Chicago/Lincoln Park

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Illinois Chicago Chicago/Lincoln Park

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Introduction

In Lincoln Park, collegians mix with freshly-minted lawyers and barrel-chested brokers, all come to seek their good fortune in beer gardens on the north side of Chicago, a short walk from miles of beautiful parks and the fabulous Lincoln Park Zoo. Just south is Old Town, a striking collision of rich and poor, and home of Chicago's two most celebrated theaters, Steppenwolf and Second City. Old Town is a historic neighbourhood in Chicago's 43rd Ward. First settled by German immigrants in the 1850s, it became the center of midwestern hippie culture in the 1960s.

The flames of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 lapped at the borders of Lincoln Park, and burned no further than Fullerton Avenue. It was, then, a small community of Polish and German settlers near the northern boundaries of the city, named Lake Park for the swamplands (and cemeteries) that were drained by the lake, and renamed Lincoln Park for the slain president in 1865.

Back to that fire, though: refugees poured into the neighborhood for safety, and with their former homes in ashes, plenty of them decided to stay. Lots were sold to "worthy families," and it suddenly became a very fashionable place to live. With the arrival of the elevated train, a construction frenzy began. In fact, an estimated 60% of the buildings that stand in Lincoln Park date from the three decades after the fire. Cultural institutions emerged to match: for example, with the $10 purchase of a bear cub, the Lincoln Park Zoo opened to visitors in 1874, and DePaul University evolved from a small religious college to the center of life for the neighborhood, with strong academic and sports programs throughout much of the twentieth century. (Long-time basketball coach Ray Meyer introduced the concept of the skilled seven-footer to the sport when he recruited George Mikan in the 1940s.)

The area now known as Old Town was not so lucky in the Fire, but was spared the extensive damage of the city center. Today, its pre-fire history can be seen in the winding layout of the streets in the Old Town Triangle Historic District, and can be heard in the bells of St. Michael's Church, one of the few structures to stand in the path of the fire and survive. The neighborhood was hit hard by the urban flight of the 1950s, and many of those classic structures were converted into boarding houses that became affordable for beatniks: artists, folk musicians, actors, and others moved in and made Old Town into the counterculture capital of Chicago for the next two decades. Miles, Janis, Dylan, and Seeger played in and outside of the clubs in Old Town. It was where teens from staid neighborhoods (like Lincoln Park) came to feel the edge. Guitars! Long hair! Loitering! Old Town had it all.

Into this environment came the city's greatest comedic force, a group of ex-pats from Hyde Park who named their new theater The Second City, and reinvented American comedy. Years later, a similarly talented band of college actors arrived to establish Steppenwolf, who set the tone for the next two decades of dramatic theater.

The shocking violence of the 1968 Democratic Convention spelled the end of the hippie era in Old Town. Soon, property values were on the rise, and only the more financially successful countercultural outlets could stay in business. Today, you'll find a historic district and the new Chicago History Museum to guide you around, and you can split an amazing night at the theater with one of the trendy restaurants nearby. Old Town is divided, though: crumbling buildings sit on one side of North Avenue without ever much affecting a trip to Steppenwolf on the other side. Old Town is a neighborhood that knows the contradictions within its boundaries, and lives with them.

Lincoln Park, on the other hand, is oblivious. Most of the North Side wouldn't live in Lincoln Park if you paid them to do it, and most of Lincoln Park would refuse to live anywhere else, understanding other neighborhoods only as wastelands with poorly groomed people and an unacceptable shortage of Starbucks. Thanks to the presence of DePaul, Lincoln Park has a distinctly collegiate atmosphere, created not only by students but also by young professionals with fond memories of having been students within the last two decades. The weekend club scene in Lincoln Park will either offer an exhilarating trip back to your college years or a vision of hell on earth. That aside, Lincoln Park also has a row of shopping boutiques that is the envy of much of the rest of the city, and the taxes that churn through the local economy go to the well-maintained expanses of the eponymous park, the lakefront bike and jogging trails, and North Avenue Beach.

Also, to its credit, the Lincoln Park Zoo didn't rest on its laurels after it got that bear.

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Sights and Activities

Biograph Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Ave (Fullerton CTA). Plays are shown here (see Victory Gardens below), but the theater is still best known as the place where John Dillinger went down in 1934. America's most famous bank robber was leaving after a movie with the Lady in Red when FBI agents opened fire. The owners of the theater have never been keen to play up the connection, but the classic marquee is still there. Reportedly, Dillinger fans hold gatherings outside on July 22, the anniversary of his death.
Chicago History Museum (Chicago Historical Society), 1601 N Clark St (Clark/Division Red Line, Sedgwick Brown Line), ☏ +1-312-642-4600. M-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su noon-5PM. A creative urban history museum. Exhibits include The Pioneer, the first railroad locomotive to operate in Chicago, and the bed upon which Abraham Lincoln died; more fun for kids is the Chicago-style Hot Dog showcase, which supplies all the giant plastic ingredients you'll need to turn yourself (or your little brother) into a life-sized hot dog (no ketchup, of course). They also host regular tours of different CTA lines and walking tours of Lincoln Park and Old Town. $14 adults, children 12 and under are free.
Elks National Veterans Memorial, 2750 N Lakeview Ave, ☏ +1-773-755-4876. M-F 9AM-5PM; also Sa Su 10AM-5PM from 15 Apr-15 Nov. This neoclassical veterans memorial is truly grand. Its interior is an extravagant ensemble of marble, bronze sculptures, stained glass, and huge murals. Free admission and tours.
International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N Lake Shore Dr (N. Lake Shore Dr., between North Ave. and Burton Pl), ☏ +1-312-642-6502. M-F 9:30AM-5PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. Housed in a historic mansion, the museum contains four floors of exhibits dedicated to the history of medicine and surgery and is filled with artwork and artifacts ranging from Incan surgical tools circa 2000 BCE to state-of-the-art prosthetic joints. Of special interest to those in the medical field, the collection appeals to anyone interested in history, art, science and architecture. Adult $17; senior, student, active military $13; child 4-13 $9, child under 4 free.
Lincoln Park. The 1.5-mile-long park from which the neighborhood draws its name is dotted with statues of people with ties to Chicago or Germany (like Goethe), and features plenty of paths for running wide-open green space for sports, and even a rowing lagoon to the west.
Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2400 N Stockton Dr, ☏ +1-312-742-7736. 9AM-5PM. Built 1890-1895, the conservatory is right next to the zoo. Even though they're overshadowed by the animals next door, the plants receive an equal amount of care, and there are usually some eye-popping floral displays in the spring. Volunteer-led tours are sometimes available at no cost. Free.
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N Cannon Dr (Fullerton CTA, or see bus routes), ☏ +1-312-742-2000. Daily 9AM-6PM, winter 9AM-5PM, summer weekends 9AM-7PM. Few things in Chicago are finer than the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's world-class, yet admission is free; its winding, expansive grounds have the charm of age, yet its facilities are modern and the animals are healthy, happy, and personable. The brand new Great Ape House is one to see, and the Farm in the Zoo features plenty for kids to do, but everyone has their own favorites (penguins). Free.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr, ☏ +1-773-755-5100. M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. Carefully positioned within walking distance of the Lincoln Park Zoo in hopes of being parents' second stop while they're in the area, the Notebaert Nature Museum is... okay. Exhibits are geared toward kids and are sometimes hands-on. The only consistent must-see is the butterfly haven. Adults $9, children 3-12 $6, Th free.
9 Oz Park, 2021 N Burling St, ☏ +1-312-742-7898. Young children might enjoy this Wizard of Oz-themed park with statues and playlots. Free.
Thomas Masters Gallery, 245 W North Ave (Sedgwick Brown/Purple Line), ☏ +1-312-440-2322. W-F noon-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. A member of the River North gallery scene, with contemporary art, including paint, drawings and sculpture.
National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, 2520 N Lakeview Ave (151 Sheridan bus), ☏ +1-773-360-5115, ✉ admin@mssh.onmicrosoft.com. Tu-F 10AM-3PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 9AM-3PM. Historically, spiritually and architecturally, the Shrine is a "must see" destination for Chicago visitors. The Shrine Honors the first American Citizen Saint and Patron of Immigrants in the Catholic Church. Designed by world renowned architect Leonard Gliotto, the Shrine is a celebration of carrara marble, Florentine stained glass, gold mosaics, colorful frescoes and Romanesque splendor. All are welcome to visit the chapel, meditation garden, historical exhibit and gift shop. Visitors may take a self-guided tour or schedule a docent-led tour. Catholic Mass is celebrated Saturday at 4PM and Sunday at 10AM. Free.
Astor Street Historic District, Astor St, between Division and North. Near Old Town, on what's often referred to as the Gold Coast, Astor Street was named for the fur tycoon John Jacob Astor, and does him tribute on his favored terms — these are the most expensive houses in Chicago. The atmosphere is the main attraction, but the 1892 Charnley House (1365 N Astor St) is particularly interesting, marking a halfway point between the distinctive styles of master architect Louis Sullivan and his apprentice Frank Lloyd Wright. There are also some interesting Art Deco homes like Holabird & Root's design at 1444 N Astor St.
Mid-North Historic District, Between Fullerton Ave, Clark St, Armitage Ave, Lincoln Ave, and Orchard St. There are several nice blocks of Lincoln Park near the lake, but the Italianate, Queen Anne, and Romanesque homes of the Mid-North District are especially lovely. Three survived the Chicago Fire (2121 N Hudson, 2339 N Cleveland, 2343 N Cleveland), and two were early designs of Louis Sullivan (440 W Belden Ave, 2147 N Cleveland St). The 1882-89 row houses between Belden and Fullerton are worth a look, too. As you walk, you'll see the faded white-and-blue signs of the Church of Our Savior (530 W Fullerton Ave), founded in 1867 (although the present structure dates from 1889).
Old Town Triangle District, Between North Ave, Lincoln Ave, and Wells St. Several blocks of beautiful cottages and row houses, notably the five at 1826-34 N Lincoln Park West, which were designed by Louis Sullivan in 1885. The anchor of the district is St. Mike's (below).
St. Michael's Church, 1633 N Cleveland Ave, ☏ +1-312-642-2498. Services Su 9AM, 11AM, 7PM; M-Sa 8AM, Tu 6PM. Unveiled in 1869, the walls of St Mike's were all that remained after the Chicago Fire swept through Old Town, making it one of only six structures to survive — and the tallest in the city until 1885. A tower was added in 1887, and the current stained glass windows date from 1902. It serves the Redemptorist faith, a branch of Catholicism, with seating for more than 1,000 people.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Train

The CTA Red Line runs along Sheffield Avenue and stops at Fullerton in Lincoln Park and North/Clybourn at the edge of Old Town. The Brown Line, further west, connects with the Red Line at Fullerton, but also makes stops in Lincoln Park at Armitage and Diversey, and in Old Town at Sedgwick.

The Metra Union Pacific Northwest Line and Union Pacific North Line stop at the Clybourn station just across the Chicago River on Armitage just west of Ashland, from which you can catch the 73 Armitage bus into Lincoln Park. The Clybourn Metra station, despite its name, is not on Clybourn Avenue.

By Car

Lake Shore Drive has exits at Fullerton for Lincoln Park and North Avenue for Old Town. From the Kennedy Expressway, take any of the eastbound exits at Division, North, Fullerton, and Diversey.

Traffic is not swift on the streets of Lincoln Park and Old Town, but it's generally manageable. Beware of parking on side streets that require residential permits. (If you're not parking at a meter, take a quick walk up and down the block to make sure that a permit isn't required to park there.)

There are parking garages in close proximity to the theaters (notably Piper's Alley in Old Town) and on the grounds of the Lincoln Park Zoo ($14, 1-3 hours).

By Bus

8 Halsted runs past Steppenwolf's front door in Old Town.
22 Clark runs all night north/south down Clark Street, from the Near North and through both Old Town and Lincoln Park, before heading on to Lakeview.
37 Sedgwick runs north/south on Sedwick from Fullerton, into Old Town, River North and the Loop.
72 North runs on North Avenue, into the heart of Old Town, and on to Bucktown.
73 Armitage serves the Armitage shopping corridor.
74 Fullerton runs east/west on Fullerton, the major artery in Lincoln Park.
76 Diversey runs east/west on Diversey, the border between Lincoln Park and Lakeview, and continues to Logan Square.
151 Sheridan and 156 LaSalle both reach the Lincoln Park Zoo and the lakefront from the Near North. The 151 runs all night.

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Eat

Branko's, 1118 W Fullerton Ave (Fullerton CTA), ☏ +1-773-472-3505. M-Sa 9AM-9PM. This mom-and-pop establishment has been whipping up sandwiches for DePaul students since 1976, and the service alone is worth the trip. Fries are free with almost everything on the menu and a Jumbo Chicago style dog with fries and a large drink comes to about 5 bucks. Cash only. $3-8.
Clarke's, 2441 N Lincoln Ave (Fullerton CTA), ☏ +1-773-472-3505. 24 hours. Breakfast all day and night, although burgers are available, too. The food is decent at best, but the hours make it a must-know for anyone on the Lincoln Park bar scene. $3-8.
CityGrounds, 507 W Dickens Ave (Sedgwick Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-857-1576. M-W 6:30AM-9PM, Th F 6:30AM-11:30PM, Sa 7AM-11:30PM, Su 7AM-9PM. CityGrounds coffee bar serves artisan coffee, loose leaf tea and locally produced pastries, cakes and breads. Serves the locally roasted coffees of Metropolis Coffee Company. $3-5.
Sultan's Market, 2521 N Clark St, ☏ +1-312-638-9151. M-Th 10AM-10PM, F Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-9PM. If you're in the park by the lakefront, or if you're carrying a lighter wallet after a trip to the Century Shopping Centre in Lakeview a couple blocks north, the prices are absurdly low for the amount of satisfaction you'll get from the Mediterranean salad bar or falafel sandwiches here. They also do a fine shawerma. $3.50-8.
Vienna Beef Factory, 2501 N Damen Ave, ☏ +1-773-235-6652. Deli: M-F 6:30AM-2PM, Sa 10AM-2:30PM. Hoo boy, it's the motherlode. This is where all Chicago's hot dogs are born (not to mention Polish sausages, Italian Beef, and other assorted deli meats). You cannot eat a truer Chicago hot dog than in the factory itself, and the prices are among the best in the city. Parking is easy in the outside lot. $1.50-5.
The Wiener's Circle, 2622 N Clark St (Fullerton CTA). Su-Th 11AM-4AM, F Sa 11AM-5AM. The food is only so-so, the prices fair, but what makes this walk-up joint famous is the staff, who have zero patience for customers and the colorful language skills of a bartender at the seediest dockside bar imaginable. A favorite of the late-night crowd, who after a long night of drinking seem to find major entertainment value in being served a massive dose of profane invective with their greasy chili fries and Chicago-style hot dogs. $3-7.
Bacino's Pizzeria, 2204 N Lincoln Ave, ☏ +1-773-472-7400. M 11AM-9PM, Tu-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. A Lincoln Park branch of the Loop favorite that serves what many call the city's best stuffed pizza. $12-20.
Kamehachi, 1400 N Wells St (Sedgwick Brown Line), ☏ +1-312-664-3663. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 4:30PM-midnight. Reliable and sometimes exceptional sushi at this Old Town outlet of the Chicago sushi chainlet. There's relief for vegetarians as well: try the agedashi tofu. $16-22.
Lou Malnati's, 958 W Wrightwood Ave (Fullerton CTA), ☏ +1-773-832-4030. M-Th 4PM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. Lincoln Park branch of the deep-dish pizza giant. This location has outdoor seating and a nice park across the street. $7-12.
Mayan Palace, 2703 N Halsted St (Diversey Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-935-4200. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Good Mexican food in a relaxed atmosphere, indoor and outdoor seating. Don't put much stock in their claim regarding the best margaritas in the world (1/2 price Tu&Th), but their mole sauce and their fried ice cream are worth bragging about. $8-13.
Pequod's, 2207 N Clybourn Ave, ☏ +1-773-327-1512. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Great place to get caramelized/burnt crust Chicago style deep dish pizza, considered a secret favorite. $6-12.
Raj Darbar, 2660 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-348-1010. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM. Great Indian food with an extensive menu. The service is creaky and the staff always seem to be breaking in flocks of new busboys, but the taste and decor are worth the stop. $13-25.
Riccardo Trattoria, 2660 N Halsted St, ☏ +1-773-549-0038. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. Unpretentious and authentic Italian restaurant rated among the best in Chicago, with traditional pastas and numerous other dishes to choose from. $18-30.
Tandoor Char House, 2119 N Clark St, ☏ +1-773-327-2652. M-Tu 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Indian/Pakistani cuisine, good bite before the B.L.U.E.S. or the Kingston Mines. $7-15.
Twin Anchors, 1655 N Sedgwick St, ☏ +1-312-266-1616. M-Th 5PM-11PM, F 5PM-midnight, Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-10:30PM. Impress your friends with your knowledge of Chicago by "stumbling across" this hidden neighborhood joint. Once Frank Sinatra's favorite restaurant in town, it's best known for its ribs, although they also have decent steak. $12-25.
Alinea, 1723 N Halsted St (North/Clybourn Red Line), ☏ +1-312-867-0110. Ranked seventh in the world in 2012 by Restaurant Magazine (second in the USA), and Chicago's only restaurant to hold three stars from Michelin; that's only the beginning of the acclaim for Alinea and Chef Grant Achatz. Reservations can be tough to get; start well in advance with the ticket system on their website and keep an eye on their social media for same-night tables. Tickets $225 and up, depending on time and day; more with wine pairings.
Boka, 1729 N Halsted St (North/Clybourn Red Line), ☏ +1-312-337-6070. Su-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. The menu mixes Japanese, Mediterranean, European, and dang ol' Midwestern food without apparent self-consciousness. Plenty of seafood and a raw bar, too. Dinners are satisfying but light, making it the perfect place for a pre-show meal. You won't need formal dress, but you will need a reservation. $50+.

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Drink

3rd Coast Cafe, 1260 N Dearborn St, ☏ +1-312-649-0730. 7AM-midnight daily. Once known as the Chicago meet-up spot for 2600, the computer hackers quarterly, 3rd Coast is an upscale late-night oasis amid blocks of impressive, silent Old Town row houses. Evenings feature jazz and solo guitarists, and the food is far above average for a cafe.
B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N Halsted St (Fullerton CTA). Su-F 8PM-2AM, Sa 8PM-3AM. Small but dedicated blues bar. On Sundays, one cover charge gets you into B.L.U.E.S. and Kingston Mines across the road. This is one of the true Chicago blues experiences.
Delilah's, 2771 N Lincoln Ave, ☏ +1-773-472-2771. Su-F 4PM-2AM, Sa 4PM-3AM. This is the joint where Kurt (Cobain) met Courtney (Love). No kidding. The booze selection is unbeatable and recent almost-rock-stars spin the records.
Kingston Mines, 2548 N Halsted St (Fullerton CTA). Su-F 8PM-4AM, Sa 8PM-5AM. The larger of the blues bars on Halsted. Has a great set-up with two stages and two bands every night. One band plays for an hour on one stage then the other band takes over on the second stage for an hour — continuous music all night from 9:30PM.
Liar's Club, 1665 W Fullerton Ave (74 Fullerton bus), ☏ +1-773-665-1110. Su-F 8PM-2AM, Sa 8PM-3AM. Good place to dance on the weekend — the DJs play the hits and know how to take the measure of the frat-free crowd. The round wood track-lit dance floor is a stand-out, too. If your friends don't dance, they can wait at the bar upstairs. $5 cover on weekends.
Old Town Ale House, 219 W North Ave (Sedgwick Brown Line), ☏ +1-312-944-7020. M-F 8AM-4AM, Sa 8AM-5AM, Su noon-4AM. An old-time Old Town dive, decorated with photos and newspaper clippings to show its history and favored status among famous Second City alums. Note the very late hours.
Webster's Wine Bar, 1480 W Webster Ave (Fullerton CTA), ☏ +1-773-868-0608. M-F 5PM-2AM, Sa 4PM-3AM, Su 4PM-2AM. Webster's has wine tastings/classes twice a month, and all of the expertise to satisfy a sophisticate.

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Sleep

Chicago Getaway Hostel, 616 W Arlington Pl (Fullerton CTA), ☏ +1-773-929-5380, toll-free: +1-800-467-8355. Hostel kitchen, laundry, games, guitars. Dorm beds from $23, private rooms from $57.
Days Inn - Lincoln Park North, 644 W Diversey Pkwy (Diversey Brown Line), toll-free: +1-888-576-3297. Frequented by touring bands in town to play at one of the many big clubs on the north side. $98-130.
The Inn at Lincoln Park, 601 W Diversey Pkwy (Diversey Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-348-2810. A short walk to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the lakefront. Rooms from $148.
City Scene Bed and Breakfast, 2101 N Clifton Ave (Armitage Brown Line), ☏ +1-773-549 1743. A one- or two-bedroom suite in the heart of Lincoln Park.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 13. Last edited at 14:29 on Sep 20, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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