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6 hours to kill around Chicago - ORD Airport. Tips ?

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1. Posted by Forsubu (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Hi

Transiting thru Chicago early june '10. Have approx 6 hours to kill (excluding check in etc times)

Other vital stats :
- Interested in Museums, planetariums, aquariums, large imposing libraries, science halls, etc (well I guess I can cover just 1 place in 6 hours)
- Single. Can hop skip thru subway or any other mode of transport
- Would have little or no luggage on hand
- Age : 40+
- Nationality : Indian

Thanks in advance
Best regards
maniams

2. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 6y

Hello Forsubu

Unfortunately, 6 hours is not a lot of time to see much in Chicago. The El Train (elevated train) takes about an hour from O'Hare airport to downtown (and a cab could take longer and cost more than $25.00 USD), so that would cut things back to 4 hours. You can still see some things though. Take the train to the Loop and check out Millennium Park and the Loop (basically, downtown Chicago). There is quite a lot to see by walking around - Grant Park, Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, etc., but bear in mind, the museums are a tad costly and can easily take a full day to go through, so I would stick to just walking through the parks and up Michigan Avenue or State Street.

The train is easy to take (signs are everywhere), and O'Hare is easy to navigate through (although it is a huge airport).
This site should help with some of your planning.

Enjoy your trip.

3. Posted by Forsubu (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Hi Beerman

Thanks for the detailed reply...great. I'll remember you radvise on the costly museums ! very apt advise... I'm also interested in imposing libraries... I plan to visit the Washington library.

By the way, I'm also visiting New York and wish to know about a b & b site called Airbnb. I'm talking of this particular property http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24457 I get very mixed reviews of the site..... (NOT this property ...but the site in general) Some say the site is useless and prone to scam others the site is an ok intermediary... How does one verify ? I'm asking you as you are a moderator and may know the right people at the New York forum ....

Thanks in advance
Best regards

maniams

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

I'd rather book on a well-known recognized site. Thus, I'd recommend expedia, priceline, kayak, travelocity, etc. rather than an unknown website.

5. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 6y

Yup, Calcruzer is right....to be sure, stick to the well known and recognized sites, they should be competitive. It's very difficult to verify that new or unknown booking websites are actually what they seem....some are, some aren't, people have had different experiences.

Check out the TP accommodations page for New York....might be helpful for you.

New York Accommodation

6. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 6y

If I can piggy back on this thread I have a Chicago question. After visiting my family in Michigan we've decided to take a quick overnight side trip to Chicago as the wife has never been. So that means we've got, like 24 hours. We're staying a few blocks from Lake Shore Drive and the big park there. What do you guys suggest we do/see? I was hoping to catch a few innings of a Cubs game at Wrigley but damn, they will be out of town.

7. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 6y

Hey Dave

Well, 24 hours is better than 4. Check the link I put up last in my first reply Sunday....it is full of ideas. Which big park are you are you you talking about by Lake Shore Drive? There are two - Lincoln Park is a bit further north, and Grant Park/Millennium Park are right next to the Loop (downtown). Lake Shore Drive borders them both.

Lincoln Park is quite nice, and from the south end access to North Michigan Avenue and the Hancock Tower, Water Tower, lots of shops, is quite easy and walkable. There is also a very nice free zoo in Lincoln Park. Remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlon Perkins? He was Curator there for many years.

A 30-60 minute walk south down Michigan Avenue (depending on your pace) and you will bring you to Grant/Millennium Parks. Shops line Michigan Avenue (not nearly enough pubs by the way - I have a hard time sitting in a TGIFridays or Bennigans - just me), and there is a lot to see in these parks too. Check out the giant silver jelly bean (make sure to get a pic looking up from underneath).

Again, check out the link I gave and all will become clear.......probably!!!! It is Chicago after all, and very little is clear in Chicago.

8. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 6y

Quoting beerman

Hey Dave

Well, 24 hours is better than 4. Check the link I put up last in my first reply Sunday....it is full of ideas. Which big park are you are you you talking about by Lake Shore Drive? There are two - Lincoln Park is a bit further north, and Grant Park/Millennium Park are right next to the Loop (downtown). Lake Shore Drive borders them both.

Lincoln Park is quite nice, and from the south end access to North Michigan Avenue and the Hancock Tower, Water Tower, lots of shops, is quite easy and walkable. There is also a very nice free zoo in Lincoln Park. Remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlon Perkins? He was Curator there for many years.

A 30-60 minute walk south down Michigan Avenue (depending on your pace) and you will bring you to Grant/Millennium Parks. Shops line Michigan Avenue (not nearly enough pubs by the way - I have a hard time sitting in a TGIFridays or Bennigans - just me), and there is a lot to see in these parks too. Check out the giant silver jelly bean (make sure to get a pic looking up from underneath).

Again, check out the link I gave and all will become clear.......probably!!!! It is Chicago after all, and very little is clear in Chicago.

Um, this is pretty lame but I don't know which park. All I know is I found a pretty cheap ($100) hotel that is pretty close to the lake and downtown. Here's the link, map at the bottom:

http://www.senecahotel.com/location.html

So is this a good location? Can we walk to the lake? I seem to remember all along the lake there was one giant park. I also seem to remember people drinking beer and found that odd/cool. Is that still the case? I kind of like beer.

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 6y

Quoting DaveinMD

I seem to remember all along the lake there was one giant park.

Was there a beach? If so, you probably mean Lincoln Park and further north, which does indeed stretch on for a long time along the lake, and is quite a nice (if horribly crowded) place to spend a warm summer's day.
Otherwise you'll indeed be thinking of Grant Park/Millennium Park. Either is walkable from that hotel, though not really convenient (probably half an hour's walk or so? I don't know, I'm bad with distances in Chicago, as I always wandered rather than have set goals). The location itself is really good though, right next to the Hancock Center and the north end of Michigan Ave. You'll also be right near the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), which I personally found surprisingly worth visiting (given that I'm not a museum person at all).

10. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 6y

Quoting DaveinMD

Um, this is pretty lame but I don't know which park. All I know is I found a pretty cheap ($100) hotel that is pretty close to the lake and downtown. Here's the link, map at the bottom:

http://www.senecahotel.com/location.html

So is this a good location? Can we walk to the lake? I seem to remember all along the lake there was one giant park. I also seem to remember people drinking beer and found that odd/cool. Is that still the case? I kind of like beer.

Dave,

The Seneca is a pretty good location.....you'll be just a few blocks (walking north) to the south end of Lincoln Park and about 12 or so blocks north of Grant/Millennium Parks. Michigan Avenue is a great walking path....no need for public transportation. Oak Street beach is quite close by, but as Sander said, it can get quite crowded, though it is a great place to people-watch. Navy Pier is a healthy walk to the south and slightly east, but should be worth the effort. And for a real treat........um, if you're into that sort of thing, I believe you can still tour the Chicago Municipal Water Treatment Plant next to Navy Pier......never done it myself, but it could be interesting!!!

Enjoy