301 E North Water St, Chicago, IL 60611
Located in the beating heart of the bustling downtown district, Sheraton Grand Chicago is an urban sanctuary amid iconic attractions. Embrace refined comfort in stylishly appointed hotel accommodations, enhanced by contemporary essentials, the ultra-comfortable Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience and striking views of the lake, river and cityscape. Delight your palate at the hotel restaurants, including Shula’s Steak House and the laid-back Chicago Burger Company, open seasonally along the Riverwalk. Enjoy a coveted location in River North near Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile. An urban gem in a storied travel destination, this hotel is the perfect home base for your visit to downtown Chicago.
Special room rates starting at $249.00 + taxes (estimated 17.4%).
Rate expires 5pm CT Monday, March 9, 2020*.
The special conference rate also applies for three days prior to and three days after the conclusion of the conference.
The hotel is sold out the weekend before the conference, Thursday 3/26 – Saturday 3/28.
*All reservations made after the blocks are filled and/or after the deadline will be available at the hotel’s prevailing rate and availability is not guaranteed.
- Enhanced high-speed internet access is included with your room if booked through the OLC room block.
- Complimentary wireless network access will be provided by OLC in the conference area. Connection instructions will be available when you pick up your name badge at the conference registration desk.
The Sheraton Grand Chicago will NOT be calling you to help you make a reservation – any solicitation like that is a scam. We do our best to halt any of this activity and appreciate any reports of this happening. Follow the hotel reservation link that we provide above to make your reservations online to get our special conference rate.
Your support in staying at the OLC contracted hotel helps keep the conference costs down, which directly affects your registration fees. OLC contracts for the best possible room rates for its events and is required to guarantee a predetermined number of sleeping rooms. If the organization does not meet the contracted room block, the hotel can charge an attrition fee, which will result in higher registration fees at future conferences. Therefore, we encourage you to book your room through our block at the conference hotel.
Beware of Room Block Poachers: This is the practice of companies posing as an agent or representative of an organization offering hotel reservation services. They may offer a hotel room at a lower cost, and have an official sounding name such as “Exhibition Housing Management”. “Poachers” will immediately charge your credit card, sometimes with a “service fee,” and in many cases will not make a reservation. Be advised that this is NOT an official service, nor is it sanctioned by OLC. No attendee should be contacted about hotel reservations except by someone from OLC. If someone outside of OLC contacts you, we urge you to ignore them and report them immediately to OLC.
Local Transportation Information:
- The is a Red Line subway (Grand/State) station about 0.7 miles NW from the hotel
- Chicago Airport Shuttle will be approximately $35 one-way for a shared ride from O’Hare or approximately $25 one-way for a shared ride from Midway.
- Uber or Lyft from Midway to the hotel should run about $25+.
- Uber or Lyft from O’Hare to the hotel should run about $40+.
The hotel is about 18 miles from the O’Hare airport (ORD) and about 12 miles from Midway airport (MDW).
Hotel Parking Information (subject to change):
- Self-Parking: $59.00 daily, inclusive of tax
- Overnight Valet Parking: $69.00 daily, inclusive of tax
Option 1: Chicago Line Cruises Architectural Boat Tour (lunch included)
Thursday, April 2: 12:15pm-1:45pm CT
Looking for a truly unique Chicago experience? Join your fellow OLC Innovate 2020 attendees for the famous Ft. Dearborn Chicago Architectural Boat Tour. View the birthplace of the skyscraper and the many bridges that inspired our Innovate 2020 theme as you cruise the Chicago River while docents regale you with amazing stories behind Chicago’s most iconic buildings. Plan to dress warm – its early April in Chicago and the weather can vary widely. Rain, snow, or shine, this is an experience you won’t want to miss…but winter coats, hats, and mittens should be planned on just in case! The boat will depart from a boat slip near the Sheraton Grand at 12:15pm and return by 1:45pm in plenty of time for the 2:15pm start of afternoon sessions.
Box lunches from Jimmy Johns are included; a lunch-options survey will be sent separately once you register.
Cost: $60. All ticket are final purchase, non-refundable.
Reservations close March 23. First come, first serve on tickets; boat capacity is 170 passengers.
Note: Due to the distance to the boat loading location (2.5 blocks) and potential obstacles to the boat, this option is not recommended for attendees with mobility challenges.
Option 2: Big Bus Tour of Chicago (lunch included)
Thursday, April 2: 12:15pm-1:45pm CT
Join your fellow OLC Innovate 2020 attendees Thursday for a lunchtime tour of Chicago. Departing from the Sheraton Grand Chicago, each bus has a clear top to allow panoramic top-deck views of iconic skyscrapers, famous Chicago landmarks, and Lake Michigan. The bus will stop at Adler Planetarium for a quick photo op of the Chicago skyline, and will return you to the hotel in plenty of time for the 2:15pm start of afternoon sessions. The bus has a climate controlled plexiglass roof for your comfort if the weather is chilly.
Box lunches from Jimmy Johns included; a lunch-options survey will be sent separately once you register.
Cost: $50. All ticket are final purchase, non-refundable.
Reservations close March 23.
ADA Seating is available on all buses.
Option 3: Lunch on your own
Enjoy one of the many eateries onsite or nearby the hotel. The hotel has provided a list of nearby restaurant options.
Chicago’s museums and entertainment venues are among the best in the world.
- The Art Institute of Chicago
Explore thousands of artworks in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from our world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as our books, writings, reference materials, and other resources.
- Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, just off the Magnificent Mile, explores, exhibits, and collects art created since 1945. The museum is dedicated to allowing the public “to directly experience the work and ideas of living artists and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time.” It also puts a major emphasis on diverse voices that communicate through art.
- The Richard Driehaus Museum
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs, as well as exhibitions, place the Gilded Age in context and illuminate the history, culture and urban fabric of Chicago.
- Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago—one of the largest science museums in the world—is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity.
- The Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd is dedicated to “engaging, inspiring, entertaining and informing” the public about the life in oceans and waterways. You’re in a building on Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, but you are immersed in a world of coral reefs, rainforests, and the Pacific Northwest coast. The Shedd, on the Museum Campus northeast of Soldier Field, prides itself on its dedication to conservation and the protection of wildlife habitats.
- National Museum of Mexican Art
The National Museum of Mexican Art spans everything from pre-Columbian art to modern protest installations. Consider it 48,000 square feet of Mexico in the middle of Chicago.
- Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is on Museum Campus just east of Soldier Field. The planetarium was founded in 1930, and that makes it America’s first and oldest planetarium. It now houses two stargazing theaters, a collection of antique instruments, extensive exhibit space, and many hands-on exhibits. It also offers one of the most wonderful views of the skyline in the entire city.
- The Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood exhibits artifacts from the depth of its 22-million item collection and from the breadth of the city’s history. From the Chicago Bulls to the Great Chicago Fire, the museum covers it all and offers context and exhibits to make Chicago’s history relevant to life today. It was formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society.
- DuSable Museum of African-American History
Just west of the University of Chicago campus, the frank and vital DuSable Museum of African American History, a Smithsonian affiliate, uses multi-media to tell the story of the black experience in America.
- The Field Museum of Natural History
Walk through our doors and connect with science and natural history! Let us fuel your passion for discovery with dinosaurs, ancient artifacts, cultural insights, and groundbreaking science.
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Nature Museum in Lincoln Park is devoted to the environment and nature and works in conjunction with the collections and scientists of the Chicago Academy of Sciences to create exhibits and programs. Its 27,000-square-foot greenhouse houses more than 1,000 butterflies that belong to 40 species. And it’s warm and tropical in the winter, a big bonus in Chicago. You’ll see exotic birds like macaws and aracari in the Bird House and learn about life in a marsh, on dunes, on the prairie, and on the savanna, all part of the Chicago environment.
- American Writers Museum
The American Writers Museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.
- Chicago Children’s Museum
With entertaining, engaging exhibits for children, this museum-playground on Navy Pier is full of hours’ worth of educational diversions for kids under 12.
- John Hancock -360 Observation Deck
360 CHICAGO observation deck, located 1000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Building, offers breathtaking 360 degrees views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. 360 Chicago observation deck is also home of TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th Floor. With its many interactive learning opportunities on the city’s rich history, colorful neighborhoods and its iconic architecture, along with a modern Bar and Café where you can relax and enjoy the best views of the city, 360 CHICAGO is the perfect place to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
- Willis/Sears Tower
Willis Tower is the heart of downtown Chicago and the future of work and play. The 110-story building is one of the tallest buildings in the world and the second tallest building in Chicago, making it impossible to miss when appreciating the city’s skyline.
- The Second City
The Second City is one of the world’s most iconic improvisational comedy theaters, and it has helped launch the careers of numerous famous comedians, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, check out a live show on any night of the week at any number of The Second City’s seven locations across Chicago.
- The Chicago Theater
French Baroque-style 3,600-seat auditorium showcasing national musical & comedy acts since 1921.
- Navy Pier
With lots of fun attractions and activities to enjoy all year long, there’s always a reason to spend a day exploring the People’s Pier. Navy Pier is free and open to the public year-round.
- Grant Park and Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan.
- Millennium Park
Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a new kind of town square – a lively, spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike.
- Architectural Boat Tours
A visit to 360 CHICAGO or Skydeck Chicago will give you a good overview of the city’s layout. But if you want to learn more about Chicago’s sky-high buildings, tag along on an architecture river cruise. During a river cruise, you’ll gain great views and historical insight about well-known structures like The Wrigley Building, the Leo Burnett Building and the Fulton House.
- The Chicago Riverwalk
When the weather warms up in Chicago, there are few better places to enjoy the outdoors than the Chicago Riverwalk. The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River is the perfect place to take a walk and observe the city skyline. Plus, there are numerous activity options to enjoy directly on the water, such as a boat tour or kayaking.
- Lincoln Park Zoo
Located 2 miles north of the Loop in the North Side neighborhood of Lincoln Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo is home to dozens of species, such as zebras, sloths and hippos. Visitors can view the zoo’s furry (or scaly) friends in their natural habitats: Check out the gorillas in the sprawling Regenstein Center for African Apes, or head to the Kovler Seal Pool to get up close and personal with harbor seals.
- Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park is an expansive property located just east of Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. The massive green space offers numerous activities for both kids and adults on-site, including a climbing wall, a mini-golf course, a playground, a public garden, an ice skating rink (during the winter) and a tennis facility.
- The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile boasts more than 460 retailers, including popular brands; major department stores; international luxury labels and designers; and three vertical shopping centers, each with incentives and premier savings.
- Old Town
From artsy to affluent, this historic neighborhood has been home to immigrant families, gays, hippies and young professionals alike over the years. An incredibly popular neighborhood destination, largely because of its close proximity to the lake and downtown, Old Town keeps up a lively pace day and night. Victorian-era buildings, brick alleyways and narrow, tree-lined streets are charming backdrops to a busy main strip that runs along Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street.
- Armitage and Halstead Avenues in Lincoln Park
Nestled in between Old Town and Lincoln Park, Armitage Avenue is quickly becoming a premier shopping destination in Chicago.
Lunch and dinner each day are on your own. Enjoy one of the many onsite eateries within or around the Sheraton Grand Chicago, or venture out a couple of blocks to explore the many restaurants around the area.
Hoping to find a peer to dine with in Chicago? Feel free to use the Message Board to connect with other attendees for dining plans. We also encourage you to use our #olcdiningbuddies hashtag to connect with other conference attendees looking to make lunch and dinner plans.
On-property dining options – We recommend making reservations.
- Chicago Burger Company (American)
Treat yourself to juiciest burgers in Chicago, along with delicious vegetarian options, thick shakes and creative cocktails at our lively restaurant, enhanced by great Riverwalk views and Navy Pier fireworks on select evenings. Open for lunch and dinner Dress code: Casual
- Shula’s Steak House (Steakhouse)
Discover a truly distinctive fine dining destination in Chicago at Shula’s Steak House, known for its exclusive, high-quality SHULA CUT® meat and fresh seafood. Reservations required Open for dinner Dress code: Smart Casual
- LB Bistro and Patisserie (American)
Start your day with a delicious breakfast or join us for lunch at LB’s Bistro & Pâtisserie, a warm and welcoming restaurant conceived by award-winning Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard. Open for breakfast and lunch Dress code: Casual
- Link (Coffee House)
Link@Sheraton Café offers your favorite Starbucks® coffee drinks, as well as pastries, healthy snacks, soup and sandwiches. Take care of work commitments while you eat, courtesy of with complimentary Wi-Fi, computer workstations and online printing.
- CHI Bar (American)
Connect, collaborate or unwind with a cocktail after a full day in downtown Chicago at our vibrant bar, open during the afternoon and evening. Open for dinner Dress code: Casual