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Locals Guide

Explore our royally curated Chicago itineraries

Choose Your Own Adventure

At The Royal Sonesta Chicago River North, part of the royal treatment is our people. Our staff members are experts on the area—where to go for the perfect meal, an epic view, or the best shopping in town. Turn to us for family-friendly city experiences, dog friendly beaches, a night at the theater, or an evening at the club. Whatever you’re looking to experience, part of the royal treatment is to help you find it.

So come on in, your highness. Chicago is full of adventures and our in-the-know staff can’t wait to help you in your quest.

art museum with lion statue in front

For the Art and Culture Lovers

The Art Institute of Chicago    
A can’t-miss destination for any art-lover, the Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. The Modern Wing, designed by the famed Renzo Piano, is home to the museum’s contemporary collections and is an architectural masterpiece in and of itself.    
111 S Michigan Avenue

Chicago History Museum   
You can’t come to Chicago without learning a little Chicago history to take home! The Chicago History Museum, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, is home to archives, manuscripts, photographs and more designed to study and interpret Chicago’s history.    
1601 N Clark Street

Museum of Contemporary Art    
Just a short stroll down Michigan Avenue from us, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a spectacular building that holds one of the largest contemporary art collections in the world. It’s on-site restaurant, Marisol, from famed Chicago chef Jason Hammel isn’t too shabby either.    
220 E Chicago Avenue

DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center    
Now celebrating over 60 years of history, the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is the nation’s first independent museum dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent.    
740 E 56th Place 


burger and fries

For the Foodies

We’d be remiss to not recommend one of the best neighborhood dining destinations located under our very own roof. From morning coffee to evening cocktails, our menu of American Brasserie-style inspired classics and seasonal drinks offers something for everyone. For something hearty and oh-so Chicago try the Brown Sugar Cured Bacon Flatbread paired with a CBR Old Fashioned.    
505 N State Street 

We love this place for its multi-course menus and bourbon tastings and cocktails.    
530 N Wabash Avenue

Can’t get a table at the ever popular Frontera Grill or Topolobampo? You can still experience a taste of Chicago culinary legend Rick Bayless’s dishes with Xoco’s fun counter-style vibes serving Chef Bayless’s takes on Mexican street food.    
449 N Clark Street

What would a trip to Chicago be without a classic steakhouse meal? This swanky River North version seamlessly blends a modern steakhouse with the vibes of a chic lounge. The perfect place to get your night on the town started.    
9 W Kinzie Street


ferris wheel

For the Lil’ Ones

JoJo’s Shake Bar   
Indulge your sweet tooth (and then some) at this funky and fun cafe-bar complete with loaded shakes, cookie flights, frozen bars, cocktails and nostalgic details like an arcade and walk-up window.   
23 W Hubbard Street

Museum of Science and Industry   
Who says learning can’t be fun? The Museum of Science and Industry houses the Western Hemisphere’s largest science museum with tons of hands-on learning activities and interactive exhibits.   
5700 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Shedd Aquarium  
There’s over 32,000 animals located in Chicago’s famed Shedd Aquarium, but don’t leave without seeing Wellington the penguin (of COVID-era viral video fame) - who at 35+ years is one of the oldest living penguins.   
1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Chicago Children’s Museum  
The Chicago Children’s Museum offers two birds for one stone with a visit to the multi-level museum packed with tons of fun activities for the kiddos, located within one of Chicago’s other major traveler attractions - Navy Pier.   
700 E Grand Avenue 


french bulldog sitting in lobby on leash, owner sitting on chari

For Our Four-Legged Friends 

CBR Patio   
Come summertime, there’s no better spot to grab a drink (for you) and an outdoor nap (for Fido) than at our seasonal al fresco CBR patio.    
505 N State Street

Millennium Park   
Leash up your four-legged friend and take a stroll down Michigan Avenue to THE ultimate Chicago park, Millennium Park. Get in some canine exercise and see the sights like The Bean, Lurie Garden and more.    
201 E Randolph Street

Montrose Dog Beach   
Though it’s located a bit uptown, Montrose Dog Beach is worth the trek for any dog lover. As Chicago’s first legal off-leash beach, it’s especially popular for early morning dog runs.    
4697 Lawrence, W Wilson Drive

Seadog Cruises Chicago   
Departing from Navy Pier, you and your pooch can see the Windy City from the water aboard Seadog Cruises Chicago, who offers a variety of dog-friendly event tours throughout the year.    
600 E Grand Avenue


Chicago buildings and street with cars

For Some Retail Therapy 

The Magnificent Mile  
It’s Chicago’s most famous shopping stretch for good reason. In addition to upscale shops, luxe boutiques and department stores, you can also take in some of the city’s greatest architectural landmarks like the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower and the 100-story John Hancock Center.   
Michigan Avenue

900 Shops  
Keep strolling down the Magnificent Mile and you’ll find one of the anchors of the street at 900 Shops. It includes seven levels of retailers, boutiques and restaurants, including what is arguably the chicest mall “food court” around.   
900 N Michigan Avenue

Famous for its iconic red facade, Ikram’s price tags are as high as many of the nearby skyscrapers but it’s worth a look for the atmosphere alone. There’s also an art gallery and cafe on the second floor.  
15 E Huron Street

A neighborhood in the northern part of the city, Andersonville is known as the “shop local” hub of Chicago. It’s full of unique, one-of-a-kind boutique shops, book stores, restaurants and more - fiercely protected by the neighborhood residents.   
Clark Street, Andersonville 


woman's legs peddling on Peloton machine

For the Wellness Fanatic 

Joe & The Juice   
Grab a fresh juice, smoothie or other light and healthy fare as you head out to get your steps in exploring the city on foot.    
215 W Hubbard Street

AIRE Ancient Baths
Located in a restored factory in River West, the calming, restorative nature of traditional Roman, Greek and Ottoman empire bath experiences await. One of only two in the United States (the other being in New York) AIRE Ancient Baths also offers a rejuvenating menu of massages, rituals, wine experiences and more.    
800 W Superior Street

Lume Wellness   
This modern day wellness center offers a curated selection of treatments to ensure you feel at your optimal best - from IV drops and cryotherapy to infrared sauna, hyperbaric oxygen, vitamin shots and more.    
351 W Hubbard Street

Lakefront Trail   
The original wellness classic, the Lakefront Trail is 18.5 miles of outdoor terrain for walking, biking, running and cycling. Stay on the move and in the fresh air while you take in the Chicago sights and sounds.    
Running from Ardmore Avenue on the north to 71st Street on the south