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Visiting for 1 day

Louisville, Kentucky
14 posts
Visiting for 1 day

I know nothing about Chicago. Family of 4 going to Champaign, Illinois on Friday. We were going to drive to Chicago Saturday morning and see what was formally known as the Sears tower and anything else folks recommend.

I did have a question though regarding a good place to park and take a train into the city. I dont want to go to a train station that is in a bad neighborhood. I want it to be a safe ride into downtown. Any recommendations?

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38 replies to this topic
Chicago
Level Contributor
8,883 posts
81 reviews
1. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Saturday trains aren’t frequent. Just drive in and use spot hero to find a cheap place to park near Willis Tower or anywhere else you plan on going.

2. Re: Visiting for 1 day

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Removed on: 12:37 pm, September 25, 2018
 
Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
56,786 posts
67 reviews
3. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Start with www.choosechicago.com for some inspiration.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3,962 posts
326 reviews
4. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Unless you're leaving Champaign very early in the a.m., you won't have much time to look around. So see the Willis Tower if the weather its clear; it's a waste of money otherwise. Then walk east to Millenium Park and see the "Bean". Depending on the amount of time left, you could consider a walking tour or a River cruise, or just a stroll along the RiverWalk.

If the weather isn't good, visit a museum.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
18,269 posts
137 reviews
5. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Amtrak does serve Bloomington/Normal which is about an hour drive from Champagne. There are two morning trains in to Chicago at7:30 and 9:45 and a 5:00 and 7:00 train out of Chicago. That would give you about 6-7 hours layover in the city and 3 hour train ride each way. With the drive between Champagne and Bloomington and the train ride, you’re looking at starting and ending your day with a 4 hour commute. A trip from Champagne into Chicago using Amtrak would take about 19 hours. Personally, I would drive the 2 ½ hour drive into the city, park in a parking lot and have some fun.

Going to an observation deck depends entirely on the weather. You don't want to pay good money to look at the inside of a cloud.

Edited: 9:59 am, September 23, 2018
Louisville, Kentucky
14 posts
6. Re: Visiting for 1 day

(In reply to gmann's post above, not trashing the city)

Cover your eyes and act like mass murder in certain parts of the city isn't happening. Not knowing the city, I'm simply asking for a decent park and ride into the city. Not wanting to park in ground zero of Death City, U.S.A with the family to ride into downtown.

Just thinking it would be easier than trying to park on the city.

Edited: 10:23 am, September 23, 2018
Chicago
Level Contributor
8,883 posts
81 reviews
7. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Rafington,, I understood your post, some people on here are bizarre, don’t pay attention. Most of us understand what you are asking for but it’s not worth your time. From Champagne, it’s a real easy drive in. Route 57 up to CHicago and just park in a garage. The suburban trains into the city are on a limited schedule on the weekends.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
18,269 posts
137 reviews
8. Re: Visiting for 1 day

I just did a Google for a "Death City" in the USA. There is none. Perhaps you are thinking of Death Valley but that is not doable in a day. I thought that geeman's response was unnecessarily flippant but now, with your lack of knowledge and obvious phobia re: Chicago; perhaps you shouldn't make the long trip from Champagne/Urbana.

Can you rephrase your original question to be a little more intelligible and a little less insulting?

I'm guessing that you want to drive closer to the city to catch one of our commuter trains? Chicagoland suburbs are all safe and serene. Dave noted that the weekend schedules of the METRA system are infrequent. The high volume of commuter travel is weekdays. I've already offered a suggestion on how to take Amtrak regional trains. FYI: Union Station Chicago is across the river from the Willis Tower.

pgo
Chicago
Destination Expert
for Chicago
Level Contributor
7,754 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: Visiting for 1 day

It's true that there have been many shootings this summer; they are generally confined to a handful of neighborhoods that are not near the tourist areas. The train is a good idea if visiting Monday through Friday, but Saturday (and Sunday) mornings have fewer traffic problems. It's hard to think of a park and ride place that wouldn't add an hour to your commute, and we wouldn't recommend that when you have such a short time.

Using www.parkwhiz.com or www.spothero.com will give you many options on where to park - it could be as little as $10 for the day, cheaper than street parking. Stay on the south side of downtown for the Willis; look around Wabash and Roosevelt for the museum campus. If you want help choosing a garage, post back with their addresses and we can help.

Louisville, Kentucky
14 posts
10. Re: Visiting for 1 day

Thank you PGO. This is what I was looking for. I didnt mean any disrespect to the city. I just didnt want to unknowingly be in an unsafe area by plan and not realise it until I got there.

The original jackarse response above was unwarranted and my response probably didnt come across well to folks that live in the city. My apologies.

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