My friends and I are going to Ohio Amish Country and then to Macinaw Island in September. We wondered if we could stay near Chicago (none of us are comfortable to drive in that kind of traffic) and take a shuttle or even uber to a pick up point for a day tour of Chicago. Where would be a good place to stay to do that. We heard South Chicago was not a good place to stay overnight. Thanks, Janice
Hm, there are a few options.
One is that you could stay near O'Hare International Airport or anywhere along the blue line. If you find a hotel close enough to walk to a train station, then you could take the CTA into the city. The suburbs should be relatively safe, but not that convenient since you can't get around the local area easily without a car.
You could, however, stay on the Northwest side, somewhere close to the blue line, but in a nicer city neighborhood, like around Irving Park or Logan Square. If you're with friends, Logan Square might be a good area that's not too close into the city but still has cool streets with bars and restaurants.
The tricky thing is that tons of neighborhoods have little pockets where it's easy to drive and park, but if you don't know the area, you can also end up in a very crowded area of Bucktown, or in an unsafe area just a little west or south of a good neighborhood.
If you've used AirBnb, maybe a host could give you good advice about their specific neighborhood. Otherwise, for hotels outside the city, there are plenty of airport hotels near O'hare. If you're really uncomfortable driving in city traffic, that might be the easiest in terms of driving and parking, but not the closest to the city for Uber.
Maybe someone else can give you specific hotel recommendations or a particular set of cross streets to research.
Oh, one more option is to check the Metra train lines. You could stay somewhere in the burbs and take the Metra into the city, then use Uber to get around the city easily.
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The best Parys to stay would be anywhere on the Northside, specifically The Loop, River North or Streeterville.
If you are not comfortable driving in city traffic, I would suggest staying in a suburb and using the Metra train system. Elmhurst has a great little downtown and the Metra train is about a 20 minute ride with a lot of run times. You can get a hotel inOak Brook which is close to Elmhurst. If you want to try staying in the city, I recommend any hotel on N Michigan Ave. Lots of fun things to do and all within walking distance. The traffic is really not bad as long as you don't hit the rush hours. Have fun!
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