With public art like Cloud Gate (the Bean) and the Crown Fountain’s faces in Millennium Park, the boats and opening bridges that cross the Chicago River, the shops and restaurants that line the Magnificent Mile from Chanel to Old Navy, it’s no wonder that Chicago has been voted the Best Downtown by Times’ readers. Taking a stroll to Oak Street Beach or catching the symphony at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the summer time or ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Plaza in Millennium Park in the winter time, Chicago’s downtown is always a hotbed of activity. Chicago’s downtown is perfectly located and structured for a walk, a trolley ride, or even zooming from one end to the other in a cab or bus.
Meghan Risch, vice president of communications for Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm, says, “Chicago's downtown is flanked by awe-inspiring architecture dating back as far as the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition to the more recent Aqua building designed by one of the world's most celebrated female architects, Jeanne Gang. The very best in dining, theater, culture, shopping, retail and hotels is primarily located within this central business district, and all accessible by foot!”