The Chicago Loop is the Central Business District, but Chicago is also a city of neighborhoods (about 200 to be exact).
Downtown is the center of Chicago's Financial, Cultural, and Commercial Institutions and home to Grant Park and many of the city's skyscrapers. Many of the city's financial institutions (for example, CBOT, Chicago Fed) are located within a section of downtown called "The Loop", which is an eight-block by five-block square of city streets that are encircled by elevated rail tracks. The term "The Loop" is largely used by locals to refer to the entire downtown area as well. The central area includes the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side, as well as the Loop.
The North Side is the most densely populated section of the city outside of downtown and many high-rises line this side of the city along the lakefront. Lincoln Park is a 1,200-acre park stretching for 5.5 miles along the waterfront and containing the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The River North neighborhood features the nation's largest concentration of Contemporary Art Galleries outside of New York City. The Chicago Cubs play in the North Side's Lakeview Neighborhood, in the Wrigleyville. Lakeview is also home to Boystown, which, along with Andersonville, are the best known LGBT Neighborhoods.
The South Side is home to the University of Chicago, ranked one of the world's top ten universities; and the Museum of Science and Industry. Burnham Park stretches along the waterfront of the South Side. Two of the city's largest parks are also located on this side of the city: Jackson Park, bordering the waterfront and slightly west sits Washington Park. The two parks themselves are connected by a wide strip of parkland called the Midway Plaisance, running adjacent to the University of Chicago.
The West Side holds the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest collections of tropical plants in any city in the United States.