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1st time in Chicago planning in March

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Los Angeles
posts: 5
1st time in Chicago planning in March

Thank You for having this forum. I am intended to see someone who I cherish greatly in Chicago in March of 2014, it's her birthday.

She lives in Lincoln Square and I need advice and help, compared to driving in California how is it different to driving in Chicago, what I am getting to is do I need a car?

As I mention she lives in Lincoln Square and is there any good motels/ hotels that anyone can suggest.

Like I say this is all for March and I like to get myself prepared.

Any suggest will be gratefully appreciated.

Much Thanks


19 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 5,190
reviews: 75
1. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

There are no "good" motels or hotels in Lincoln Square. There are a lot of hotels up and down Lincoln avenue north of Lincoln Square, but they're all cheap and basic places. The major hotels are all downtown.

Chicago is about the same as driving in LA. Maybe more driving on city streets and less on highways. If you happen to hit a snowstorm, it'll be a lot worse.

Depending on where you end up staying and where you'll be going and what' you'll be doing, it's very possible you won't need a car. Lincoln Square has good public transportation so if you stay downtown, you would not need one to get to Lincoln Square. If you stay in a motel or hotel, you probably will.,

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 9,830
reviews: 83
2. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

Actually driving in Chicago is more like driving in SF than LA. Fewer freeways. What we have that LA doesn't is decent public transit. Check with your friend and ask her about "L" and bus travel to her home. The Brown Line from downtown to Western Ave may work for you. The Brown line is one of the elevated lines that make Chicago's Loop. Hotels are downtown, not in the neighborhoods.

You do not want the expense of a car in the city. Besides the $45/ day rental, plan on $40/day parking charges (more for hotel parking costs). Most lakefront neighborhoods are residential permit parking only. Downtown meter parking can be as expensive as $6.50/hour with a 2 hour maximum.

Los Angeles
posts: 5
3. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

Thank you so much for your help, I will let her know about my plans in December when I give her a holiday gift.

As you mention there aren't really good hotels/motels in Lincoln Square but some decent ones on Lincoln Ave. can you recommend any?

If I can ask she lives near Argyle Street, Lincoln Square does the and I am hoping I get it right, does the L go by there if I was coming in from Midway Airport.

Again I am very grateful with your help, you are the fantastic.


Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 30,266
reviews: 66
4. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

Stay downtown. Easy access from MDW taking an orange line train.

www.transitchicago.com for public transit information. There's a trip planner tool on the homepage.

Take a brown line train from downtown to the Lincoln Square area.

posts: 3,629
reviews: 163
5. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

the motels along lincoln ave tend to be on the sleazy side (kinda reminds me of the way fairfax ave was back in the 70's, when my folks would stay at the fairfax motel during our annual trips to LA).... but i digress... anyway, you're better-off staying either downtown, OR, you could look for a place in evanston, which is along the CTA red line and METRA north line..... evanston is more or less equidistant from lincoln square as downtown, plus it's a dynamic city in it's own right.... you'll have to transfer from the red to the brown line at belmont and backtrack a bit, but it's no big deal.... so if you can score a good deal there, go for it....

regarding weather and driving, welp, march is early spring, thus it's the mud season, which means bare foliage, bare and brown [thawing] ground and rain.... that being said, IMO, it's the worst time to visit chicago ---too cold for summer fun, and to warm and rainy for winter fun.... yet, sometimes we do get a late season snowstorm, so it's a real possibility.... check out these websites before you leave home:



also, if the motels in area seem unappealing, and downtown or evanston are too far/expensive, perhaps check into a B&B--yep they have them in chicago:


Edited: 11:41 pm, November 17, 2013
posts: 3,629
reviews: 163
6. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

and this B&B is fairly close to lincoln square:


Chicago, Illinois
posts: 5,190
reviews: 75
7. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

You said your friend is on Argyle. What's the cross street. Argyle is not right in Lincoln Squate and is a bit of a walk from the Western Briwn line stop. Definitely google map his to get there from Midway to see the best way.

posts: 1,095
reviews: 3
8. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

As someone who lives in Lincoln Square and has a doctor in Evanston, I would NEVER suggest staying in Evanston if your primary focus is Lincoln Square. It is not very convenient at all - you're not just back tracking. And Evanston isn't on the red-line. It is on the Purple line.

posts: 5,467
reviews: 41
9. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

It depends what your plans are. If your friend plans on coming downtown and do tourist type things with you such as museums and downtown shopping, etc, then downtown hotels would work. If you probably will be spending more time up by your friend, you may either want a local B&B, or City Suites Hotel, which is a nice hotel located part way between downtown and Lincoln Square. Also, it's right next to the Belmont stop which serves the brown line which goes to Lincoln Square in 10 minutes or so. http://www.chicagocitysuites.com/

posts: 3,863
reviews: 1
10. Re: 1st time in Chicago planning in March

I agree with Happi, figure out where you will spend the bulk of your time. Also, as previously stated if you give us the major cross street to Argyle we can give you more specific info. Lincoln Square can encompass a large area.

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