Because this was a short trip and we wanted to play tourists, I looked for a hotel in downtown Chicago specifically in the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. I ended up making reservations at the recently redesigned Chicago Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile accessible to everything and right in the middle of Michigan Avenue.
Because some of the rooms at the Chicago Marriott are recently renovated, instead of booking online like I would normally do, I called the hotel directly to book our room to make sure that I get one of the renovated rooms on a high floor with the City view.
The Chicago Marriott was bustling when we arrived to check-in. Someone very friendly and efficient at the Preferred Check-in desk checked us in. We were given a room on the 38th floor. Our room had chic furnishings lending to a more contemporary décor and had floor to ceiling glass windows that afforded us a lovely view of the city as I requested.
If you’ve ever stayed at a Marriott hotel then you know how you feel laying and sleeping on one of the Marriott beds. Marriott guests know that these beds are heavenly. I can tell you that I’ve had the best sleep during our Chicago trip not because I was exhausted from all the touristy things we did but because I was sleeping on a Marriott bed that I am seriously considering getting to replace our bed when the time comes to replace it. The Marriott Bed as well as pillows, linens, bedding and bath items are all available for you to purchase on the Shop Marriott site (www.shopmarriott.com).
After we settled in our room for a bit— our stomach started grumbling. We went explored the neighborhood looking for a quick bite and came across Portillo’s down the street. The sign said “Home to America’s favorite Italian beef, burgers, salads, Chicago-style hotdogs and chocolate cake”. Craving for some Chicago-style hotdogs, we entered and had ourselves Chicago-style hotdogs for a late lunch/afternoon snack.
On our first night in Chicago, we had dinner reservations to Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, which is a restaurant that is really close to the hotel. Eddie V’s is convenient for us but is also convenient for any one visiting downtown Chicago as the restaurant is located close to the Shops at North Bridge, the Magnificent Mile and conveniently located from the Tribune Tower, Chicago River and Chicago Riverwalk. It offers a stylish and sophisticated dining experience and also features an abundant selection of curated cocktails to complement your meal. The Chicago Eddie V’s featured live entertainment so I made sure and requested that we be seated in the lounge so we can enjoy listening to the live performance while savoring our dinner. After dinner we took a walk up and down Michigan Avenue looking in at shops and admiring the city lights.
The next day, we did the Chicago City Tour and Chicago River Cruise excursion. We took a short cab ride to meet our Grayline bus at Monroe Street. During the 2-hour narrated sightseeing city tour, we explored and visited iconic landmarks and famous neighborhoods from President Obama’s old neighborhood in the South Side to Grant Park, Navy Pier and Lake Point Towers to Soldier Field and Adler Planetarium—this tour is really a great way to see most of Chicago from a new perspective. After a quick lunch in the jewelry district where our bus dropped us off, we took another short cab ride to Chicago Lines Cruises’ location where we boarded a yacht for an architectural cruise on the Chicago River. My husband and I truly enjoyed and were awed from the water by Chicago’s amazing architecture.
Dinner on our second night was Japanese food at OYSY Sushi followed by another leisurely and beautiful walk up and down Michigan Avenue.
We decided to take it easy on our 3rd day. After breakfast, we took a cab to Millennium Park to visit Cloud Gate, a public sculpture that is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park, also commonly known and nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. We walked around and took pictures and of course had to do a couple of selfies along the way. We then decided to walk back to our hotel and came across the Millennium Arts Festival, a free 3-day festival that features incredible artwork including paintings, ceramics, photography and furniture of more than 110 juried artists who participate in this city-centric festival. Of course it also showcases tasty treats and great food with love performances to complete the art-filled experience.
Walking around the festival made us hungry. Lunch this time was at Sweetwater Tavern and Grille right on Michigan Avenue. The weather was fabulous for Chicago in the summertime so we requested to be seated in their outdoor patio area. The restaurant offered a modern American food menu complemented by a wide array of craft beer selection, seasonal cocktails and an upbeat atmosphere.
After lunch, our last afternoon in Chicago consisted of walking up and down Michigan Avenue again, stopping at landmarks here and there and checking out the lovely stores along the avenue. Late afternoon, we watched a movie at AMC Theatres a block away from our hotel and had a very casual dinner before retiring for the night to pack and get another good night’s sleep on my Marriott Bed before leaving to catch our flight the next day.
Our Chicago trip was short but wonderful! It was a much needed respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life