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Where to stay outside of Chicago

Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Where to stay outside of Chicago

My family (two adults and one three-year-old) will be taking the train into Chicago from Mississippi on the first weekend in May. We just found out every hotel that we have stayed at downtown in the past is booked and anything that is available is too expensive for our pocketbooks. My parents will be meeting us at the station from MIchigan and will have a car, so we will be able to drive wherever we need to. Where is the best place to stay on the outskirts that gives us good access to the CTA into downtown so that we do not have to depend on using the car and paying for parking downtown (much less finding it)?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 01:20 PM
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I looked at the Amtrak schedules. Your train "City of New Orleans" is scheduled for arrival at 9AM. It ay be late.
The Lakeshore Limited from South Bend IN. is scheduled to arrive at 9:45AM. Would it work to have the parents park at South Bend and ride the train to Chicago? The train back east leaves Chicago at 6:10PM.
You can store your luggage in Union Station lockers while you check out the city on foot or on the CTA system.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 02:02 PM
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There must be a big trade show in town that weekend. I was going to recommend the Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston but it's booked solid too.
Have you looked under BnBs or apartment rentals?
Perhaps, if you contact the Tourism Office they could help you find a suitable place.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 03:53 PM
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Check out up by Northwestern - Evanston for other places - or even further up the "Gold Coast" - as it's not only very pretty - but you can also you can ride the El into downtown. http://www.booking.com/landmark/us/n...;redirect_aa=1

And for the El: http://attractions.uptake.com/blog/c...uide-6303.html
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 03:54 PM
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BTW - if you can have access to a car around Chicago - I think it increases your options.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 03:56 PM
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May 5-8 this year are the dates for the National Restaurant Association show this year. There will be just over 50,000 people in town that weekend. It normally is two weeks later, but has been moved because of the NATO summit.

Have you considered any of the bed and breakfasts in the city? Several are showing availability for that weekend. Check http://www.chicago-bed-breakfast.com/index.html.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 08:06 PM
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I checked on Orbitz and, while I'm not certain about your budget, I was still finding several hotels for under $200/night. For instance, while I wouldn't say it is the best, the Congress Hotel is at $189 a night for that weekend (I did a F-Su search). Assuming that is too much and your requirements are just to have a hotel within walking distance of mass transit and you want to be as cheap as possible, I would suggest looking up towards O'Hare. Clearly this is not the best area in terms of things to do but there are several hotels under $100/night and the ride in on the blue line (typically the Rosemont or Cumberland stop) is about 30-35 minutes to downtown. Again not the best but it will do and save you some money if that is the concern.

If it were me, I would go with the Congress or something similiar just b/c the commute takes up a lot of time (I live about 25 minutes out on the blue line towards O'Hare myself so I speak from experience). If you figure round trip on the el for 2-4 that ends up being $12-$24 which already starts to close the gap.
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Old Mar 24th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Don't stay at the Congress. It has has ongoing labor problems for several years and is not well maintained. Check the reviews on Trip Advisor.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Hi, WillBHill.

I haven't checked availability, but consider staying in these accessible-to-downtown neighborhoods (Lincoln Park or Lakeview).

Days Inn Lincoln Park
The Inn of Lincoln Park
Best Western Plus - Hawthorne Terrace

Downtown: Budget hotels, so maybe more available than the business-traveler hotels...

The Inn of Chicago - Magnificent Mile
Holiday Inn Express - Cass Hotel

And quikbook.com is a site I use often for other cities.
Good luck!
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Take a look at the newly opened Hotel Lincoln: www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/chicago/lincoln

Also, please extend to your relatives it is best not to drive into Chicago. Not only is it very expensive to do so (as you have to pay many $$ for parking in the first place) but you do not want to be driving around looking for parking - and then paying AGAIN. If they are insistent on driving in, make sure they park the car once and leave it there.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Try some of the hotels near O'Hare airport. They all run shuttle service to either the airport or the train stations along the way. Either way you will be able to get to the city in 1 hour or less. Get a CTA pass and it will be relatively inexpensive. www.yourcta.com
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