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Chicago is about as exciting a city as I have ever seen. I was only there a few times for work, but I found myself staring out the windows of the meeting rooms just wondering what it would be like to live there, to explore there and to have fun there. I always boarded my flight home with a tinge of sadness as I never had a chance to see for myself what this enormous and gorgeous place was all about. Before my last trip there, I had an idea: I would book my return flight for a day after my last work obligation was finished, and I would pick a neighborhood to explore for those 24 hours. The neighborhood I chose was the West Loop, and I could not wait to see it. I wasn't worried about lodging, though, as I always traveled with HotelTonight, an app that would help me find a West Look Chicago hotel room in seconds.

The Absence of High Rises

When you spend time anywhere in the city, you get used to seeing high rises pretty much in every direction. I immediately noticed that this was not the case in the West Loop. I actually stopped at a cafe for a coffee and asked a local about this, and he told me that this was not an accident. Local officials have put zoning laws in place that prevent high rises from being built here. Instead, most of the buildings seem to be between three and seven stories high, and the absence of high rises gives the area a very distinct feel relative to the rest of the city.

The Warehouses

So how did the people here help to prevent the building of high rises? They made good with the buildings that were already there for the most part. Many of these buildings were warehouses. You could see, walking around, that these old industrial buildings had basically been rebuilt from the ground up on the inside. There were a lot of very nice-looking lofts and even some modern office buildings mixed into the works. It was fascinating to see an area rebuilt without actually being totally rebuilt.

The Pizza

If there is an iconic food assigned to Chicago, it's the deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza. I was starving and was quite happy to see one of the iconic pizza places of Chicago right here in the West Loop. It's almost as if they do everything the opposite way of what's traditional with these pizzas, as the crust is thick and tasty, the cheese is on the bottom and the sauce is on the top. I could not believe how much of this dense but delicious dish I actually ate, but it was worth the extra hours at the gym I'll have to log.

HotelTonight – West Loop Chicago Hotels Are Available

After a meal like that, I needed to walk a bit. Unfortunately--or fortunately depending on perspective--I only had to walk about a block after logging onto HotelTonight and reserving a West Loop Chicago hotel room. I looked forward to a night of deep sleep after a thoroughly enjoyable day of exploring.