It's easy to feel like a local when staying in one of the hotels in downtown Chicago

As the Internet offers travelers more options and ideas for their travels, tourism has evolved from a simple visit to a total immersion in the culture of a destination. Staying in one of the best hotels in downtown Chicago makes it easy for visitors to Windy City to combine the usual tourist sightseeing trips with trips to places and events that locals frequent.

Although Chicago is usually overshadowed by the major retailers along State Street and the Magnificent Mile, its local talent radiates in stores that you can easily find in the surrounding neighborhoods, such as Lincoln Park. The area is also home to the famous Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the country's oldest zoos. After looking at the animals, make a detour to Lincoln Avenue or further north to the Southport Corridor to find great finds from independent Chicago designers.

If you're more of a foodie, you'll surely enjoy what Windy City has to offer. From a downtown Chicago hotel, you can just take a walk down E. Ohio Street to sample the original Deep Dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno. Another typical local dish to try is the Chicago-style hot dog, found at one of hundreds of hot dog stalls or in convenient downtown shops.

If you are interested in the culture, you will never run out of options. In addition to shows at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park, you can explore other cultural centers and even neighboring communities to discover new things. One of them is the Blue Man Group, which is currently performing a perpetual appearance at the Briar Street Theater on N. Halsted Street.

If you're looking for something closer to downtown Chicago hotels, then check out the Cadillac Palace Theater. This theater is home to a series of hits off Broadway and an architectural marvel with sumptuous interiors inspired by the palaces of Versailles and Fontainebleau. The theater is located on W. Randolph Street in the Loop District.

The best thing about a downtown hotel is that you are always in the heart of the city when something new appears. Whether you've found an interesting show through the Visitor Information Center or an up-and-coming restaurant on Foursquare, a hotel in a great location will surely help you make the most of your stay.