Chicago, Illinois: The Ritz-Carlton
We asked Chef Concierge Jon Winke at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Hotel. Chicago offers exceptional architecture, dining, sports and shopping, as well as a dramatic location along the shores of Lake Michigan.
The Ritz-Carlton literally sits above one of the world’s best-known shopping streets, the Magnificent Mile, the stretch of North Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Oak Street, including the retail atriums of Water Tower Place and The 900 North Michigan Shops. You can find Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom’s, Saks 5th Avenue and American Girl Place all within a few minutes of our hotel.
Spain has El Bulli, and America has Alinea, Chicago’s temple of red-hot “molecular gastronomy.” Think fine dining meets science fiction, with such far-out concepts as food served on an inflatable pillow filled with nutmeg-infused air to provide a sensory experience. As odd as it sounds, Gourmet magazine named it the Best U.S. Restaurant and it has won countless other awards. You can sit back and enjoy the 18-course tasting menu. There are many other dining choices to eat your way through—ask the Concierge for recommendations.
Roll Along the Lake
One of the country’s best urban bike paths is the 18-mile paved Lakefront Trail, a great way to see why America’s “Second City” is first when it comes to waterfronts. The path encompasses many top attractions such as Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Hyde Park and the Oak Street Beach. Rentals are readily available at our Hotel.
Mad for Museums
If Chicago did not already have so many nicknames, “the Museum City” would fit. The Art Institute of Chicago is a true world-class collection, including works by Rembrandt, Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso and Monet. The Field Museum is arguably the world’s top natural history institution, and the Museum of Science and Industry, home to the Apollo 8 command module, is also first in class. The Shedd Aquarium is one of the best in the country. For most museums, the Hotel provides VIP passes that help guests avoid long waits in line.