When planning a trip to the vibrant city of Chicago, having a car can provide you with the freedom to explore everything the city has to offer at your own pace. However, finding accommodation with convenient parking options can sometimes be a challenge. That’s why we have compiled a list of top accommodation options in Chicago that offer parking facilities, ensuring a hassle-free stay. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, budget-friendly options, or something in between, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover the best places to stay in Chicago with a car!
What area of Chicago should you stay in?
The safest areas to stay in Chicago are The Loop, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and River North (west of The Magnificent Mile). These neighborhoods are well-policed and have low crime rates compared to other parts of the city. The Loop is the central business district and offers easy access to attractions like Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Lincoln Park and Lakeview are residential neighborhoods with beautiful parks, trendy shops, and a wide range of dining options. River North, located just north of The Loop, is known for its art galleries, upscale restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
While these areas are generally safe, it is important to exercise caution no matter where you are in Chicago. Like any major city, there are areas that may have higher crime rates. It is advisable to stay aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and take basic safety precautions such as keeping your belongings secure and not displaying valuable items.
Do tourists need a car in Chicago?
Many locals in Chicago rely on driving as their main mode of transportation. With a well-developed road network and ample parking options, getting a rental car and driving around the city can be a convenient option for tourists. Having a car gives you the flexibility to explore different neighborhoods and attractions at your own pace. It can also be a good choice if you plan on taking day trips outside of the city to places like the scenic outskirts or nearby attractions.
However, it is important to note that having a car is not necessary for getting around Chicago. The city has a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses and trains, that can easily take you to most tourist destinations. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers various passes and fare options, making it affordable and convenient to navigate the city without a car. Additionally, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are widely available and offer a convenient alternative to driving yourself.
If you decide to rent a car, keep in mind that parking in downtown Chicago can be expensive and limited. Many hotels charge high fees for parking, and street parking may require careful attention to regulations and availability. It’s also worth considering the traffic congestion in the city, especially during peak hours. Public transportation may be a more efficient and hassle-free option for getting around during busy times.
In conclusion, while having a car can provide convenience and flexibility for exploring Chicago and its surroundings, it is not a necessity for tourists. The city offers a robust public transportation system and alternative transportation options that can be more cost-effective and efficient. Ultimately, the decision to rent a car depends on your specific needs and preferences during your visit to the Windy City.
Is it a good idea to drive in Chicago?
Driving in Chicago can be a challenging experience due to the city’s notorious traffic congestion. The central business district, known as The Loop, and major city highways such as the Dan Ryan Expressway are particularly prone to heavy traffic during rush hour. It is advisable for drivers to avoid these areas between 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. when traffic is at its peak.
Furthermore, it is important to note that Chicago is a major sports town. On game days, particularly for popular teams like the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, or Bulls, traffic can become even more congested in the areas surrounding the stadiums. It is recommended to plan ahead and check the game schedules to avoid getting caught in heavy traffic around these venues.
Where can I park when driving into Chicago?
When driving into Chicago, there are several parking options available for visitors. One popular choice is the 127 N Dearborn St. Valet/Self Park Garage, which offers both valet and self-park options. This garage is conveniently located near downtown attractions, making it a convenient choice for visitors. Another option is the Millennium Park Garage, which is located near the iconic Millennium Park. This garage offers a convenient location for those looking to explore the park and nearby attractions.
If you prefer valet parking, you can consider the 300 N. State St. Valet option. This valet service provides a hassle-free parking experience for visitors. Another valet option is the 111 W. Kinzie St. Sterling Garage, which offers a convenient location near popular restaurants and shops. Lastly, the 10 S Wacker Dr. Valet-Assist Garage is another option to consider. This garage provides valet-assist parking, allowing visitors to easily drop off their vehicles.
Overall, when visiting Chicago, there are several parking options available to suit different preferences and needs. Whether you prefer self-park or valet, there are garages conveniently located near popular attractions, making it easier for you to explore the city.
Can you visit Chicago without a car?
Thanks to public transit, walkable sidewalks, bike lanes, and easy access to car sharing, you can get around Chicago pretty well without actually owning a car. The city has an extensive public transportation system, which includes buses and trains. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates these services, and you can use a single fare card, called the Ventra card, to pay for rides on both buses and trains. The CTA network covers the entire city and suburbs, making it easy to navigate and reach various attractions and neighborhoods.
In addition to public transportation, Chicago has a well-developed network of sidewalks and bike lanes, making it a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly city. You can explore many parts of the city on foot or by bike, enjoying the scenic routes along the lakefront or through the various neighborhoods. If you don’t have your own bike, there are bike-sharing programs available, such as Divvy, where you can rent a bike for a short period and return it at any of the many docking stations around the city.
For longer trips outside of the city, where public transportation might not reach, you can make use of car sharing services like Zipcar or Turo. These services allow you to rent a car for a few hours or days, giving you the flexibility to explore nearby attractions or venture into the suburbs. Just keep in mind that parking in the city can be expensive and limited, so it’s best to plan accordingly.
Overall, Chicago offers plenty of options for getting around without a car. Whether you choose to rely on public transportation, walk, bike, or use car sharing, you’ll find that the city is easily accessible and full of exciting things to explore.