Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer—it’s when they city’s public beaches and pools open, neighborhood street festivals begin and cafes break out sidewalk patios.
It’s also a major weekend for traveling, and this year more than 41 million Americans plan to vacation all over the country, according to AAA.
So many travelers plan to descend upon Chicago this year, the city is now ranked as the top Memorial Day weekend destination, according to booking data from Priceline. The travel site analyzed it’s hotel reservations from May 25 to 28 and found that most booked city stays versus coastal getaway.
In 2017, Chicago set record-breaking tourism numbers with 55.2 million visitors. This year the city is on track to exceed that number, according to the mayor’s office.
“More tourists are planning to visit Chicago than any other American city over Memorial Day weekend, because Chicago has more to offer than any other city,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement about the Priceline ranking.
Tourist attractions include everything from the city’s award-winning dining scene, world-class museums, and a ton noteworthy architecture. The Riverwalk is another large draw, which the city plans to expand on in the coming years with 312 RiverRun.
Developers are well aware of this trend, most recently the Moxy Hotel opened in River North and there are a handful of hotels in the pipeline over in the West Loop.
If you’re escaping or visiting Chicago through Memorial Day weekend, just know that Friday, May 25 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. is the absolute worst time to be on the road or in the airport, according to AAA.
- Curbed Chicago Pocket Guide: Spring 2018 [Curbed Chicago]
- The best 27 things to do in Chicago with kids [Curbed Chicago]