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Several questions on my Chicago visit in September

Several questions on my Chicago visit in September

Jul 25th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Several questions on my Chicago visit in September

I will be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Downtown. 30 East Hubbard Street. If I take the Blue Line from the airport how can I get as close as possible to this hotel? What transfers do I need to make? Is this a safe enough means of transportation at night or is a taxi advised?

I see that the Architecture Foundation Boat tour is recommended on this site. Do we need to make reservations ahead of time? If so what time frame are we looking at?
Is the free trolly available from this hotel? Will this take us to the Field Museum and The Museum of Science and Industry or is there a better way or faster way to get there?
Thanks for all the helpful advice
Carol27 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Transfer from the Blue Line to the Red line northbound at Washington Street. Exit at Grand Avenue (first stop after Washington). You'll be at Grand and State Street, just a couple of blocks north of your hotel. I would feel safe enough taking this in the evening but not late at night. If it makes you uncomfortable, though, share a taxi ride downtown. Also, don't take the subway if you can't handle your luggage easily on stairs.

CAF Boat tours: You can make reservations online at www.architecture.org
Summer weekends are often sold out; I don't know about September. If you are flexible, you could probably wait until you arrive to get tickets.

Find all you want to know about the trolleys via the transportation department links at

There's no direct trolley from the State and Grand area to the Field. You would have to catch the trolley at Washington and State, a 10-15 minute walk. None of the trolleys go to the Museum of Science and Industry, because it's not near downtown. It's in Hyde Park, about 8 miles south. Go to the museum website for information on buses, or expect to pay at least $20 each way for a cab.
patg is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Regarding the Architecture Foundation Boat tour, I went last September and waited until Friday afternoon when I got there to purchase tickets and I was limited to a couple of open times on Sunday because the rest of the weekend was sold out. I would recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time.
KathyK is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Yes, make reservations ahead of time with any of the CAF Tours. A librarian here had out of town guests in during the week last week and they were all sold out for all but the 11am tour, which they took.

Midday it was about 100 degrees or more in the sun, and the result was that they got fried, because they were minus their sunscreen. She has a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen on all boating venues- the reflections do a real job on water.

If you are coming in September, I would still make the reservations for your prefered time frames.

If you are going to the Mus. of S.& I. schedule an entire day. Between the trip up and back and the size of the museum, it still will not be enough time.
JJ5 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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Thank you very much. This is definitely the information that I needed.
Carol27 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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If you'll have lots of luggage, you can still take the subway to downtown. Instead of Washington, you can exit the train at Clark/Lake, one stop sooner. The Clark/Lake station has elevators and escalators and exits into the State Building. From there, you can catch a cab for only a couple dollars to your hotel.

As for safety, the Blue Line is always well-populated in both directions late into the night with travelers and people who work around the airport.

If you'll be taking public transit frequently while you're here, you can purchase a multi-day visitor pass at the O'Hare station. You can buy a 1-day pass for $5,2-day for $9 or 3-day for $12. A "day" is 24-hours from when the pass is first used. The vending machine is separate from the regular farecard machine. The regular fare is $2.

You can get complete info on subways, els and buses at www.transitchicago.com.

You don't say when in September you're coming, but the free trolleys stop on September 4. The only exception is the Navy Pier trolley which runs between State/Grand and the pier.

If you're planning to go to MSI on Saturday or Sunday, you can catch the Number 10 bus. It begins at the Water Tower and goes south on Michigan Avenue to the River, then continues on State Street through the loop then express to the museum. During the week, you can take the Jeffery Express (Number 6) bus from State and Wacker.
Citylghts is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Sorry, the above should say that the Number 6 bus is the Jackson Park Express.
Citylghts is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Also if you go to CTA website "plan your trip" section it will give you recommendation of shortest, less walking, or fastest routs.
FainaAgain is offline  
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