Heading south (right) out of the front exit of the hotel along Michigan Avenue, you will enjoy some splendid architecture as you work your way toward the River. On your right, below street level, is the entrance to the Wendella Boat Tour – a MUST SEE Chicago experience. But if you cross the River, just a few short blocks will bring you to our expansive city park – three parks connected into one remarkable experience. The newest park, Maggie Daley Park, joins Millennium Park and Grant Park stretching from Randolph all the way down to Roosevelt Road.
Millennium Park, Chicago’s top tourist destination, presents a unique combination of design, architecture, and art along with a remarkable feat of engineering. This is a park in the sky – built on top of rail yards and parking lots. The park extends along Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street to Columbus Drive and Monroe. While there are many things to see in this park, don’t miss the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate (the bean). The girder footbridge connects Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park, providing a vista for some amazing photos of the city.
If you have your kids in tow, they will enjoy Maggie Daley Park, complete with mini golf, a climbing wall, and rollerblade and scooter rental at the Skating Ribbon, plus a three-acre play garden.
Emerge from the park at Randolph Street and cross Michigan Avenue to head towards State Street. You’ll pass the historic Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s) at the corner of State and Randolph. At the intersection of State and Randolph, you’ll see the beginning of the downtown theatre district – including the Chicago Theatre, Goodman, Ford and Cadillac Palace. Head west on Randolph and you will pass the Thompson Center where you can take a photo with the sculpture many Chicagoans call “Snoopy in a blender”. Across the street, you’ll see City Hall and the Daley Center where you will find the giant sculpture by Pablo Picasso.
Continue heading west to see the Civic Opera House, turning left (south) on Wacker Drive to the Willis (Sears) Tower. Returning to the hotel along Wacker and the Chicago River Walk (accessible at Franklin) will take a bit longer, but is worth it.