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The Loop

Chicago

The Loop

Known for Museum, Culture and Architecture

Bordered roughly by the surrounding elevated train circuit, this Chicago neighborhood has restaurants, galleries, parks and a giant silver bean.

How do you get to The Loop?

The Loop neighborhood is Chicago’s exciting downtown. Ride just under 2 miles (3 kilometers) on the elevated L trains that have followed a rectangular loop over the city streets since 1897. Step off the train to visit restaurants, cultural attractions, shops, clubs and beautiful parklands. Shop along historic State Street and stroll on the Riverwalk north of the Loop for dining and entertainment.

Enjoy Chicago’s cultural scene in the Loop. See exhibits and programs at the Chicago Cultural Center during the day and choose from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for evening performances. Attend a Broadway show at the Ford Oriental Theatre.

Venture out on the glass-bottomed ledge of the Skydeck on Willis Tower’s 103rd floor. At 1,450 feet (443 meters), this is one of the world’s tallest buildings. View up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) away across four states.

East of the Loop is Millennium Park, planned and opened around the year 2000. This vast space features the lovely Lurie Garden, which offers educational programs for children and adults. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the Great Lawn performance space seats more than 10,000 people. Many events held here are free.

The park’s art is large and unique. Gaze at Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, reflecting the city skyline and overhead skies on shiny steel plates. Because of its curved shape with concave underside, locals call this the Bean. The 50-foot (15-meter) towers of Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain project faces of Chicago citizens, with water appearing to spout from their mouths. Look for the current exhibits of modern and contemporary art in the outdoor Boeing Galleries.

Extending south along Lake Michigan is the rest of Grant Park. Stroll through this large park to enjoy its gardens, sculptures and the gorgeous Buckingham Fountain shaped like a rococo wedding cake. Enter the Art Institute of Chicago, filled with American and Impressionist art.

Between sightseeing outings, stop for authentic Chicago-style pizza across the Loop neighborhood.

Things to do near The Loop

Explore a massive collection of works celebrating different cultures and historical times, from ancient Egypt to modern installations.

Chicago’s front yard is a pretty landscaped park, which is home to public art displays, museums, themed gardens and international music festivals.

Stroll along the waterfront of the Chicago River to pass some of the city’s most appealing attractions and appreciate how a once grim area has been successfully revamped.

Events center, NFL stadium and historic landmark all in one, this waterfront field is one of Chicago’s most popular destinations.

Tour the iconic grounds and catch a game March through September at Chicago’s beloved baseball stadium.

Visit an African savannah, the Australian Outback and the depths of the ocean — all in a single afternoon.

You don’t have to be a student to appreciate the attractions and ambiance of this celebrated university on the banks of Lake Michigan.

Spend a day at this sprawling theme park to enjoy an array of thrilling roller coaster rides, a water park and entertainment for kids of all ages.

Tickets & Tours

Chicago CityPASS® tickets include premium admission to Chicago’s top attractions at significant savings off the price of the same tickets purchased separately. Extra perk: CityPASS travelers skip most main-entrance ticket lines.

Tickets & Tours

Choose from Chicago's best attractions, guided tours, and experiences with the flexibility of an Explorer Pass. Opt for a pass that's good for 3, 4, or 5 attractions and visit each one on your own schedule.

Tickets & Tours

Take in the view from the sky-high heights of the Willis Tower, the second-tallest building in the United States. From the 103rd floor, look out over 4 states and the Windy City's urban sprawl, and then test your vertigo on a glass balcony to peer down at the streets and skyscrapers of Chicago beneath your feet.

Tickets & Tours

Take a breezy spin around the Windy City as you discover the parks, architecture, and jazzy atmosphere of Chicago on a double-decker bus. Get a lay of the land in this Midwest metropolis by bus, and hop on and off at landmarks like Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, and the Willis Tower.

Tickets & Tours

Explore Chicago's seedy underworld on this guided bus tour of its most famous gangsters and mobsters. Investigate the former haunts of legends like Al Capone, The Untouchables, and John Dillinger as you explore the sites of major crimes, violent deaths, and shocking trials on this guided excursion.

Tickets & Tours

At 360 CHICAGO, the guest experience begins at the ground floor with a museum-style exhibition celebrating Chicago’s history and nine of its culturally rich neighborhoods.

Visitor guides from our travel experts

Local experts explore every corner of The Loop for you

Bucket List guide to Chicago

Knocking off Bucket-List items in the Windy City

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Bucket List guide to Chicago

The best of Chicago pizza

Digesting the very best of Chicago's deep-dish delights

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The best of Chicago pizza

Peaceful parks of Chicago

Finding peace and quiet in Chicago-area parks

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Peaceful parks of Chicago

Top hotels in Chicago

Expedia’s top Chicago Hotels as ranked by 2013 Insiders’ Select™ List of The World’s Best-Reviewed Hotels.

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Top hotels in Chicago

Other neighborhoods in Chicago