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staying near UIC

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jackson hole
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staying near UIC

My boyfriend is attending a medical conference at UIC this weekend & I am tagging along. I have been to Chicago once & loved it, but I am completely unfamiliar with this area.

How far is this from M. Mile shopping? How much are cabs to this area? Or can I take the El? I've read that our hotel (Marriott) is near the Racine El stop; do we just take the blue line from O'Hare or do we have to change trains? The map showed a loop...

Also, we love Irish pubs & small clubs/restruants with live jazz/swing. Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Chicago, IL
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3,526 posts
100 reviews
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1. Re: staying near UIC

To get to the Michigan Avenue shopping area, you'd take the blue line back towards O'Hare and transfer to the red line at either Washington or Jackson. You can get off the red line at either Grand (the beginning of the shopping district) or Chicago (closer to Water Tower).

From the map it looks like you do not have to change trains as long as you get on a train heading for Forest Park, not Cermak.

I hope someone else who's more familiar with that el stop will weigh in on whether it's a good idea to be walking around that area and if there's a difference between day and night, Marriott's website says the el stop is .6 miles from the hotel. This isn't a tourist area, I was actually surprised that there was a Marriott over there, I assume it's there because of the hospitals.

The Little Italy section on Taylor St. is just a couple of blocks away, lots of great Italian restaurants.

Clearwater, Florida
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7,553 posts
83 reviews
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2. Re: staying near UIC

For starters, I suggest that you read the reviews of the hotel offered elsewhere on this website . . . they might help to answer some questions you have. Just paste this link into your computer's address bar: http://tinyurl.com/7b42o

The hotel is in the middle of a huge medical school/hospital campus, maybe the largest in the USA. The immediate area isn't one where many people live, though. Although there's lots of campus security, this isn't an area I suggest a couple of people unfamiliar with the neighborhood go walking around after dark (late at night).

The nearest station on the "Blue Line" is "Medical Center" (often referred to as "Damen/Paulina"). I wouldn't call the station "close" to the hotel, but, then again, it's not "far" either. The entrance is on Damen Ave., slightly more than 1/2 mile away from the hotel. There is an exit at Paulina, which is a couple of blocks closer to the hotel (for when you arrive/return to the hotel). If you enjoy walking, there should be no problem - I've made that trek from the hotel to the "El" several times.

If you'll be taking the "El" from O'Hare Airport, just stay on the train as it moves through the northside of the city, the "Loop" (Downtown area) and then, once again, rises above ground until the train reaches "Medical Center." The walk from the station to the hotel will be an unhurried 15 minutes.

You'll have several options to choose from as you decide how to get into the Downtown and Near North areas where you'll find the Magnificient Mile, State Street, Rush Street, and other areas with shopping and restaurants, etc. A review right here on TripAdvisor says that the hotel offers shuttle service to both the Racine Ave. stop on the "Blue Line" and Michigan Avenue. I dont' know if that information is currently accurate, but you can inquire upon check-in at the hotel. Almost at the front door of the hotel (across the street) you'll find the #7 "Harrison" CTA bus that will take you into the "Loop" (State St., Michigan Avenue, etc.). However, the bus operates only from early morning through early evening. You can also take the "El" from the Damen Ave. stop. And, as always, there are taxi's for which you're likely to pay about $10 for a ride to the Michigan Ave. shopping area.

This hotel originally opened as a Hyatt and was built to Hyatt standards . . . which is why many people are surprised to find it in the neighborhood it is. For a time, it was independently operated. Not that long ago, Marriott took over management and it's very professionally operated.

I'm not aware of any clubs with music that are located anywhere closeby the hotel, but you will find those types of places elsewhere in the city and if you read prior messages on the Chicago forum (and check TripAdvisor user reviews elsewhere on this website) you'll learn about them.

As for restaurants close to the hotel, my favorite is "Tufano's Vernon Park Tap." It's east of the hotel near the intersection of Harrison St. and Racine Ave. I wouldn't recommend walking there late-night, however. Hotel staff will be able to direct you to the restaurant, it's been in operation for many years and is low-key, high-quality and moderately priced - an "institution" in the area's Italian-American community.

Some helpful websites to learn about Chicago shopping, restaurants and nightlife are:

www.metromix.com

www.chireader.com

To learn more about public transportation in Chicago, check here:

www.transitchicago.com

Enjoy your visit to Chicago!

Palatine, Illinois
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660 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: staying near UIC

Cabs from UIC to Michigan Ave area are about 8 - 10 a ride. It's probably a good idea to take the train during the day and early evening, but after about 11pm, cabs are a better idea to get back to hotel.

By the way, from what I have heard and read, the Marriott near UIC is an excellent choice for the hotel itself.

Now for resturant suggestions -

Tufano's (Vernon Park Tap) - Great Little Italian Resturant near where you are staying.

You are also close to Greektown (Halsted St. just north of UIC)

Santorini, Pegasus and Greek Isles are all good choices.

A couple of clubs to check out a couple blocks west of Michigan Ave.

Andy's Jazz Club - on Illinois Ave.

Fado (Irish Pub) - on Grand Ave.

Chicago, Illinois
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42 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: staying near UIC

FMP,

I don't necessarily agree with the above about the safety of the area after dark. It is a huge hospital campus and college campus so it is rather empty after dark. Use your best judgement. Taking the "el" is your best choice as it is quick, clean and safe. If the hotel offers a shuttle to either station take advantage of it. As posted above check out metromix form club choices or pick up a reader newspaper when you are here. The Reader is a free weekly with loads of info on everything to do in the city. Have fun.

jackson hole
9 posts
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5. Re: staying near UIC

See, this is what I love about Chicago! You guys are great, very helpful & informative.

Thanks so much for the info. I know we'll have a great time!

Chicago, IL
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169 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: staying near UIC

I don't agree with the above regarding the neighborhood surrounding the Marriott either. The area isn't nearly as desolate as the above post makes it seem.

There isn't an overabundance of rental property in the area, but there is most definently alot of 6 figure condo properties and single family townhomes in this area. Properties full of Dr.'s, Medical students, professionals who work downtown, etc....

I lived in the area for the past 3 years & now live in Greek town. It's very safe here at night and there are cops all over the place during the day as well as at night. You not only have the Chicago Police patroling the area, but you also have the UIC Police patrolling as well between the east and west campus areas.

I'm a single female and have never felt unsafe in the area, day or night.