Chicago’s upscale hotels offer great deals and their lowest rates during the first quarter of the year. Enjoying some of the city’s most popular restaurants doesn’t have to break the bank.  Top picks for reasonably priced eats include Lou Malnati’s for deep-dish pizza, Small Cheval for burgers and Publican Anker, a vibrant gastropub with creative dishes.

Chicago has a fantastic and affordable culture scene,.Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has groundbreaking exhibits from global artists, is only $15, and some theaters have discounted tickets for same-day shows. Steppenwolf, for example, allots 20 tickets priced at $20 each for some performances.

As an alternative to walking, the L, the city’s rapid transit system, is an efficient and inexpensive way to get around.