As a national hub for healthcare, manufacturing, and real estate, Chicago is the ultimate business destination. Check out our business traveler's guide.
The Windy City is a booming, yet affordable place to work and live. It’s filled with generous people, waterfront parks and piers, and is a growing national hub for healthcare, manufacturing, sports, and real estate development. In fact, Chicago continues to grow as a leader in a variety of other industries as well. If you find yourself going to Chicago for your next business meeting or conference, get ready to be impressed.
Affordable Business-Class Luxury
The surprising joy of staying in Chicago is that hotel prices are below the national average, which allows you to enjoy more luxurious accommodations at prices that feel like a bargain. Many hotels are centrally located near top-ranked restaurants and attractions for you to enjoy after your meetings wrap up. Consider staying in one of these great hotels:
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Located adjacent to the McCormick Place convention center, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place is a perfect meeting spot for business. The hotel features two restaurants, oversized work desks, and gorgeous views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
In the heart of the city center — right where the Chicago River and North Michigan Avenue meet — the freshly renovated Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront provides oversized guestrooms with stunning views. Walk to the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and many other attractions when the work day is finished.
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Located steps from the financial district, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel is a striking building with a modern, fresh design created by famed architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. Upgrade to the Business Class lounge and 24-hour valet parking, or work off some steam in the rooftop swimming pool overlooking the famous city skyline.
Make Transport a Breeze
Chicago has the second-largest public transportation network in the nation, but it’s still a car-friendly city. Renting a car gets you where you need to go fast. Bookmark the map of downtown parking lots, and you can easily create a plan to arrive right on time for your business meetings.
Rent a Car with Hertz
There are nearly two dozen locations to pick up a Hertz rental car in Chicago, including the bustling O’Hare International Airport. If you’re arriving on a private flight, you can pick up your rental car from Atlantic Aviation, or head straight downtown to McCormick Place, Lincoln Square, or one of the city’s other top hotels.
Get Elevated on the “L”
You can’t miss the eight “L” lines running through Chicago – although not all of them are actually elevated. The Chicago Transit Authority oversees the metro as well as an extensive bus system, and there’s a Metra commuter rail as well. In the warmer months, a fun way to get around is the Chicago Water Taxi that makes the river its road.
Lunch Out of the Loop
Most of the offices in downtown Chicago are situated on what is known as “The Loop.” As a result, that’s also where some of the fastest lunch spots are located. When it comes to treating your clients, head outside The Loop to enjoy the right ambiance for business meals out.
It’s easy to look and feel smart when you’re surrounded by stacks of books and scientific lab equipment in the Hotel EMC2’s The Albert. This classy spot serves dishes crafted from seasonal ingredients and homemade surprises like fresh bread and butter. End with cookies from the oven when you land that big deal.
The business casual vibe at Taste 222 boasts a comfortable space and a state-of-the-art kitchen. Simple, yet delicious options range from salads and sandwiches to Korean BBQ wings and Brussels sprouts flatbread.
Pop over to the Gold Coast neighborhood to bask in the glistening Somerset Club, situated on the site of the 1920’s famed Cedar Hotel. Its American country club style is overseen by Chef Lee Wolen, who prepares lunch and brunch that is as delectable as you would expect.
Celebrate Fine Dining in Chicago
Chicago is one of the top food destinations in the nation, so make it a special occasion while visiting for business. The locals may be down to earth and relaxed, but the food certainly rises to the top. Try some of these impressive spots:
Located in the West Loop neighborhood, Oriole is entered through a tricky-to-find back alley doorway. Keep looking until you find it, because the white tablecloths set the expectations for a tasting menu that is balanced and sophisticated.
If there’s a place to celebrate professional success, it’s on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange at Everest. This French restaurant serves elegant entrees that bring fancy to a whole new level. Cheers to a successful business visit — and the beautiful city views.
The farm-to-table movement has its roots in the Midwest, and Elizabeth shines both in creative, inspired dishes and Midwestern charm. With a focus on fruit and vegetables, the bounty of the farm creates plates that are memorable and delicious.
Nighttime in the City
Chicago comes alive at night, with a jazz scene that rivals its deep-dish pizza in fame. There’s lots of see and enjoy in the Windy City with clients or in between big meetings, so let down your hair and have some fun.
Challenge your fear of heights by stepping outside the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Walk 1,353 feet in the air by way of a glass box called the “Ledge” that extends 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. See up to 50 miles and into four states at once — if you can open your eyes long enough to look.
Adler After Dark
If you happen to be in the city on the third Thursday of the month, head to the Adler Planetarium for an evening that includes a look through the telescope at the Doane Observatory, which is the largest available for public viewing in the Midwest. It’s a breathtaking look at the solar system, complete with appetizers.
With live jazz seven days a week, you can’t go wrong at Andy’s Jazz Club. Based in the River North district, this club has been part of the jazz scene for more than 40 years. Two bands perform multiple shows each night, providing plenty of opportunities to snap your fingers and smile.
Blown away by the Windy City? See what other industry leaders think of Chicago for business trips on our Facebook page.