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Getting to Chicago on Blue Line CTA From Woodfield Mall

Getting to Chicago on Blue Line CTA From Woodfield Mall

Old Sep 30th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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Getting to Chicago on Blue Line CTA From Woodfield Mall

I have looked at this post for ideas and am still a bit confused:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34509841

A group of us (5 or 6 women) will be traveling from Michigan to Chicago for a 3-day weekend to kick off Christmas shopping November 5-7.

Most of the women live in a very small town far from any malls, so this type of annual trip gives them mall access to do some good Christmas shopping.

We plan to head to Woodfield Mall and arrive Friday afternoon, shopping there for the rest of that day.

Friday and Saturday nights we are staying at the Westin Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

So, I think it makes sense to drive to the blue line CTA and ride into the city, changing lines within the loop to the red line to get us near our hotel. We will be traveling with minimal luggage, though purchases made in Chicago will have to be lugged back out on Sunday morning.

In order to get to the hotel does it make sense to drive to the Cumberland stop and park there? Can anyone give specific directions from Woodfield Mall to this stop? I'd rather not drive into the city, and I'd rather not pay for two nights of parking for what may end up being two cars.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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Oh, and how long might we expect it to take to drive from Woodfield Mall to the Cumberland parking lot on a Friday evening (maybe leaving the mall around 7:00PM?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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Ouch! If I was staying downtown, I would shop downtown. Do you know the distances between and logistics of these areas?

There are several extremely good mall areas around Chicago- but traffic is prohibitive to doing most of this, I would think. You could stay near Oakbrook and shop there. You could stay near Gurnee Mills and shop there (terrific mall). Woodfield is fine too, but I don't think this makes for a doable trip- trying to do it this way. As I have so unpopularly said before, you need a car to use much, if not most, of what Chicagoland has to offer. And with this traffic pattern/ distance/ packages too. Ummm! You will need to drive in, if you do it.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:01 PM
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JJ5 - I have seen a map of the area to understand where both Woodfield Mall and downtown are.

And I understand the desire to shop downtown if staying downtown. We will be doing that on Saturday and Sunday. But, these ladies would really like a mall to round out their Christmas shopping, so we're planning to stop at one on the way in on Friday, before going into the city.

As I understand from reading on the web and reports from friends, Woodfield is a very nice mall. I'm also interested in the Ikea store in the area. But we have no interest there beyond an afternoon's worth of shopping. The rest of the time will be spent in downtown Chicago.

I appreciate your comments, but I'm not clear on the why. Why would it not make sense to drive from Woodfield to a stop on the CTA blue line and train into the city, then train back out on Sunday and drive home? It seems very logical, and I've seen it recommended before, so I'm very curious to hear why not. If there are good reasons why not, we'll shop Woodfield then drive into the city and park there for the weekend. I'm just looking for reasons.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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You might look into the possibility of parking at the Shaumburg Metra station and taking the Metra commuter train into Chicago. It arrives at Union Station, and from there I'd suggest a cab to the Westin. By doing so, you could avoid driving into Chicago on 290/90/94 during evening rush on Friday -- believe it or not, the reverse commute can be worse than the "normal" commute. The downside is that service may only be every couple of hours on Sunday, so you would need to be on a schedule.

Here's the link to the Metra schedule for the Milwaukee District West line.

http://metrarail.com/Sched/md_w/md_w.shtml

There are large parking lots at the commuter train stations. I don't know the implications of parking over the weekend, but I think there is a phone number for parking questions on the site (click on information for the Shaumburg station).

And by the way, I also like Oakbrook Center as an alternative to Woodfield.

Good luck.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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jlm,

I will answer your question but first a suggestion. If you are staying in the Schaumburg area, why not take the metra in and out of Chicago for the day. Small town girls (which all my relatives are) will be very happy in the clean suburban area of Woodfield (not to mention Ikea and mucho others). Be sure and use the free Woodfield area trolley. It is an easy drive to Oak Brook if your little heart desires. You can get a weekend pass and travel to and fro the really big city unlimited for $5.00 each.

If you must: Cumberland station is at an exit off of I-90 called....get ready...: Cumberland Ave. The train station is right there, can't miss it. Parking is easy, not sure on the price. Mileage is about 8 miles from Woodfield. 7PM Friday should be about 30 minutes or less but that is up to conditions. An accident in that stretch will double it.

HO HO HO
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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I was typing when you posted your follow up.

I like your idea as long as you are coming generally from the West. If you are coming from the Indiana area, it may be more cumbersome. Woodfield is a great mall that cannot be matched downtown IMHO. Ikea is a must do for a group like yours.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:33 PM
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ms go, I think they are staying on Michigan Ave. at the Westin. Train is a better idea, but please, jlm mi, check your train schedule (how many trains going INTO the city after rush hour)and if they allow overnight parking, and for what fees. You might not be saving much. I know my train station has lots of parking restrictions and charges by day or by hour- but day spaces are restricted. I don't know about this train depot, it may be completely different. Probably ms go could answer that question, but I think she believes your hotel is in Schaumburg. It just seems like a whole lot of extra schlepping, unless you all take a cab back with your purchases from the Westin to the cars. It might be better to have your stuff shipped home by mail, if you couldn't do that. After a ride from Michigan, it just seems like too much for one day to be a good time.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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I guess maybe I'm missing something here, but maybe driving in is best. I'm just afraid it'll take forever!

Yes, we're definitely staying at the Westin on Michigan Ave. That's non-cancellable, and it's where we want to be for the rest of the weekend.

I don't understand why we'd want to pay more and be on a schedule to take the Metra when we can just take the blue line train in, which runs reasonably frequently 24/7. Anyone know why that would be better?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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Well, the Metra train is a lot more refined than the El. Neither one goes close to the Westin, BTW, You'll need to take a cab, or switch to the Red line to Chicago Avenue, then walk about 3-4 blocks.

I think the one outstanding consideration that this discussion has avoided is that on your Sunday return, you will doubtlessly have a lot of stuff - luggage and shopping bags. This is more easily handled on the train, but it's a schlep any way you look at it.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Thank you everyone for your help! Sunday was a major concern for me.

My biggest concern was having two cars go into the city - I'm the only person comfortable driving in a city, and the parking cost was double. We've determined that my family will leave a car in Michigan and I'll drive everyone to Woodfield Mall in my station wagon, taking a car-top carrier for all our purchases. I'll drive into the city and everyone will be able to breathe more easily as a result.
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Old Oct 20th, 2004, 03:38 PM
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This may be a bit late, but may help others planning a weekend in the city. There is a very good reason why you can't park at Cumberland and spend the weekend in the city. Parking is limited to 24 hours at the CTA stations. As for the Metra commuter trains in the suburbs, those lots are generally run by the individual towns. There is usually no overnight parking, but I know one exception is Joliet. Just leave enough money to cover the time you'll be there, and brief note explaining you took the train and when you'll be back.

As for driving up to Woodfield, and then back downtown, well, good luck. I would HIGHLY reccomend planning to arriving at the Ill./Ind. border between 10 am and 12 noon. From there it will probably be close to 2 hrs. to Woodfield, maybe less.

Evening rush hour traffic doesn't even begin to break up until 7 pm. Plan to stay in the Woodfield area until then, later if you can.

One idea to consider, if you're determined to visit a mall, is River Oaks in Calumet City. Just a few miles west of the border, right off 80/94 on Torrence Ave. Nothing special, but it is a large and attractive suburban mall. It would be a lot easier than making a trip up to Woodfield.

One final note, 80/94 is currently under construction, with traffic often at a complete standstill within 5-10 miles of the Ill./Ind. border. The skyway is under construction as well. It could be nearly an hour to cover this stretch of road over the border. There are a few shortcuts around the roadwork, but they would probaly be hard to find for non locals, and if you make a wrong turn you could find yourself in a lot of trouble in a neighborhood you don't want to be in.
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