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If you think all there is to Chicago is deep-dish pizza and something about a sports curse, it’s really time you get out more. Chicago offers way more than thick pies and an obsession with baseball.
Don’t get us wrong, the pizza is really freakin’ good and a game at Wrigley Field is next level, but we dare you to scratch the city’s surface. Peer into the weird and wonderful, where video games are masterpieces and snake oil tinctures sit on display. Find the best grub at the shadiest food stands. And score a Hotwire Hot Rate on Chicago hotels this weekend, because a trip like this can’t wait.
Come Hungry: Move over baseball, eating is the real sport in this town. Loosen that belt buckle and search for the spots where the locals nosh. The fried chicken at Mini Hut is great for whetting the ol’ appetite, while Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots will have you reconsidering conventional hot dog wisdom. We won’t even get into the great Italian beef sandwich debate, so just make sure you eat one while you’re in town, okay?
Stay Weird: The gigantic dinosaur skeleton at the Field Museum is pretty neat, but have you ever seen an Austrian amputation saw with a revisable blade? We didn’t think so. Scour the innovative and borderline barbaric gadgets at the International Museum of Surgical Science, or geek out at the Video Game Art Gallery, where digital art takes center stage.
Ditch the City for the Sand: Think Chicago’s just another concrete jungle? Then you’re doing it all wrong. Snag a last-minute Chicago hotel and make it a beach trip, because Chicago has some rad sandy stretches. The lake might look like an ocean, but don’t let it fool you, it’s better—we’re talkin’ unsalted and shark free! Dodge the crowds and take a dip down at Helen Doria Beach or head to the newer Oakwood Beach for an outdoor festival. Montrose Beach and Foster Beach even have their own dog areas.
Wet Your Whistle: Some call it a cruel joke and others say it’s a rite of passage, but knocking back a shot of Malort really isn’t required. Whether you brave the notorious liquor or not, find something you actually enjoy at a cooler spot in town. Search for the secret bookcase entrance to The Drifter, a speakeasy burlesque bar, or sip at Berghoff Bar, home to the city’s first liquor license post-Prohibition.
Ready to debunk all of this city’s stereotypes for yourself? Crash in the hotels in Downtown Chicago or slip away to the hotels near O’Hare Airport. When you pull the trigger on a Hot Rate, you’ll score last-minute Chicago deals, so you have more cash for the things that matter most.