Well, technically it's not Chicago, and that's what I want help with. How close is Schaumburg, Illinois to Chicago? I want to go into Chicago to do some sightseeing, but I'm staying in Schaumburg at a Hyatt for a convention.
Is it really easy to get to downtown Chicago from there? Can anyone help me out?
Oh, and if anyone could tell me top five places to see in Chicago, that'd be great too. Thanks!
There several ways to get from Schaumberg to Downtown Chicago....probably the easiest is the Metra train. See the link below to their website where you can find hours of service, the location of the station, etc. The Hyatt may have a shuttle to the station. The fare, one-way, is USD$4.30...pretty reasonable considering a cab will run closer to USD$50.00!! The train is a very simple way to get downtown.
Once you get to the downtown station, it is a 10 minute walk (or USD$3.00 cab ride - though they don't like going such short distances) to get into the Loop (ie, State Street). Grant Park and Millenium Park are two more blocks east.
As to what to see....hmmm, there is so much. For the most well rounded experience, try walking north along Michigan Avenue from The Art Institute (see the two large lion statues in front), all the way to Water Tower Place. It should be a leisurely hour or so of walking one way, more if you stop into any of the 500 shops you will pass. You will see: historical buildings, the Tribune Tower (newspaper), the Chicago River (also a spot for touring - there are river rides at Michigan Ave and the river), 10,000 people all in a rush to get somewhere, more shops, and finally the Water Tower, one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of....of....um, way back when.
The walking tour can take a leisurely day. You can also choose the Field Museum of Natural History, The Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium, all located at the south end of Grant Park (10 minutes walk from the Loop). All three are world class facilities. You could spend all day at each one. Oh, by the way, the lakefront is right there as well. In summer, plenty to watch.
Try Googling Chicago for more events coming while you're there.
Metra Train to Chicago
Hey, thanks for the info. Much appreciated!
Depnding on the amount of "sightseeing" time you have during the conference, here are a couple other places of interest:
Lincoln Park Zoo
Museum of Science and Industry
Kris is correct that just the downtown area with Millenium Park and the other sights can be a leisurely full day of activity. If you do have more time, the zoo and Science & Industry Museum are well worth the visit. The zoo is north of the loop (and you can find directions on their site), while the S&I Museum is south of the plantetarium and aquarium. Both would require a short cab ride from the loop area. Directions to the S&I Museum are available on their site also. Oh, the zoo is free and open year round.
Here are links for sites that list the coming events for Chicago too. During the summer months, there are festivals, concerts in Grant Park, parades and a host of other activities happening almost non-stop.
Chicago Office of Tourism
Chicago Tribune Metromix
If you enjoy shopping - Michigan Avenue and Oak Street (which crosses Michigan Avenue by the historic water tower) are great areas. State Street is also fun. If you plan to spend the evening in the city - numerous blues clubs abound. Most of the above inks will list them.
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 1, 2006 9:01 AM by Isadora ]