicago, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
     
    Tripadvisor rating 3.5 based on 1600 reviews
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      Bar/lounge
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Fitness facilities
    If you're new to the city and want somewhere to unwind and relax, the Inn of Chicago provides you with just the place.
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    Rooms from
    $118.00
  • Book Hilton Chicago- Michigan Ave Cultural Mile in Chicago.
    Hilton Chicago- Michigan Ave Cultural Mile
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 4304 reviews
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Indoor pool
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      Sauna
    The Hilton is where magic is made and dreams can happen, come stay in one of the most comfortable rooms they have to offer.
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    Rooms from
    $125.00
  • Book The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.
    The Palmer House Hilton
     
    Tripadvisor rating 4 based on 7604 reviews
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      Airport transportation (surcharge)
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      Bar/lounge
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      Business center
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      Concierge services
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      Indoor pool
    Classical, contemporary and full of history, The Palmer House provides you with a sense of establishment throughout the historic hotel.
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    Rooms from
    $149.00

Top 100 rated hotels in Chicago

have average rating 4.49 of 5 from 110425 reviews

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Local expert's tips

  • “Chilling Out” in Chicago this summer

    Chicago proper offers many options for my kind of chill, and here are some of the top choices for locals that you need to check out.
    First on the list is Jeni’s Splendid “ artisan-style” Ice Creams where Jenni and her crew use local grass-fed mid-west milk for their “brew”. Their creamy milky flavors come from the Dutch chocolate and authentic Ugandan vanilla beans. Your kids might just go bonkers over the wildberry lavender ice crème, and adults, wrap your lips around a shot of whiskey ice crème.
    If memories of a vacation in Italy bring back sweet memories of Gelato, stroll into one of the Black Dog Gelato shop’s hat have all but become the craze for local Chicagoan’s. For over our years these guys and gals have been perfecting their creations of weirdness, but cool. Nutella and pretzel, apple cider and brown sugar and cinnamon will give you a clue of what’s coming to your palate.
    Frozen yogurt shops are everywhere, but our personal favorite is Forever Yogurt, the very first of its kind to offer Froyo with those beautiful swirls. Flavor and toppings are to many to quote, and options like Italian Ice and the new addition of Fronada, like a DQ Blizzard provide quite the menu.
    Now that you’ve chilled off a bit, why not head out to one of Chicago’s sandy beaches and spend some time in some cool lake water. Here is a review of some of the top beaches where you can soak up some sun and jump in for that refreshing chill.
    Probably the most popular of beaches is North Avenue Beach with its “ocean liner inspired” beach house. Rentals are available for all kinds of water activities, along with food vendors when hunger strikes.
    The Montrose Beach is the place to head to if you have Fido on vacation with you, because its dog friendly and your pup can run and play with others.
    On the South Side of Chicago there’s Rainbow Park and Beach, so you have the best of both worlds. If you have a cooler with you, you can hit the waters and beach, and enjoy a midday picnic in the park.
    A great idea for getting out of daytime heat for a couple hours especially if traveling with young kids is a visit to the John G. Shed Aquarium. The Shedd has been entertaining both locals and visitors for almost eighty years. Visit the Amazon in Chicago, with snakes, piranhas and more. A few years ago renovations brought a tide pool and created river and even the ne otter-habitat. Just the air-conditioning is well worth a visit.

  • Your “cheap eats” bucket list for visiting Chicago on a budget

    Our first locals recommend for Sunday Brunch is Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant.
    This pub offers an excellent “All you can eat buffet brunch” from 10am – 2 pm on Sundays. You pay less than $20 per adult, and youngsters 10-18 years old for $14. Little ones under 2 years old are free. On the menu everything from egg dishes to Fish & Chips, shrimp, Smoked Salmon and Calamari, beef and an “omelet station”. Finish it off at the ice crème station. Getting hungry yet?
    Another top spot for hungry locals is Jane’s Restaurant located on Cortland St. This restaurant was voted Chicago’s most romantic for evening dinner, and is surly a excellent choice for their famous brunch, served Friday through Sunday. There seems to be almost an endless choice of food choices here, with starters like special Caesar Salads and corn chowder, to sandwiches, Salmon and pork belly, Three Eggs benedict (my personal favorite), pancakes and so much more. They also offer a special children’s menu.
    For dinner we have two awesome experiences in dining for you that won’t break the bank. The first is Blue 13 that serves up American cuisine every Sunday at a very affordable price. How do three courses for $20 per person sound to you? Everything is fresh from the farmers market and juicy delicious herbed chickens and greens. Keep in mind that if you are a big eater, seconds is permitted if you can take another bite. Located on West Ontario Street, this is a local choice, and should be on your list also.
    Finally we have a dinner suggestion that you would imagine should be listed as “fine dining $$$$”, but it isn’t. Café Des Architectes is owned and operated by Master French Chef Martial Noguier. What he will present to your table Sundays through Tuesday in his “Neighborhood Friends Special Menu”, is an experience you will not believe. He offers his French delight 3-course dinner for $29 per adult, $16 per youngsters 6-10 years old. From his fennel Salmon Tartare, Flatiron steaks and more will tantalize the taste buds. For the experience he offers his “neighbors” you will feel part of this neighborhood, and experience dining as locals do.

  • Planning a visit to Chicago? Careful planning can save a bundle!


    One of the top destinations for visitors to Chicago is the Navy Pier, located on fifty acres of fun and adventure. From amusement rides, shops, restaurants to beautiful gardens to explore and so much more, you can easily spend a day here. It costs nothing to get in and is a special place to walk the boardwalk, and catch that perfect photo of the Chicago horizon. Stay into the evening and enjoy the free fireworks every summer evening from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
    If you’re ok with a bit of exercise, then have we got an adventure for you, and again, it’s free. There is an organization in Chicago called, “Free Tours By Foot” that offers free tours of different areas of Chicago, giving you a history lesson along the way. They don’t ask for anything, other than donations if you enjoyed their tour, and you decide how much.
    Other fun and mostly free things to do in Chicago include the Air & Water Show that runs in August, and if you happen to be planning a vacation in July, you’re taste buds are in luck. That’s when the “Taste Of Chicago” occurs. Area restaurants offer special prices for special tasting portions, and should easily offset the costs of that afternoon cocktail overlooking the waters.
    From June through September you can enjoy free music festivals in Chicago’s parks, with the like of the Blues Festival, Jazz Festival and World Music Festival to enjoy.
    A major concern in a major city on vacation is always food, because you can certainly spend a bunch of cash on it. Visiting Chicago, there are two meals that this town is famous for, Deep-Dish Chicago Style Pizza, and the Chicago-Style Hot Dog, both guaranteed not to empty the wallet.

  • Keeping Cool in Chicago on your summer vacation

    If you don’t already have one of those pump spray bottles with built in fan, get one and fill it with ice cubes. Mist yourself every once in a while and you’ll be surprised how much cooler you will feel. And, if you don’t have one with a fan, just get one that sprays, because even that will help cool you off.
    Another cooling lifesaver is the standard, or exotic bandana that can be soaked in cold water, or filled with ice cubes. Stick it around your neck, apply it to wrists and armpits (only if you dare), and keep cool.
    Always pack a bathing suit whenever you travel, especially during summer months. These days its rare to stay in a hotel that doesn’t have a swimming pool, especially in the Windy City. Take advantage of it if you can, because cool is in, especially in heat of summer.
    Now lets look at things you can do in Chicago and still stay cool. For one, it’s a given that most people enjoy shopping, and admit it mister, there’s always a store or two in malls just for guys. These shopping experiences thrive on bringing in shoppers, especially during the summer, that’s why their air conditioning systems are so good. Take advantage and plan a few hours midday in one of the shopping malls, where you can have lunch and maybe even check out a movie in the theater.
    Now if you’re careful, a day at one of Chicago’s beaches can be a great experience, especially swimming in the lake. With 26 miles of waterfront including 33 beaches, get there early enough, bring towels and check out a beach umbrella to stay out of the sun.
    The most popular beaches are 63rd Street Beach, Montrose Beach, Loyola Park, North Ave Beach and Oak Street Beach.
    The Montrose Beach is the one you want if you brought along Fido, because it’s a Dog Beach and your pup is welcome.
    If you are looking for a beach experience with a party attitude, then downtown in the Lincoln Park area is North Ave Beach. Here is where you find the party crowd at the Castaways Bar. Just remember, drinking cold alcohol beverages really doesn’t cool you off, they just make you forget how hot you are.
    We hope this article and its suggestions will help keep you and your family healthy and safe on your Chicago Vacation this year.

  • Going Cheap in Chicago

    I should preface that with a friendly reminder that you do have to be a fan of walking and a couple of miles of moving along on your feet has to be what you consider fun. If this describes you, it is easy to have a fun and inexpensive time in this very impressive town.

    Before we start, you will need to find a hotel in the Downtown area, sure public transportation can get you around, but if you aim to use your feet you will have to seek out good lodging deals in the Downtown area. They do exist and depending on the season they can easily beat out comparable hotels in big cities across the country.

    Next, utilize public transportation, even though most of the attractions that you want to see may be close by there are a few spots that are best seen via train or bus. Grab a 1, 3 or 5 day rail pass and you’ll save money on getting around. The train is faster but the bus allows you to see more of the city. (Note: the bus tends to crawl around during high traffic times, so be aware of scheduling conflicts and allow for extra time if you utilize the bus).

    Navigating the city is very simple, just remember that Michigan Avenue is where you’ll do most of your sightseeing as your trip starts. (it runs north to south) You will branch out, but getting the lay of the land is simple once you understand that a river crosses Michigan Ave. (Chicago River) and heads east toward Lake Michigan. Grant Park is between Michigan and the Lake. Simple, right? Keep heading north and you’ll get to Oak Street Beach. If you head south you’ll get to Hyde Park and the University of Chicago as well as the neighborhood that President Barack Obama calls home.

    Things you should see that are cheap in Chicago:

    • Oak Street Beach – Yes, I am telling you to go and see a beach in a city that is so dynamic and interesting. The views from this side of town are spectacular and you’ll realize it the minute you frame a shot with Lake Michigan on the left and the city on the right. (Hint: It seems like city views are spectacular from so many points of interest in Chicago)
    • Lincoln Park Zoo (Free) : One of the oldest zoos in the US. Typically crowded on the weekends, but a really peaceful and immersive treat during the weekdays. My favorite thing to do is go to the McCormick Bird House during the birds’ feeding and watch the tentative interaction between the zookeeper and the pair of Blyth’s Hornbills (the zookeeper uses a clicker to distract the hornbills and throws a few grapes in its beaks before quickly plopping down the bowl of food). Also, when they flap their wings, it sounds like thunder—very loud and disarming.
    • Lincoln Park Conservatory (Free) (Next to the Lincoln Park Zoo): A stunning sea glass-colored structure that houses a verdant fern room. Make a game out of finding the semi-hidden dinosaur figurines.
    • Free Concerts in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center (Free): Concerts are not given by the CSO, but by the Civic Orchestra. There are typically 6 concerts per season. There’s a preconcert lecture as well for folks who want to learn more about the evening’s performance.
    • Graceland Cemetery (Free): Self-guided walking tour is available at the visitor’s center. Beautiful Victorian-era cemetery/park that’s well-maintained. All the architectural greats and business magnates are buried here: Mies Van Der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Marshall Fields, George Pullman, etc. Personally, I would recommend going on a walking tour guided by a Chicago Architecture Foundation docent to maximize you time. You have to leave before 4pm, though, or risk getting locked in for the night!
    • Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tours (starts at $15): So many great walking tours that last about 2 hours. I would recommend any of the walking tours that take place in the Loop (e.g., “Downtown Deco” or the “Daniel Burnham: Architect, Planner, Leader” tours) which provides the most shot-to-the heart stunning view of Chicago’s strong architectural heritage.
    • Maxwell Street Market (free): One of the oldest street/flea markets in Chicago. Known for their vibrant Mexican food vendors. One of Rick Bayless’s favorite places to grab a meal.
    • Free Museum Days: Pretty self-explanatory. The line for the Shedd Aquarium is always the longest and free is always good.