Bears, Cubs and Fighting Irish

Apr 21st, 2018, 07:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Bears, Cubs and Fighting Irish

Taking a trip from Seattle to Chicago in September with my teenage son to see a Bears, Cubs and Notre Dame game. We will not be renting a car. What part of Chicago would you recommend we stay? We know that we will be taking a train to South Bend. Have no problem taking the bus, taxi, Uber, whatever for the rest of the trip.

giesen5 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2018, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,167
Hi, Giesen5.

So, sounds as if you'll have games at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and (possibly) Northwestern for the Notre Dame game...?

If you want a hotel in the thick of shopping, groceries, other hotels, etc... with easiest access to trains/buses:
I would stay in the River North neighborhood, in the area right around Grand X State. I think this is a really convenient, comfortable place for visitors. The Homewood Suites or the Embassy Suites are two that are well positioned, so you may want to look around here for good rates.

Or, if you want the same city feel but in a quieter area, look closer to 1000 N. Rush, for the Viceroy or the Talbott or the Thompson hotel. Those are swankier areas, so the rates would be higher. But as a local, if I wanted a downtown hotel, I would like to stay here.

In either case, I tell visitors to stay north of the Chicago river. I just don't like the Loop area for weekends. Too many oddballs and panhandlers, and fewer restaurants that are comfortable for a family. As for your train to South Bend, you'll be leaving, likely, from Union Station or Ogilvie, but don't base your hotel decisions on proximity there. Those aren't great areas for visitors to the city, and an uber or taxi or bus will get you to the stations easily.

So if you want to plot the boundaries on a map: SOUTH = north of the Chicago river, EAST: up to 1 block east of Michigan Avenue; WEST: up to 4 blocks west of Michigan Avenue; NORTH: Division.

If you're wanting a smaller neighborhood hotel, with same access to local restaurants, small businesses, Starbucks, fewer panhandlers, but slightly longer bus rides...
Look at hotels in LIncoln Park near the intersection of Clark X Diversey. The Hotel Versey is there, plus the Willows, or Hawthorne Place. From there, it's about a 1.5 mile walk to Wrigley Field (though the sidewalks will be a bit crowded, but it would be lively and safe... and walking north on Broadway to Addison, would be nicer than walking up Clark to Addison.

If you narrow down some options, maybe post back and the Fodorites can help.

Have fun planning!
ChgoGal is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2018, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,146
If you have 3 'extra' days, you could take the Amtrak Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago instead of flying. One of the cheap places I've eaten in Chicago is Pierogi Heaven on North Wells under the 'el'.
The Willis (Sears) Tower is 2 blocks east of Union station on Jackson Blvd. You can get a free self guided tour of the Federal Reserve Bank which is across from the Chicago Board of Trade also on Jackson Blvd.
tomfuller is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2018, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
"So, sounds as if you'll have games at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and (possibly) Northwestern for the Notre Dame game...? "

No, they'll have a game in South Bend. ND doesn't play Northwestern until November.

Problem with relying on trains from SB back to Chicago is the limited availability on weekends. If giesen is going on 9-1 or 9-29, the last train leaves at 10:16 Eastern from the terminus and the games start at 6:30. College games run 3.5 hours or more - they take longer than pro games.

As to Tom Fuller's suggestion - tag it, bag it and sink it in Puget Sound. Amtrak sucks.

BigRuss is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2018, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Yes, game is in South Bend, sorry, should have clarified that.

I see a few bus options to SB and back that include food and drinks, that may be an option.
giesen5 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2018, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 931
Are you confident that you will be able to get tickets to the ND game? It’s not always easy to do....
indyhiker is offline  
Apr 24th, 2018, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by indyhiker View Post
Are you confident that you will be able to get tickets to the ND game? Itís not always easy to do....
We have a contact for tickets, should not be a problem.
giesen5 is offline  
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