Chicago's South Loop
ABOUT SOUTH LOOP
The South Loop is such a dynamic mix of attractions and histories that the neighborhood tends to be seen as many different things to many different people. Consider the assorted areas that comprise the South Loop:
Much of its eastern edge is encompassed by the Museum Campus, an impressive collection of cultural treasures that includes the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium. This campus sits on scenic lakefront parklands that are an extension of Grant Park. With 319 acres of green space and recreational fields, Grant Park is known as "Chicago's front yard" to locals and also plays host to major city events such as Taste of Chicago, Chicago Blues Festival and Lollapalooza.
Jutting out further into Lake Michigan is Northerly Island, a peninsula sought out by nature lovers, while along the southern edge the sports fans know Soldier Field as the stadium for the beloved Chicago Bears football team. Meeting attendees are most familiar with McCormick Place, the largest convention center in the country, which is also in the immediate area.
And yet there are even more facets to the South Loop. History buffs point out the Motor Row District along South Michigan Avenue and nearby Prairie Avenue District, the "Millionaire's Row" that was lined with mansions belonging to Chicago's most wealthy elite during the end of the 19th century.
In the adjacent Printer's Row neighborhood, urban loft condos now fill the commercial spaces in what was formerly the center of the Midwest's publishing industry. Connections to this past are still seen within the venerable, independent book store and annual summer lit fest here. But business professionals and students have brought new life and redevelopment (though the vibe remains mellow), filling the restaurants, music clubs, smaller theaters and museums that have all established themselves in the community.