With its stunning skyscrapers, bustling commerce, world-class museums, vibrant art scene and multicultural restaurants, Chicago, also known as the “Windy City”, attracts a large number of fun loving tourists and business people. Aside from being the home to iconic sports names, it also boasts of diverse populace that makes it a go to place for people all over the world because of its midwestern friendliness.
Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, this City has lots of things to offer. With the weather finally turning warmer, it is the best time for festivals and fairs that you should not miss out!
There are many ways to get to Chicago. Taking a plane might be the easiest way to get to the City especially for those of you who need to save time and have business to attend to. But if you are one of those who enjoy long drives with your windows down while your favorite song is playing on the stereo, why not take the long route and drive to Chicago? This is a great way for you to see the City, and will give you freedom to explore unique places at your own pace.
In contrast with other States, Chicago Highways are known for their names rather than the number from the US Interstate Highway System. Luckily, most expressways have both the name and the highway number to guide travellers coming in and going out of the City. Depending on where you plan to go in the City, here is a guide on what route to take when traveling to Chicago via car:
If you are driving from the north, taking I-94 is the best route for you. Driving along I-94 will lead you from Wisconsin to Lake Michigan and down to Downtown Chicago. I-94 will merge with I-90 or the Kennedy Expressway.
If coming from the east, the best route is I-80. It merges into the I-90 or the Chicago Highway once you reach Indiana. I-90 then merges with I-94 or the Dan Ryan Expressway. This route will lead you directly to downtown.
For those of you starting the drive to Chicago from the south, taking I-55 is the easiest route. Driving along I-55 leads to the City and ends at the Lake Shore Drive.
I-80 is the easiest and direct route going if you are coming from the west. Drive straight along this expressway and it will merge with I-88. I-88 then merges with I-290 also known as the Eisenhower Expressway. Taking this route also leads to downtown.
If you are looking for scenic views along the way, driving along Lake Shore drive will offer a view of the shore and skyline. On the other hand, taking I-55 or I-290, will show you the skyline but without the the view of the shore.
To make your drive as smooth as possible, be sure to prepare well before you travel. Search for shortcuts, parking lots, and gasoline stations along the way. Be sure to also save hotline numbers in case of emergency. Make sure to prepare coins and a few bills to pay at the toll booths. You can also use your E-pass because of its compatibility with the I-pass system used in getting to the City. Likewise, know all the rules pertaining to safety, construction zones and lane usage. This will make your navigation to and fro easier.
On the other hand, if traveling out of Chicago via plane, it is also best to plan ahead. Chicago is home to one of the busiest airports in the world- O’Hare International Airport, so wising up and looking for Chicago airport parking lots guide before you fly is a must.
So there you have it! Remember, whether by plane, car or thru other modes of transportation, preparation is key for a stress-free travel. Enjoy your stay in the Windy City!