Boat ToursBoat trips travel along the Chicago River, through the locks into Chicago Harbor and Lake Michigan.
Bus and Trolley Tours One of the best ways to get oriented and view a multitude of sights during your trip is to take a bus tour. City orientation tours, including land and lake tours, are available at the Palmer House at 17 E. Monroe St. through American Sightseeing Tours, (312) 251-3100.
Driving ToursExploring the area's scenic bluffs and historic sites can be as simple as hopping into a car. Beginning in Illinois and ending in California, Route 66 served as an important travel route between the Midwest's rural communities and Chicago. The road now paves its way through America's cultural past, with an abundance of drive-in movie theaters, roadside restaurants, vintage gas stations and other charming landmarks found along its course. Information and maps can be obtained from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway; phone (217) 525-9308.
Walking ToursThe Chicago Architecture Foundation Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave., offers an array of walking tours as well as bus, boat, trolley, “L” train, Segway and bicycle tours.
One of Chicago's many architectural landmarks is the Merchandise Mart, on the north bank of the Chicago River between Wells and Orleans streets. Covering two city blocks, this destination is one of the world's largest commercial buildings. About 7.5 miles of corridors link hundreds of wholesale showrooms that display millions of dollars' worth of commercial and home furnishings. Shops on the first two floors are accessible to the public. A guided walking tour, however, is available; phone (312) 922-3432 for schedule and tickets.
Also departing from the Chicago Cultural Center are free visitor orientation tours. The Chicago Greeter program offers 2- to 4- hour walking tours of more than 25 neighborhoods or 40 special interest topics. Visitors are matched with local volunteer guides based on special interest and language. Visitors must register for tours at least 10 business days in advance; phone (312) 945-4231. Free 1-hour downtown walking tours departing from the InstaGreeter booth in the Cultural Center are offered on a first-come, first-served basis Fri.-Sat. 10-3, Sun. 11-2. InstaGreeter tours of Millennium Park also depart from the Cultural Center daily at 11:30 and 1, Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.
Not all of Chicago's art is confined to museums. The Richard J. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn streets, offers the controversial sculpture known as “The Chicago Picasso.” Farther south on Dearborn, at the Chase Tower Plaza at Monroe Street, is “The Four Seasons,” an acclaimed mosaic by Marc Chagall. The bright red “Flamingo” that dominates Chicago Federal Center Plaza, Adams and Dearborn streets, is by Alexander Calder. Twenty-two American Victorian stained glass windows are on display in the underground Loop pedway near Macy's, if you're looking for things to do on a cold day. Guided tours of the historic Macy’s building on State Street (formerly Marshall Field’s) depart from the lower level Fri. at 11:30. Tour highlights include the Tiffany vaulted ceiling and Burnham fountain.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
511 N Columbus Dr. Chicago, IL 60611
Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Magnificent Mile/Downtown
165 E Ontario St. Chicago, IL 60611
Illinois sales tax is 6.3 percent; cities and counties impose additional increments. The Chicago area has a lodging tax of 17.4 percent.
Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, (312) 567-2000; Northwestern Memorial Hospital, (312) 926-2000; Resurrection Medical Center, (773) 774-8000; Saint Anthony Hospital, (773) 484-1000; The University of Chicago Medicine, (773) 702-1000; University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, (866) 600-2273.
111 N. State St. (lower level) Chicago, IL 60602. Phone:(312)781-1000
O'Hare International Airport (ORD)—17 miles northwest of the city—is served by major domestic and foreign carriers. Midway International Airport (MDW), though smaller and serviced by far fewer carriers than O'Hare, is closer to the Loop—only 8 miles southwest of downtown.
Chicago is served by major car rental agencies. Arrangements should be made before you leave on your trip; your local AAA club can provide this assistance or additional information. Hertz, (312) 372-7600 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Chicago Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., is the city's main train depot and Amtrak's local hub. Trains run to both coasts and well into the South, with stops at most major cities along the routes; phone (800) 872-7245.
Greyhound Lines Inc. has its station at 630 W. Harrison St.; phone (312) 408-5821 or (800) 231-2222.
Taxis are readily available in Chicago.
Transportation by train and bus is available in Chicago.