Nicknamed 'The Loop' for the elevated train, which loops around the Chicago Financial District, Chicago's compact but impressive downtown area sits south of the Chicago River and is bordered by the waterfront Grant Park to the east and Congress Avenue to the south.
The area is as 'downtown' as downtowns get - a grid of towering skyscrapers, including Sears Tower, North America's tallest building, financial institutions including Chicago Board of Trade and local government buildings.
Major visitor points of interest in this section of downtown include the Symphony Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the theater district, State Street shops and the Museum Campus at the southern part of Grant Park.
Hotels and motels in 'The Loop' area of Chicago cater to both business people and tourists. Most are upscale and include a mix of historical hotels housed in 19th century renovated buildings and chic modern high-rise hotels wrapped glass.