Choosing a Bike Friendly Hotel in Chicago, IL

Chicago, better known as the Windy City, is a vibrant metropolis known for its stunning architecture, diverse neighborhoods, and rich cultural scene. It’s also an excellent destination for cyclists, with an ever-expanding network of bike lanes and scenic routes. Learn everything you’ll need to know about bike-friendly hotels and cyclist accommodations in this guide to Chicago, IL.

Why Chicago is a Great Bike City

Not only does Chicago have miles and miles of bike lanes around the city, but it’s also famous for one of the most beautiful bike trails right on Lake Michigan. This makes Chicago perfect for visitors to rely on bikes to travel around the city stress-free and with ease! 

If you’ve ever considered biking through Chicago, you may have found yourself asking questions like where should you keep your bike overnight, how accessible is your hotel to the bike trails, and where the heck do you even get a bike. 

To make your Chicago visit as smooth as possible, we’ve gone ahead and answered the most common questions about Chicago and its cycling culture. We’ve also gone ahead and curated a list of bike-friendly hotels that cater to the needs of two-wheeled travelers. Throughout this guide, you will find out why choosing a bike-friendly hotel is important, how to find the best option for you, and more useful tips!

What Makes a Hotel Bike-Friendly?

bike-friendly-paths-chicago

When it comes to exploring a new destination, two-wheeled adventures often provide a unique perspective. For travelers who love cycling, a bike-friendly hotel can be a game-changer. These accommodations go the extra mile to cater to cyclists, creating a haven for those who prefer exploring on two wheels. Reading further on, you will discover what makes a hotel bike-friendly and why you should consider one for your next adventure. 

Secure Bike Storage

Right off the bat, we’re going to start with bike security. It’s pretty obvious you’re going to want a hotel that can store your bike for you in a secure spot where it will be treated like royalty. This type of security can include a bike room for your bike to rest in while you’re not cruising around town in style. When looking for hotels, definitely keep an eye out for those that offer locked bike storage as they also usually come equipped with racks, hooks, or wall mounts for easy storage. This ensures that your bike will be well taken care of and can help avoid theft and any adverse weather conditions. 

If you end up finding yourself in a hotel with no bike room, do not fret! Most hotels allow guests to wheel their bikes directly into their room — as long as you’re not tracking in an entire mud pit of course. You’ll want to confirm this with your hotel’s front desk as it may differ at different places, but overall, most places in the city allow this option. 

You may even find yourself at a hotel that offers free or discounted bike rentals for its guests. Traveling with a bike can be quite challenging, so having a place to stay that also provides you with a bike can ensure that you have the freedom to choose the best ride for your adventures.

Cyclist Accommodations

Not only are you going to want a secure bike room, but you may also want to look for a hotel that is happy to host cyclists. Staying at a hotel that has knowledgeable staff who are also happy to have cyclists around can make all the difference when visiting. Not only will they understand your wants and needs when it comes to your bike, but they may also have any necessary tools needed for minor maintenance. Being able to fix a flat tire or adjust your bike without having to search for a nearby shop can be a huge advantage. 

Lastly, you may want to consider a hotel with an in-house spa, sauna, or hot tub. After a long and strenuous bike ride, you’re going to want to come back and relax those muscles. Being able to unwind and recover at your hotel will allow you to ride even more the next day for a new two-wheeled adventure. 

Having a secure space to store your bike when not in use is crucial to keeping peace of mind when exploring the city on foot. Nobody wants to have to worry about their precious cargo while on a relaxing vacation, so knowing that your bike is safe and sound is key to the perfect stay in Chicago.

Bike-Friendly Hotels in Downtown Chicago

Now let’s talk about location. If you didn’t know already, Chicago is a very large city with 77 neighborhoods that divide the city into community areas. Choosing the perfect location can set your trip off on the right foot by having easy access to the trails around the city. 

As we mentioned before, Chicago is famous for its 18-mile Lakefront Trail bordering one of the top 5 largest lakes in the world, Lake Michigan. This bike trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Chicago as it also follows the many beaches Chicago has to offer, making it a fan favorite. Riding the lake trail is something you just have to do while in Chicago, so we’re here to make finding a hotel near one of the many entrances to the trail as easy as possible for you. 

Downtown Chicago Gems

Starting downtown in the heart of the city, you can find tons and tons of affordable, luxurious, family-friendly, and unique hotels. We have hand-selected some of the best cyclist-friendly hotels for you. 

Affordable Rates & Free Bike Rentals

Starting with an affordable option, the Pendry Hotel on Michigan Avenue is the perfect choice. With a rooftop terrace and easy access to the shopping center of Chicago, you will experience an amazing stay. Not only is this hotel close to the Lakefront trail, but they also offer free bike rentals for any guest staying at the hotel. 

Family-Friendly Hotel w/ Bike Rental Discounts

Nestled perfectly in downtown Streeterville is the super family-friendly Doubletree by Hilton. Conveniently located less than 0.25 miles from Navy Pier, Ohio Street Beach, and the Lakefront trail, this hotel makes for the perfect option for those looking to explore the Streeterville area and the lake. Even better, with just a short walk down the street, you will find Bobby’s Bike Hike where you can rent a bike for the entire family without breaking the bank. Staying at this hotel guarantees a stress-free stay with the option to store your bike in your room with you.

Luxury Hotel in Downtown Chicago

Now, if you’re taking a vacation from the kids and want a more luxurious stay, we have the perfect option for you. The LondonHouse Chicago is located right on the Riverwalk and boasts a 3-story rooftop bar with views for days! This hotel is perfect for those who are looking for a relaxing yet adventurous time as this hotel allows its guests to store their bikes in their rooms to ensure a safe and secure space. 

A Bike-Friendly Historical Hotel

For all of the history buffs, this one’s for you! The Palmer House is the perfect option for anyone interested in old and historical buildings as it is located in the center of downtown Chicago and is rich in history. Being originally built in 1871, this hotel has hosted many celebrities in its time and is even the home of the original brownie recipe. While staying here, guests are offered the options of in-house bike rentals as well as a storage room for those who bring their own bikes. Not only is this hotel the perfect bike-friendly option, but it also features two restaurants within the hotel, as well as a spa to relax after a long day’s worth of riding on two wheels.

Southside Hotel Options

Moving further South, we’ve gone ahead and hand-picked the best options for staying near the University of Chicago. Whether you’re planning a visit to the University or just want to enjoy the surrounding features, finding a place to stay can be challenging if you’re unsure of the area. Below is a list of the top three options for places to stay in the Southside.

Bike-Friendly Hotels Near the University of Chicago

If staying near the University is within your criteria, then this hotel is the perfect option for you. The Sophy Hotel in Hyde Park offers secure bike storage for peace of mind during your stay. Not only is this hotel the perfect option for those looking for a budget-friendly place, but it also offers a short walk to the Obama House where you can catch a glimpse of the Obama family’s home in Hyde Park. Just a quick walk the other way and you’ll be able to hop on the Lakefront trail in no time! 

Convenient & Safe Hotels for Cyclist Students

For students looking to stay near the University, you’re going to want to consider this option! Located in Jackson Park, the Study at University of Chicago is the perfect option for students looking to explore the area and find out if it’s right for them. With a bike-storage room and a restaurant on-site, students will feel at home and comfortable in this modern yet timeless hotel. With easy access to the Lakefront Trail, students can also explore the rest of the city with ease on their two-wheeled ride. 

With a modern feel, the Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center provides all the necessary requirements to have a satisfying stay. With an indoor pool, free breakfast, a bike storage room, and an easy walk to the University of Chicago, this hotel will surely keep you happy and entertained. 

Out of the Ordinary Hotel for Cyclists

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay that is out of the ordinary, Hotel Versey in Lakeview is going to be the perfect option. Conveniently located next to the lake and therefore the lakefront trail, you will be immersed in a unique stay that is perfect for cyclists looking to meet like-minded people. This hotel offers a cyclist-friendly option that will take you out of your everyday routine with sports-themed decor, bike storage, and the perfect location nestled in the heart of Lakeview.

Making the Most of Your Bike-Friendly Stay in Chicago 

group riding on bikes along chicago's riverfront trail with the chicago downtown skyline in the background

Biking in the city may seem daunting, but with the right information, you are sure to have a safe and fun time exploring on two wheels! Cycling opens up a new perspective to the city, even if you have visited before, so that is why we’ve gone ahead and compiled everything you need to know before setting off on your sweet new ride. 

With Illinois being the second flattest state in the country, riding in Chicago is especially accessible for all levels of cyclists because of how flat the city is. If you’re still unsure about riding solo in the city, Bobby’s Bike Hike provides the perfect opportunity to see the city on bike while being guided by a tour. Bobby’s Bike Hike offers bike tours that explore different parts of the city that you may not know about otherwise. If you prefer to stay solo, no worries as we will still provide you with what you need to know about cycling safety. 

When riding through the city, it is best to stick to the streets as riding on the sidewalk is prohibited to all cyclists, unless otherwise specified. As well as riding on the streets, it is important to stay on the right side so cars can share the streets with you. While wearing a helmet is not required for anyone over 18 years old, it is still crucial to wear one to protect your head while cycling. Lastly, using proper hand signals while turning onto a new street is extremely important so cars can follow at a safe distance. With this information, you are destined for an enjoyable and safe bike ride through the city.

Local Bike Shops and Repair Centers

woman and bobbys bike hike staff member at a cash register at the adventure center bicycle shop

Running into bike troubles is not an ideal situation while riding, but unfortunately, it does happen even with all of the preventative measures. Knowing where the closest repair shop is is important in order to prevent being stranded with a bike needing repair. No matter where you find yourself in the city, you will always be able to find a bike shop within walking distance. Even better, the Lakefront trail has multiple stops including Bobby’s Bike Hike right across from Navy Pier where you can find tours, bike service, and rentals. 

For quick repairs like changing a flat tire or putting a slipped chain back on, do not fret! The easily accessible bike shops like 3rd Coast Cycling, Lakeshore Bikes, and Bike and Roll will be there to assist and help you with your bike while out on the Lakefront. 

Now, if you’re looking to ride in style, look no further. Over at Bobby’s Bike Hike, you can find stylish shirts and hats that represent the Chicago cycling culture perfectly, along with great rental deals and an excellent guest experience!

Bike-Friendly Hotels for the Chicago Cyclist

After reading this guide, you can see why we think it is super important that you choose a bike-friendly hotel for your next stay in Chicago. Not only will it enhance your cycling adventure in the city, but it will also ensure that you have a seamless and enjoyable trip. With accommodations and services just for cyclists, you are destined to have an amazing time exploring the city on two wheels. And with the perfect hotel for your cycling vacation, make sure you check out Bobby’s Bike Hike and take advantage of all of the amenities that come with it. So, whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, consider booking a stay at a bike-friendly hotel for your next destination and pedal your way to a memorable vacation.

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