We will be at the newly-renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Magnificent Mile, a great location just a few blocks from Michigan Avenue, aka Mag Mile, and surrounded by restaurants and shopping.
Getting to Chicago
Chicago is served by two airports, O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW). O’Hare is a hub for most major airlines, so finding a reasonable flight is usually not a problem. Midway is a hub for Southwest Airlines, but Southwest has recently added some routes to O'Hare. Please see the links for O’Hare and Midway, and go to the ‘Getting To and From’ tab to see your options for getting into the city.
If you are planning to rent a car at either airport or simply driving in, please refer to this page from the DoubleTree Hotel. The hotel is offering us a discount rate for their parking garage, which is $16 for the day, and $40 for overnight. You can also use a parking app, like SpotHero, to find less expensive parking around the hotel.
Taking the L into the city, and getting to the hotel:
Chicago has a very good public transportation system, the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), and you can take the train (the L) into the city from either airport for a minimal fee. You will need to purchase and load a Ventra card at a vending machine at the airport, or you can use a wallet app, such as Apple Pay. Here is a chart with fare information, and you can compare transport options here.
Taking the Blue Line from O’Hare:
Note that regular subway fare is $2.50, but it is $5.00 leaving from O’Hare on the Blue Line.
Take the Blue Line and get off at Washington. Exit via Randolph-Washington exit and use the mezzanine-level pedway through Block 37 Center (stop for a bite to eat if you’re hungry) to Red Line trains. You will need to tap your Ventra card again for a free transfer to the Red Line.
Take the Red Line north (toward Howard) and get off at Grand. (the announcement on the train will be for ‘Grand and State’) Look for the NE Exit in the station and go up. Once outside on Grand/State Street, walk north on State St, toward the Starbucks sign which will be on the corner of Ohio and State St. Turn right (east), and keep walking about six blocks. The hotel will be on the left. You can refer to the map on the DoubleTree Hotel site.
If you prefer not to walk the six blocks, or deal with transferring to the Red Line at Washington, you can take a taxi or ride share (Uber) directly to the hotel.
Taking the Orange Line from Midway:
Get off at Roosevelt and go downstairs. Follow signs to the Red Line going north (toward Howard), and get off at Grand. Follow the above Blue Line directions to get to the hotel.
Taxis and Ride-share
Taxis and ride-shares via app (e.g. Lyft, Uber) are readily available at the airports.
Getting Around Chicago
If you are staying at the DoubleTree, take advantage of public transportation (CTA) to get around to the major sights. You will need to purchase a Ventra Card, which you can use on any CTA bus or subway.
The Michigan Avenue area is great for walking around, with many restaurants and shops, andwell-known architecture. On a nice day, you can walk south on Michigan Avenue to Millenium Park and the Art Institute, crossing the Chicago River. Don’t feel like walking? Take a CTA bus!
Here is a list of attractions easily accessible by bus or subway. From the hotel, the nearest subway station is Grand, which is on the Red Line.
Chicago drivers can be different from what you are used to, so please be mindful when driving around town. Be aware that many of the streets around the hotel and downtown are one-way. Always check for signage when you park. If you park on any neighborhood street in Chicago, make sure you are not in a ‘Permit Only’ zone, which requires you to have a permit sticker for that neighborhood. The city uses a pay box system, where instead of a meter, you will pay at a parking box on the street or via app.
Chicago has a bike-share program called Divvy, and there are many locations in the city to pick up a bike. It is a fun way to explore the city, especially since the hotel is not far from the beautiful lakefront bike trail.
And if you get lost, just remember: the lake is always EAST!