Chicago - best way to get into city

Old May 9th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Chicago - best way to get into city

I'm looking for an easy economical way to get into Chicago this Wednesday. I'm driving through Milwaukee. Not sure if I will drive the night before and stay along the way or get up early to make an 11:30 appointment (4 hour drive). I prefer to not drive in the city & pay parking. Ideally there would be a hotel that would keep my car and shuttle me to a train station that would take me downtown. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 02:22 PM
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It's not likely a hotel is going to let you park and shuttle you around if you're not a registered guest.

How far into the city do you want to drive and where is your appointment? You can catch Metra's Union Pacific North line as far north as Kenosha and take that all the way to the West Loop. You could also drive farther south to Winthrop Harbor, Zion or Waukegan. The 8:49 am train from Kenosha would get you to Ogilvie Station around 10:30. From Ogilvie, you could walk or catch a cab or bus to most downtown offices. Check the Metra site http://metrarail.com, then click on UP/North Line.

If you wanted to stay in the area, there's an Extended Stay America Hotel, Hampton Inn and Doubletree around Old Orchard Mall at the Edens Expy (exit 35). From there, you could take a CTA bus to the Red Line "L" train. For transit options, you can check www.transitchicago.com and use the trip planner to see available options.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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lol I didn't mean to say a hotel would let me park and shuttle me if I wasn't staying there I was thinking if I drove the night before & stayed at a hotel along the way - Where would be an easy area (town or hotel) to find from the highway, my car would be safe (free/cheap parking), and in the morning I could take a train/ bus/ taxi ride to Wabash St. in downtown. Prefer the commute to be less than an hour total. (leave hotel around 10 for an 11:30 meeting) I'm traveling with my college age daughter and she suggested we try the Parthenon Hostel on Halsted St. It's only one day and sounds like it could be fun. Plus it has parking for $10/day! We camp in the summer so wearing flip flops in the shower is nothing new. have you heard any good/bad about hostels in Chicago?
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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I've never heard of the Parthenon, but I've heard good things about the Harris Hostel on Wabash at Congress. Check www.hichicago.org. It's adjacent to the L and close to Millennium Park, the Art Institute and State Street shopping.

You may also try one of the hotel bidding sites. You will likely find deals at this late date as hotels try to fill their unsold rooms. Check www.biddingfortravel.com or www.betterbidding.com for tips on how to interpret the hotel descriptions or make a bid that will be accepted.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:12 PM
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You can park at the Amtrak station in Glenview, IL and take the #332 Hiawatha train into the city. It leaves Glenview at 9:01 and arrives at Union station by 9:30AM. The fare is only $8.50 each way. The evening train leaves CHI at 8:05PM. Taxis and bus are available near Union Station if it is too far to walk.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:11 PM
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thank you Tom -- this is the route we opted for. Apparently, my daughter wasn't aware hostels share bathrooms ... no sense of adventure
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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If you'll be going elsewhere in the city, you may want to consider purchasing a 1-day transit pass from the newsstand in Union Station or the CVS store across the street.

Wabash is about 3/4 mile east of the station. Just head up Jackson or Adams or catch the Number 151 bus on Canal in front of the station. It will stop at Wabash. If you decide to head to the Mag Mile for shopping or lunch afterward, you can hop back on the 151 and head up Michigan then take it back to the train station in the evening.
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