Chicago-Homewood Suites

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Jun 22nd, 2004, 05:30 PM
  #1
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Chicago-Homewood Suites

Hi All-
My husband and I, my mom and our 3 yr old will be visiting Chicago for the 1st time 7/16-7/20/04 and are staying at the Homewood Suites on E. Grand Avenue--we've heard lots of good things about the accomodations there and it looks like it is centrally located. Can we get by on public transportation or should we plan to rent a car? I read about using the "L" , but maybe there's alot we'll be missing w/o a car? We have Fodor 's
5 day itinerary in mind...but not sure if public transportation will suffice.
Thanks for any advice.
finnertyn is offline  
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Jun 22nd, 2004, 08:17 PM
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We've stayed at this Homewood Suites several times when visiting Chicago. Our kids love the free breakfasts and city lights through the windows. The location is great. There's an El stop nearby (though, FYI, the L is underground at that point), as well as Michigan Ave. 1 1/2 blocks east.

You really don't need or want a car in downtown Chicago (I'm assuming that Fodor's 5-day itinerary doesn't take you out of the city).

If your kid is like ours, riding public transportation is one of the most fun things about Chicago. The El, buses, boats, and don't forget cabs, which are relatively cheap and easily available.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 06:30 AM
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DOn't rent a car. You are steps from the El/subway line, and right on the free trolley line to Navy Pier. See maps at
www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/trolleys/

For some three year olds, the subway or trolley ride will be the highlight of the visit!

The itinerary listed on the Fodor's site isn't a great one for kids that age. The Hancock or Sears skydeck doesn't interest them, for example. But, the Children's Museum at Navy Pier is the number one must-do, followed closely by Lincoln Park Zoo (look for the big playground across the street from the main entrance, near the Children's Zoo.) The Field Museum has a special section for young kids, and a lot to interest them, but the Adler Planetarium is for older children. If you go to the Art Institute, try to schedule it so the little one sleeps through the visit. They do have a children's section, the Kraft Center, in the basement on the Michigan Avenue side of the building. Be sure to take in a street festival; they're very family-friendly.

Berghoff's, Foodlife and the Oak Tree are some good restaurants for kids. See reviews at metromix.com. Also, look at www.choosechicago.com for more tourist information.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 06:58 AM
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We just returned from Chicago a few weeks ago and stayed at Homewood Suites. I think you will enjoy your stay there. It is very centrally located to public transportation--about a block and a half from the L, right by a bus stop and about a l/2 block to the trolley to Navy Pier. The only thing about the trolley to Navy Pier is that the sign said it ran every 15-20 minutes but it was more like about every 45 minutes. It was our first time to Chicago and I do not think you would want to rent a car. Even if you had a car, you would miss whatever you were trying to see while negotiating the traffic! Also from what we saw of the signs in the parking lots, parking fees are expensive. We used the L and the free trolley while we were there. We also did a lot of walking so a stroller would be nice for your 3 year old. Hope you enjoy Chicago as much as we did.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:03 AM
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I forgot to tell you that we purchased a CTA Visitor pass while we were there. We purchased a 5 day pass but I think they offer different lengths. We moved through the L much quicker when it was busy than people who were trying to figure out how to buy the tokens from the machines.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Thanks to all of you for the advice.

Good to hear we won't need to rent a car, especially since the hotel said parking nearby is $30 per day.

Chicgal-we will be arriving into Midway-so we'll take the Orange Line CTA into the city. I guess you can purchase tickets from the CTA terminal at the airport ,correct? I'm a little worried about the luggage though. Perhaps a cab from the airport would be a better idea?
Would that be ridiculously priced
like in Mahattan?..not sure just what the distance is. Carousel sounds fun too.


Vickymc-will follow your trip report from 6/17. I guess we can purchase the 5 day visitor pass, right there at the airport? For about how much $ each? thanks for the warning re. the delay of trolley at Navy Pier.

Patg-thanks for the tips on just where and not to visit w/ our son. He'll appreciate that! Hope there are some street festivals going on when we're in town 7/16-7/20. Will check out the websites you recommended as well.

Lexma90-Glad to hear you enjoyed HW Suites so much!


We're taking in a Cubs game on Sun
b/c of the historical significance of Wrigley Field. We're all baseball fans
anyway.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:10 PM
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Cab from Midway $20-25

http://www.cityofchicago.org/Consume.../cabfares.html

CTA (el) fares can be found at the following, a 5 day pass looks to be $18
http://www.transitchicago.com/maps/fares.html
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:26 PM
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finnertyn--we purchased our visitor pass at the navy pier store at navy pier. We bought a 5 day pass for $18. Check the CTA website for other places to buy the pass. We went to 3 Cubs games so I know you will have a great time. If you want to spend some time walking around the outside of the stadium and the neighborhood/shops you should go over early that morning. Closer to game time and afterwards it was very crowded. After the first game we went to, we left as soon as it was over. There was a long line (out of the subway station and down the sidewalk) to get to the Red Line. The next two games we just sat in our seats for a while to let some of the crowd thin out. The last day it had started to rain lightly on the walk back to the station, so we ducked into a little pizza place (upstairs) that is on the left right before you go into the station. It was pretty good pizza and the place was full of Cub fans. You will really enjoy the Homewood Suites. Everyone was so helpful there. Great rooms also. Hope you have a great time.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Midway has a visitor pass vending machine at the station. I would'nt be concerned about luggage, the train goes to the airport for a reason.

To get to the Homewood Suites take the Orange Line to Roosevelt where you will transfer to the Red line. Get off the Redline at Grand, the Homewood Suites is 1 and half blocks away.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:02 PM
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as far as the trolleys being slow, if you get the CTA visitors pass you may be better off taking the Bus to Navy Pier.

Bus #65 on illinois runs every 6-10 mins. All day. While Chicago is known for the "L" its also has one of the biggest bus fleets in the USA.
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Jun 25th, 2004, 08:40 AM
  #11
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Thanks to all of you for the great advice.

Kristi-Will ck out websites. THX

Vickymc-From what I've read from the
"Chicago Cubs" posting, tickets could be hard to come by that weekend. We'll take the tips posted though and keep our fingers crossed. Our plan is to drop our luggage off at the hotel and then take the "L" up to Wrigley Field from there to try to purchase tckts for the Sunday afternoon game. We also have a friend in Schaumburg that I'll contact and try to have him get tickets ahead of time. Also the websites.

bril9sp-Thanks for the specific directions to our hotel. VERY HELPFUL! We'll take the bus to the Navy Pier too.

chicgal-We'll definately try to ck out the Sheffield festival..maybe Saturday
I'll visit that website. I did print out an events/festival schedule for that weekend from a diff. site too.
THX again.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 07:32 PM
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Finnertyn, just one point before you leave on your trip. If you do use the CTA while you are in chicago don't buy a transit card for your 3yr old.

Children 6 and under ride free.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 04:05 AM
  #13
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bri19sp-
We are planning to purchase CTA pass from the vending machine at Midway (as you'd suggested), so thanks for the heads up.

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