Concierge Guide: Downtown Chicago

With our Chicago Carr Workplaces located next to Millennium Park and overlooking Lake Michigan, we are fortunate to have our pick of great things to do, see, eat and drink all within a few minutes’ walk or ride on the “L” from our center. Here, then, is a look at what we love in Downtown Chicago.

Chicago’s downtown feels like a proper downtown – massive buildings scrape the sky and throngs of well-dressed urbanites pack sidewalks, shops and eateries. Whether or not you are turned on by the buzz of a busy city center, Chicago has an impressive number of greenspaces to relax as well as places to soak up some culture. Any visit to Chicago’s downtown requires a stop at the iconic Millennium Park, home of Cloud Gate, or, as it’s affectionately known by locals, the Bean. This gigantic orb has a magnetic effect on people, causing fits of glee and, of course, epic selfie sessions.

While Chicago is known for harsh winters, when the weather changes Chicagoans come out in droves to play. If you visit the city during Spring, Summer or Fall keep your eyes on the calendar of events at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which sits just behind Cloud Gate. Outdoor films, concerts, free yoga classes are just a few of the regular events that take place at this Frank Ghery-designed amphitheater and sprawling green space.

Another Chicago landmark you’ve likely seen on your social media feeds is Sky Deck, which puts you a heart-pounding 103 floors above the city in a completely see-through glass space.

Across from Millennium Park is a much older city institution, the Chicago Athletic Association, turned supremely trendy destination. Built in 1893, this former private club for the elite is now a gorgeous hotel with several great bars and restaurants.

At the top of the CAA is Cindy’s, considered by many to be Chicago’s best rooftop bar and restaurant.

On the second floor of the hotel is the massive Game Room, which features Top Golf swing suites, billiards, bocce, shuffleboard and more.

And if you like your drinks with both a story and style, Milk Room, also in the hotel, is your place.

Just an 8-minute walk from Carr Workplaces is one of America’s best contemporary art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago.

A few minutes stroll further south is yet another tremendous Chicago greenspace, the majestic Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world. You could spend a lot of time in Grant as it’s home to the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, as well as numerous flower gardens and walking paths and all the wide open green areas you could want to laze about.

If you’re tired of doing all your shopping through a laptop or phone, head to the Magnificent Mile, which is the part of Michigan Avenue stretching between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River. It beckons consumers with high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor as well as top-notch restaurants and hotels such as the The Drake.

One of the best ways to take in Chicago is from its waterways on a Chicago architecture river cruise. There are a few companies that offer tours including Chicago Line Cruises, which departs from the Ogden Slip, located a few minutes north of Carr Workplaces.

Finally, if you prefer to stay on solid ground while still enjoying the water, the Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile long path winding past public gardens, art displays and many shops and restaurants, all while allowing you to take in the great second city skyline and canals.

Clearly, whether you’re in need of a serviced office or a prestigious virtual office address, our AON Center location offers quite an array of local amenities to enjoy in the heart of Chicago.

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