CITY GUIDE: MICHIGAN AVENUE | The historic Chicago Athletic Association hotel, set in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, has the fortune of being located on one of the greatest urban thoroughfares in the world: Michigan Avenue. Our downtown hotel, which has a fantastic collection of restaurants and an intimate speakeasy bar with the Milk Room, actually first opened in 1893 as an exclusive men’s social and sport club. That same year, the Art Institute of Chicago, also on Michigan Avenue, welcomed its first visitors. Since then, it has curated one of the world’s best collections of art with pieces from masters and modernists alike.
Stroll north from our downtown hotel and find countless restaurants, bars and museums. In addition to the Art Institute and its Modern Wing, the Museum of Contemporary Art sits just off Michigan Avenue near Water Tower Place, which also houses the Chicago Sports Museum. Michigan Avenue has world-class shopping with upscale shops including Gucci, Chanel and Burberry alongside everyday contemporary stores like H&M, Gap and Uniqlo. When hunger hits, your dining options abound from the always-hopping Purple Pig with its Mediterranean-inspired menu; sweeping views at the upscale Signature Room at the 95th; the elegant art-filled Marisol at the MCA; quick-service Asian buns at Wow Bao; Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Spiaggia, where the Obamas have dined; and countless more upscale and casual eateries and taverns on and just off the avenue.
And, as you should always do in Chicago, check out the iconic architecture along Michigan Avenue including the John Hancock Center, Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building. You can even take a walking tour through the Chicago Architecture Foundation to get deeper information.