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When we travel, we like to feel like locals. Whether through food, activities, or accommodations, nothing beats an authentically local vacation. Here’s a good handful of Airbnbs that will make you feel like a true Chicagoan on your Midwest vacation.

By Suzanne Tucker

South Loop Loft

In South Loop Area, this spot combines Chicago chic flair with all the amenities of a cozy home-from-home. The exposed brick next to sleek metal framing makes the aesthetic pop, while the worn-wood flooring and beams overhead make it feel like a lived-in artist flat or coworking space.

As far as location goes, it’s hard to beat. You’ll be minutes away from Soldier Field, the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and all the other downtown attractions. There’s a balcony, and all the amenities you would expect in one of Chicago’s top lofts. The place has two bedrooms, sleeps four, and costs around $250 per night.

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Clean and Cozy Three Bedroom Haven

This recently refurbished two-story home in West Town is an excellent family-friendly spot that will truly make your stay feel like a local Chicago experience. The new decorations are sleek, clean, and modern, but not overwhelmingly so. Contact the host for more information, but it’s a fairly hands-off experience. You can check in yourself with the smart lock on the door. The space is designed to cater to large groups (three bedrooms with room for six people), as the living room and dining areas are wide open. It’s fairly affordable, under $200 per night, and is a quick 10-minute drive from the heart of the Windy City. Check out the Chicago Public Transit system for more information if you’re looking to get around on a budget.

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Duplex Apartment Near University Village

This apartment is just west of downtown and feels like a great family spot. Built back in 1894, the vintage building has large windows, tons of natural light, and exposed brick. It has recently been refurbished and now includes granite countertops, new appliances, and a large sofa. The room is in a quiet neighborhood, sleeps five, and is in a great location if you’re visiting for the Chicago Marathon. Pets are not allowed here, but if you’re looking for a place to stay with your pooch, check out 7 Pet-Friendly Hotels in Chicago.

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Vintage Storefront on 18th Street

This place is a quaint, little, renovated studio that was once a butcher shop. It’s now full of character and is the perfect getaway with a partner or small group. It’s a big open space (tons of room for activities) and has lots of tasteful decorations that go with the vintage vibe. There’s one big bed, as well as a couch and an air mattress.

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Gold Coast Apartment

Located within walking distance of the lakefront and tons of restaurants and nightlife, the location of this one-bedroom spot can’t be beaten. It’s cozy and ideal for a business trip or a quick weekend in the city. The couch isn’t great for sleeping, so the apartment only fits two people in the one bed available. This place comes highly recommended, and while prices were high for July 2018 and August 2018, they taper off in shoulder months.

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Furnished Two Bedroom in Old town

If you’re looking for a family spot in the heart of Old Town Lincoln Park, this is your best bet. It’s fully stocked with all amenities, kitchen equipment, and ready to host up to seven guests. There’s a private patio with a grill so it’s even a great place for a cookout. When booking, choose a date that doesn’t fall on a holiday or festival as the prices tend to increase over these. If you’re looking to get active while in the area, check out the Best Spots for Hiking Illinois.

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