Where is the River North neighborhood in Chicago relative to other popular areas like the Loop? If you cross the river from the Loop, you’re in River North! The area offers a unique aesthetic of sleek art galleries tucked away into former warehouse buildings, and features the Chicago Riverwalk promenade. That’s not to mention a wide selection of luxe shops, high-end cocktail bars, and dining spots. Below, Skydeck shares some ideas for what to do in River North Chicago, whether you’re here from another city or headed downtown for a night out.

Where is the River North Neighborhood in Chicago?

You know it’s on the north side, but exactly where is the River North neighborhood in Chicago located? Fittingly, River North is tucked between the main and north branches of the Chicago River, just north of the main branch. Adjacent neighborhoods include the Gold Coast to the north and the Magnificent Mile shopping district to the east. Just south of the river is the Loop, home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks — including the 110-story Willis Tower.

River North Chicago Landmarks

It may not be the Loop, but River North claims some of the city’s major landmarks, like the twin corncobs at Marina City, the 330 N. Wabash Mies van der Rohe skyscraper, and the Gilded Age “Marble Palace.” Here are few more ideas for what to do in River North Chicago if you’re an architecture or urban design buff:

  • Merchandise Mart: The largest building in the world when it opened in 1930 on the Chicago Riverwalk, the Mart hosts events like Art on the MART, Art Chicago International Art Fair, and NeoCon.
  • Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain: The iconic Centennial Fountain is located on the north bank of the Chicago River.

What to Do in River North Chicago

Wondering what to do in River North Chicago that will please the whole family? Fortunately, you have more than enough options:

  • Navy Pier: Enjoy a range of family activities and take in the Chicago Skyline at Navy Pier. Highlights include the Chicago Children’s Museum, the original Ferris Wheel, 18-hole mini-golf course, Pier Park, and other old-fashioned carnival rides.
  • Ward A. Montgomery Park: Ward Park was designed to emphasize the Chicago River, and involves the famous Chicago Riverwalk promenade. Enjoy plenty of downtown green space as well as a large playground, adjacent dog-friendly area, and mosaic mural.
  • Carl Hammer Gallery: This unique gallery showcases modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Carl Hammer is famous for its focus on historically significant artists within the “Outsider” and self–taught genres, as well as artists from both the “Monster Roster” and the Chicago “Imagist” traditions.
  • Chicago Riverwalk: The Riverwalk offers a host of family-friendly, outdoor activities to enjoy in the warmer months. Check out kayak rentals, boat tours, bike rides, architecture walking tours, and more.

River North Restaurants

If you’re looking for great food in Chicago, you definitely have no shortage of options. We have to recommend the original Pizzeria Uno at 29 E. Ohio and its sister location, Pizzeria Due at 619 N. Wabash, serving up what some call the original deep dish pizza in a rustic venue. There’s also Quartino Ristorante at 626 N. State, home of Italian food served family style. It’s meant to be shared! There’s also Gordon Ramsay Burger at 2 E. Ontario, the celebrity chef’s foray into the Windy City.

Hotels in River North, Chicago

There are also a host of hotels in River North, Chicago, catering to all budgets and levels of luxury. Our suggestions have to be the Hyatt Place at 66 W. Illinois, a 3-star that’s got reasonable rates while still providing quality service, and the Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile at 20 E. Chestnut, a 5-star joint with some of the most luxurious digs in the city.

Discover River North, Chicago with Skydeck

Chicago is a big, big city with tons to do and explore. However, any trip to Chicago is incomplete without visiting the Skydeck. Willis Tower is one of Chicago’s main attractions and if you’re looking to see it all from 103 floors up, be sure to connect with us or check out the events list coming up at Willis Tower. Make your trip to Chicago something special with us!