Art & Design Chicago — transporation

A survey of Chicago's art, architecture and design

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We're staying at the HiChicago Hostel on Congress Avenue, about 1 block from Michigan Ave. (which is Chicago's "Main Street") You can explore some of the hostel's amenities here.
If you've not stayed in a hostel, but have seen the movies, don't worry. This is one of the best hostels in the U.S. However, don't expect it to feel like the Hilton (which is just a few blocks a way). The hostel is a somewhere between a college dormitory and summer camp — its a great choice for a short stay. We'll be right in the middle of Chicago with easy access to most anything we can want, at a price we can manage.

To and From Chicago

We'll travel on the Harding University tour bus which is well equipped for door-to-door service.

The bus includes wifi — though it can be overloaded by heavy use, so we avoid streaming video and music to better share the bandwidth. The bus has DVD players and several screens — so bring along your most general crowd-pleasing movies.

We also travel on the bus for tours of the city and historical architecture.

Getting Around

Our hostel is located at the south edge of Chicago's Loop, on Congress Ave., about a block west of Michigan Ave. Our lodging selected for its reasonable walking distance from several museums (including the Art Institute), historic architecture, Grant Park & Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, plenty of food and, if you must, shopping. The theater district and Navy pier are a few blocks from us. (distances vary depending on where we are lodging).

While in Chicago, you'll have free time to navigate to your own points of interest. Begin by studying* what's nearby.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) includes the city bus system, the subway and the El (elevated trains). These offer access to the rest of the city. (online maps | ) Be sure to download the CTA/Ventra App to your smart phone.

Download one of the (many) CTA apps that help you find buses and trains from where you are:
CTA Apps | VentraAndroid | VentraIPhone | TransitTracks(A) | CTAPlanner(Android) | QuickTrack(A) | Transit(A&i)

Use the live Bus Tracker Map once you've selected a few key bus routes. Here's a text-only mobile bus tracker.
Here's a map of bus and train routes in downtown Chicago.

The nearest CTA station to the Inn of Chicago is the Red Line — Grand station at State and Grand. From the hotel, go 4 blocks west on Ohio (crossing Michigan Ave.), then turn left/south on State. Entrances are near the State & Grand intersection. For comparison, the walk is about the same as from HU's Student Center to the GAC.

The nearest CTA station to the Travelodge is Harrison station, on State St. (2 short blocks west to State, then left to entrance) Harrison accesses the CTA Red line.
The nearest CTA station to the Best Western is Roosevelt station, one block south and 1-1/2 block west on Roosevelt— you can access the CTA Red, Green and Orange lines at that station.  (from the Travelodge you can walk 5 blocks south, and 1 west)
Many CTA buses travel Michigan Ave.

For our 2017 trip, you'll have a 3-day CTA pass CTA pass that will provide unlimited travel on the bus, subway and El trains.

You can, of course, buy tickets/passes to get around before or after you use your pass — or if you lose your pass. And, yes, you will find a few more taxi's in Chicago than in Searcy.
Individual CTA passes or tickets can be purchased at a variety of places (many El/subway stations sell tickets/passes. The Chicago Cultural Center (SW corner of Randolf & Michigan—~3 blocks north of the Art Institute) sells passes. Also, many CVS pharmacies** sell passes.)

* study CTA (public transport) maps, the web, city guides, ask at the hotel, get brochures at the hotel.
** 205 N. Mich (a block or so north of Millennium Park; 520 S. State (1-1/2 block west of hostel, SW corner of Congress & State).

— Grant Wood's American Gothic, 1930, at the Art Institute.
— Alexander Calder's 53' tall Flamingo, 1974 in Federal Plaza at Adams & Dearborn, near the center of the Loop.
— The first Chicago project for Spanish architectural superstar Santiago Calatrava, the Chicago Spire. This 150 story, 2000' tall super skyscraper was to be completed in 2012*... but has not been built. It is located at 400 North Lake Shore Drive, near Navy Pier. ( * ...or will it? explore the financial drama

What if its cold or raining? Explore Chicago's Pedway
The Pedway is an ever-expanding system of underground walkways — 6 miles of pedestrian sidewalks under the city, not along the street. If you're caught in the rain while in the loop, check it out. (PDF map | another map | info | guide | guided tours )



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