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Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

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Hamilton, Canada
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Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

So we will be driving from Ontario to Chicago during the weekend!

We want to find some a hotel that is closely located to CTA stops so we can travel to downtown Chicago without driving our car there.

|downtown hotels are pricey and with valet park, so we prefer to find a hotel far away so we can just take a train down|.

Also, Pacebus and Metra Trains don`t run on Weekends right?

Thank you for your time and help!:) much appreciated!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

You may want to consider staying downtown if you are only here for the weekend since, depending on how far out you end up staying, may cost you in time. For instance, the Holiday Inn at 5615 N Cumberland is walking distance to the CTA blue line but the ride in is 45 minutes to Millennium Park. Maybe consider staying at the downtown hostel: http://www.hichicago.org/. They have some private rooms but dorm rooms will be less expensive if you don't mind bunking with people you don't know. I heard it's great. I've stayed at a couple of hostels in private rooms in other states and have had good experiences. Check with them about where you'd keep the car. The cost of parking may be worth the time saved and money spent on a hotel and CTA passes. I have also found great deals in other big cities on Hotwire.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

Yes, Pace and Metra run on weekends but on limited schedules. If you want to be outside of downtown, just keep in mind you'll probably spend about an hour commuting into and out of the city.

Parking by the CTA is not a great option for you if you're coming from the East. The CTA does not go out to the edges of the city, and there's not a lot of hotels south of downtown. The only thing I can think of is to check out Hyde Park, which is where the University of Chicago is and so has hotels and would allow you to take a CTA bus in.

If you don't mind driving more, you can also drive around the city to the O'Hare airport area and stay in one of the hotels in Rosemount. That would allow you to take the CTA blue line in each day, but again it's probably a 45 minute to 1 hour commute each way to get to any of the normal tourist destinations.

Also, here's the Metra and South Shore schedules. These are the lines that come in from Northwest Indiana. You could get a hotel near one of the I294 tollway exits just into Illinois and drive to a nearby Metra stop each day. This is not exactly a tourist destination, but if you are just looking for a room, bed, and somewhere to park, I'm sure you can find something like a Hampton Inn or Comfort Inn off the tollway.

http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html

http://www.nictd.com/

These lines do run on weekends but with limited schedules so you'll need to do some research to find a hotel near a stop that has trains that will meet your schedule.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

PACE and Metra do run on the weekends but with very limited schedules. Stick with CTA if you don't end up downtown.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

Also, check the cost. Metra is not super cheap. Two round trip tickets each day plus parking at the train station lot may not be a whole lot less than a weekend parking rate downtown.

Hamilton, Canada
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5. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

thanks for the detailed replies, i will definitely take note:)

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

You do understand that the suburban hotels (including those around O'Hare) you're asking about would be like us staying in Hamilton to visit Toronto? What you're thinking of doing is not efficient. Bite the bullet and stay downtown.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

Metra's weekend tickets are actually a great value and the lots usually free on the weekends.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

Metra's weekend tickets are actually a great value and the lots usually free on the weekends. As noted, the schedule is rather limited.

www.spothero.com will save you money on downtown parking.

Staying in the suburbs and commuting downtown each day is a often discussed subject in this forum. It's a time vs value question that only you can answer.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

Not so sure they're a great deal. $5.50 each way, for example, from homewood x 2 ticks is $20 even if station parking is free. Then maybe a cab or cta in the city to your final. Saves maybe $20 per day tops over parking downtown?

Doesn't seem like much to me in the context of a vacation. I'd check actual costs for your route before deciding to stay out in the suburbs if all the stuff you want to see is downtown.

Chicago, IL USA
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10. Re: Road Trip to Chicago, need some advice from you locals:)

If I remember right, you can get Metra weekend all you can ride pass is seven bucks. But many of the downtown hotels have weekend discounts.Ill have to also recommend staying downtown.