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Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

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PA
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Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

I've been reading this board for some time and I know that my plans and questions go against some of the common wisdom from the Chicago experts, but I have some unique circumstances. Please tell me what you think.

We are a family of four, traveling to Chicago in July. We like to use VRBO to travel. Our style of travel is to get up early, wear ourselves out during the day and watch movies together at night. That's less comfortable to do in a hotel. My first choice is to stay in the Museum campus area, but the rentals there are undesirable for various reasons. The rentals downtown are prohibitively expensive. We have been drawn to your beautiful city to see the museums (Field, MSI, Shedd, Adler, Art Institute) and a tour of Wrigley Field (no game, it will be the All Star Break). We have no interest in nightlife, shopping or boat rides. I do plan a meal at the Signature Room.

I have a reservation for two rooms at a hotel in the museum campus (Best Western). I'm not thrilled about staying at a hotel or this particular hotel, but it is reasonable and it is close to much of what we want to do. I am considering renting an apartment in Wrigleyville instead. It is close to one of our destinations and plenty of restaurants and there are many reasonable VRBO options there (licensed options). But I feel like transportation from Wrigleyville would be a big hassle. I read here that Chicago has great public transportation, but when I plug my routes into Google maps, they seem very time-consuming. AND my husband has an aversion to public transportation. If I stay in Wrigleyville, we could get a car and park at the apartment for free. I know that parking at the various museums is a bit pricey, but honestly it is not much more expensive than round trip bus/train fares for four of us, so I'd consider driving a lot of the time if we stayed in Wrigleyville.

I'm just not interested in spending the money to get two hotel rooms in the tourist area of town because the cost would be much more and we'd have less space to do what we like to do on vacation.

So what would you do? Is there another area of Chicago that you'd recommend that is more accessible to our areas of interest but in a residential area that would have more VRBO options?

pgo
Chicago
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1. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

One size doesn't fit all. It's your vacation, do what you like. However, I question the wisdom of staying by Wrigley when you want to spend the majority of your time 5 miles away. Also, you haven't really said why the VRBO's in the south Loop/ museum campus area are not suitable.

One major reason that driving gets awkward is that you have to park and retrieve the car. If you drive down to the Field, then head over to the Willis/Sears, you'll either pay twice for parking, or have someone leg it back out to the Field lot to pick up the car. Transit passes meant that you can move around the city without the car problem, but if you husband hates public transit, he won't change his mind after a rush hour trip on the Red Line from Wrigley.

Chicago Suburbs
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2. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

Let us know the address of the rental. In almost all cases, when people post addresses, we find out that it is not in the neighborhood advertised.

Illinois
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3. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

Are there VRBO options in the West Loop area? Much closer to the Museum Campus. Nice mix of residential and commercial properties.

PA
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4. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

A VRBO unit in the loop area was our first choice. There aren't many three bedroom units available and those that are have been poorly reviewed and panned here. The acceptable units are already filled up.

So basically my choices are hotel in museum campus area or rental further out.

The Wrigleyville rentals that interest me have posted their exact addresses (something that the loop rentals were not willing to do) and I see on a map that they are within a two-three block walk from Wrigley Field and near schools and parks and train stations. So I'm confident about the location.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

The probable ( most likely) reason that the Museum Campus rentals will not post their addresses is that the rentals are not allowed by the building and you are taking a chance with a cheater. Also, the city licenses all rentals so if the rental will not tell you it's city license # do not rent. You have no back-up. Do a search Steps to Everything and read the posts from people who have been burned.

PA
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6. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

Right. That is why I've come to the conclusion that there aren't any appropriate rentals in the museum campus. So I have to find a different area of the city.

Illinois
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7. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

St. Bens, Bucktown, Wicker Park, River West, Near West, Lincoln Park all will work for you.

Chicago
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8. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

Have you tried the Gold Coast for apartments? It's a good location and walkable to your downtown sights or at the very least, a quick cab ride. But if you stay in Wrigley, I would ask your husband to give public trans another try or take cabs before I would get a car because of the flexibility with a cab and the door to door service. For instance, parking by the museum campus is far. It's quite a walk to the museums from the lot. And parking by the Art Institute is confusing.

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9. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

I missed the hubby renting a car. No, no, no, you do not want a car in the city unless you budget $60/day parking costs. Every time you move from one garage to,another you pay a hefty entry and about $30 for anytime over 6 hours. Parking meters downtown are $6.50/ hour with a 2 hour max. No car!

Why don't you look at one of the suites hotels in River North? There are close to three grocery stores if you choose to eat in. If you want to stay near the Museum Campus (why?) check out the Essex over the Best Western. They're almost next door to each other and the Essex has been on an upgrade program in the last years.

Edited: 11:22 am, April 04, 2014
PA
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10. Re: Where to stay? Wrigleyville? Museum Campus?

The Essex was my first choice but it is booked for our dates.

I'm pretty sure we are going to stay in Wrigleyville near a red line station. I think the red line will get us where we need to go without having to transfer to another train or bus. My husband can probably live with that.