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Thread: Need advice for Chicago trip, Cubs/Sox games

  1. #1
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    Need advice for Chicago trip, Cubs/Sox games

    I'm planning on spending a week in Chicago, Aug 3-10. Hoping to catch Cubs-Dodgers on Sunday the 4th and Yanks-Sox on Tues or Wed. This will be my first time there. Will get to each game at least 1 hr early for exterior photos. Once inside, I'll wander for a few innings taking inside pix. Any advice on getting around inside? Is there bleacher access from the main grandstand at both parks? Any unusual photo ops inside? Also, as far as Chicago, what parts of town are best to stay in and where should I avoid? I'm going with my wife and two daughters. Would like to see the former Sears Tower. What else do you guys recommend as far as food, entertainment,sightseeing? Is it worth it to rent a car or is public transportation sufficient? Thanks in advance.
    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Here are the lineups for todays game...

  2. #2
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    i see your from mount sinai, im from patchogue

    i went to chicago in 2006, we also went up to milwaukee only 90 minutes away. so renting a car would be great if you want to add a quick trip up there, we went there and back in one day. im not sure if it is still the case but the only way to get access to the lower lever in u.s. cellular field is to have a ticket for that level, we had upper deck tickets and were stuck up there. i don't remember how it worked at wrigley, but i think it was a seperarte entrance for the bleachers ( i.e. old yankee stadium)

    when we go away we like to go to places to eat that are known in the city, we went to pizzeria uno, as well as the billy goat tavern (same billy goat as the curse)

    we stay at the best wester river north, i was in a nice area, with lots of restaurants within walking distance (hard rock cafe, rainforest cafe), i dont think the el train was that far away either

    the shedd aquarium is awesome

    the ballpark tour of wrigley is pretty good as well, gets you into the cubs locker room

    hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Woim. My daughter was at the Tap Room last night for a fundraiser. Will talk to you again as trip nears.
    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Here are the lineups for todays game...

  4. #4
    I remember you take the red line to addison to get to wrigley on the El and they had an ad that said the cubs and white sox both use the red line. I also liked going into the cubby bear, that was fun. Also go to portillos, they are all over and they are known for great hotdogs and beef and cheddar sandwhiches. I love a place that will put cheese on anything!
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

  5. #5
    My wife and I met at Wrigley and go every year. Staying near the river close to State Street will give you close access to the Red Line which takes you to both stadiums. We don't drive to Chicago anymore if we can help it because you'll pay a ton for parking and driving in Chicago can be a hassle. The public transportation is very good. We always buy a 3 day CTA pass for $14 which gives you unlimited rides on the busses and El.

    I've only been to Comiskey once and didn't care for it at all. It was about 15 years ago. As for Wrigley you'll definitely want to get there early and take pictures outside the stadium and take a walk around it. Once inside you can go down near the field for BP. However, if you have bleacher seats you can't gain access to the other parts of the stadium. There is a separate entrance for bleachers under the scoreboard. Also, you can't get to the upper deck without those tickets. I've been able to ask an usher if I can snap a few pics and they've usually been accommodating. Truthfully, if you can get seats in 419-423 do it, great seats.

    If you stay near State and the river you can take a water taxi (the yellow ones) from Michigan Avenue to the Madison stop and walk to the Sears Tower. It's $3 one way or $7 for a day pass. It's also an enjoyable ride just to cruise the river. Walking along Michigan Avenue can be "touristy," but something your wife and daughters might enjoy with all the shopping. Another option is the Hancock building observatory.

  6. #6
    I would definitely recommend the Lincoln park zoo if you're going with your family. it's free admission and actually a really nice zoo.

    the CTA passes are totally worth it. taxis can get expensive real quick if that's all you use.

    greektown and chinatown are worth checking out if only for the food.

    last time I was in Chicago we stayed in the loop area downtown - not a lot to do but a very central location. made getting around the city using mass transit a synch.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, you've all been helpful. Too bad you cant roam the entire parks. I never got into RYS bleachers because of that. Guess I should have bought a ticket there just once.
    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Here are the lineups for todays game...

  8. #8
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    If you rent a car go to Johnny's in Elmwood Park for Italian Beefs.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

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    ed dabevics is an interesting restaurant too

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    Don't stay near Comiskey. In fact, don't spend any time around Comiskey other than to go to the game.

    Chicago, at least when I was last there, had a very nice downtown. Generally speaking, downtown and north are the nice parts of town, and the south side (Jim Croce was right) is the baddest part of town. There are exceptions to both, though. The Hyde Park area, near the University of Chicago, is definitely on the south side and is in fact very close to some very bleak ghettos. But the area itself is very nice, and one of the better parts of town as far as finding a great variety of food. Also, they have riverboat cruises that come highly recommended, but I've never done it myself. Seems like a nice way to see the city. And despite the fact I'm from LA and have been to NY a lot, I'd say without a doubt Chicago is the cleanest and most physically attractive city of the three. Even doing the typical tourist stuff would be nice.

    I would add to what others have said about getting to Wrigley early that it might be nice to actually give it a couple of hours- the entire area bustles for a while both before and after games. It's really a unique facet of the area that the atmosphere around it becomes all about baseball. Even Boston doesn't have it to the same degree.

    One disadvantage is that hotels are pricy (not compared to New York City, but definitely more than elsewhere) and need to be booked pretty far in advance. I stayed on Clark St., a bit south of Wrigleyville. There are some good hotel deals there, it's a nice part of town, good access to Wrigley and downtown, and walkable to a fair amount of decent restaurants and bars. Dying to go there myself, particularly as my wife has never been. Maybe next year.
    Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanyhatz View Post
    Don't stay near Comiskey. In fact, don't spend any time around Comiskey other than to go to the game.
    What is your opinion of the area around the "Cell," compared to the area around Yankee Stadium? Better/worse/same, and how did you come to form that opinion?
    X
    This is home now - Citi Field, capacity 41,800 - and every seat in this ballpark seemingly filled, some standees as well, anticipating a piece of history as delivered by Mike Pelfrey, the 25-year-old from Wichita, Kansas. Into a windup, his first pitch in the history of Citi Field, a fastball for a called strike to Jody Gerut. Gerut off to a .214 start with no homers and one RBI. - Howie Rose calls the very first pitch thrown at Citi Field, April 13, 2009

  12. #12
    I did a weekend in Chicago some years ago. I flew in Friday late morning, rented a car and drove up to Milwaukee for a Friday night Brewers game. This included tailgating in the lot before and after the game. Totally worth it in my opinion. Stayed the night in Milwaukee and woke up early Saturday to drive back to Chicago. We returned the rental (one day rental to save money) and checked into a downtown hotel. We did Wrigley Saturday afternoon and New Comiskey Sunday afternoon. The Wrigley day we hung out in the neighborhood afterward and on Sunday we checked out downtown after the game was over.

    That was my itenerary and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chicago is so big and there are tons of fun things so I'm sure anything you plan will be awesome

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cap78 View Post
    ed dabevics is an interesting restaurant too
    I went there once and it was kind of cool, good diner food and rude customer service for a laugh. Is there one close to the city?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
    What is your opinion of the area around the "Cell," compared to the area around Yankee Stadium? Better/worse/same, and how did you come to form that opinion?
    I don't know if I would stay near yankee stadium myself, I would stay in Manhatton and find a way over to the stadium.
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

  14. #14
    I have gone to Chicago a number of times. Last time at Wrigley I sat in section 431 (upper deck first few rows). I did not have to worry about any pole obstruction. You will want to get to the Wrigley area between 1 /12 to 2 hours before game time if you want to explore it. The Wrigley tour was very informative and worth the money.

    As far as the Cell goes do Not buy tickets for the Upper deck if you want to explore the stadium. You will be relegated to the upper deck only with those tickets. There is not much in the area outside the cell more like the area around Citi Field than Yankee Stadium. There is the Barcardi bar attached to the stadium and that is about it. You can go to both stadiums by El so you do not need a car. Besides that most hotels charge for parking.
    There a number of hotels in the River North which are walking distance to the El and to many attractions that might interest you. One activity that I highly recommend is renting a bike or better yet taking a bike tour.

    There are number of interesting tours that are very easy (2-3 hours around 7-8 miles) and you will learn about the city and get some great picture taking opportunities. One favorite tour of mine was Bobby’s Bike night tour. It was three hours (7 to 10 PM) and a lot of fun. Have fun.

  15. #15
    There have a city pass, five or so attractions for one price. The big museums (Shedd's, Natural History, Science, Adler Planetarium) are usually included with the exception of the outstanding art museum. Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and Grant Wood's American Gothic are the big draws. You can either do The Willets (Sears) Tower or the John Hancock Building. The latter has better views, IMHO.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monument View Post
    I'm planning on spending a week in Chicago, Aug 3-10. Hoping to catch Cubs-Dodgers on Sunday the 4th and Yanks-Sox on Tues or Wed. This will be my first time there. Will get to each game at least 1 hr early for exterior photos. Once inside, I'll wander for a few innings taking inside pix. Any advice on getting around inside? Is there bleacher access from the main grandstand at both parks? Any unusual photo ops inside? Also, as far as Chicago, what parts of town are best to stay in and where should I avoid? I'm going with my wife and two daughters. Would like to see the former Sears Tower. What else do you guys recommend as far as food, entertainment,sightseeing? Is it worth it to rent a car or is public transportation sufficient? Thanks in advance.

    Last time I was in Chicago was in the 90's while I was still in the navy
    I would say that Chicago is mostly like New York,
    in the city itself NO NOT DRIVE,
    take public transportation or walk
    it is more or less like Manhattan (nyc) where it is easily to get around by taking the train/bus
    than driving, also parking is hard to find and highly expensive
    now if you want to go to areas outside the city limits,
    like to see comic con in Rosemount get a car, and use park and ride

    as for entertainment
    you are in luck LOLLAPALOOZA is going on in grant park
    http://www.lollapalooza.com/

    Adler-Planetarium-and-Astronomy-Museum
    Willis (sear) tower
    john Hancock Tower
    at 10am (game day)you can take the Wrigley field tour
    or some other time non-game day
    here is more infor

    http://www.viator.com/chicago-tours/...f=02&aid=g1762
    http://www.amalfihotelchicago.com/ev...ndar/index.cfm
    http://www.metrowalkz.com/Getmaps/bu...FcFxOgodeG8A7Q

    if your daughters are below the age of 21, take them to Navy Piers (photo op) and the waterfront (photo op)
    for the attractions, food, shopping, and Sat. night fireworks

    if they watch tv, the fountain is the main attraction on the old tv series Married with Children


    the rest is as stated by the posters above me
    just have hindsight
    what looks bad (ghetto) to some people is nothing to others
    also with time things change.
    ENJOY the city and all it has to offer and hope you have a great time
    Last edited by drdg; 01-24-2013 at 02:29 PM.

  17. #17
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    Bear in mind that the Red Line will not offer service to the Sox' park this year due to repairs. The Green Line will offer nearby service but it is not adjacent to the stadium.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the info, more than I expected. I'll consider all of this while planning.
    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Here are the lineups for todays game...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
    What is your opinion of the area around the "Cell," compared to the area around Yankee Stadium? Better/worse/same, and how did you come to form that opinion?
    I'm no expert- just been to each place once- but I'd say they both are the only destinations in the area. Meaning, go just to go to the game, and do your sightseeing in other parts of town. That Hyde Park area isn't TOO far from the Cell, but you really only want to go from one to the other in a car.
    Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulV View Post
    As far as the Cell goes do Not buy tickets for the Upper deck if you want to explore the stadium. You will be relegated to the upper deck only with those tickets.
    That is a stupid policy. But does it work the other way? If you have lower level tickets, are you free to explore the upper levels?
    X
    This is home now - Citi Field, capacity 41,800 - and every seat in this ballpark seemingly filled, some standees as well, anticipating a piece of history as delivered by Mike Pelfrey, the 25-year-old from Wichita, Kansas. Into a windup, his first pitch in the history of Citi Field, a fastball for a called strike to Jody Gerut. Gerut off to a .214 start with no homers and one RBI. - Howie Rose calls the very first pitch thrown at Citi Field, April 13, 2009

  21. #21
    The upper deck is open to all ticket holders. The lower deck is not. You have to show your ticket to enter the lower deck.

  22. #22
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    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but if you have bleacher tickets at Wrigley, you will not have access to the rest of the stadium. This policy may have changed, but I know it's been like that in the past.

    The above about The Cell is true. Do not get upper deck tickets if you want to walk around the park.

    Their is a lot to do in Chicago. I would visit Millenium Park and see Buckingham Fountain.

    The Science and Industry Museum is the best, but not downtown. It's south of The Cell and you could take a bus there. If you were going to go to a museum on the waterfront, the Shedd Aquarium is really good. I haven't been to the Field Museum since I was a kid The museusms are expensive though. It's like $30 a person.

    I would reccomend going to the top of the John Hancock or the Sears Tower. I personally like the Hancock because the view is nicer in my opinion.

    As far as food goes, get a hot dog at Portillo's. They also have good Italian Beef, but not the best. I like Beuno Beef, but that's in the burbs. Best deep dish pizza is Lou Malnati's or Gino's East. Uno's would be third choice. Not a fan of Giordano's.

    I would stay in the River North area where these restaurants are. They have a lot of hotels in that area, are reasonably priced, and close to El station and walking distance to Michigan Avenue.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdseverin View Post
    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but if you have bleacher tickets at Wrigley, you will not have access to the rest of the stadium. This policy may have changed, but I know it's been like that in the past.

    The above about The Cell is true. Do not get upper deck tickets if you want to walk around the park.

    Their is a lot to do in Chicago. I would visit Millenium Park and see Buckingham Fountain.

    The Science and Industry Museum is the best, but not downtown. It's south of The Cell and you could take a bus there. If you were going to go to a museum on the waterfront, the Shedd Aquarium is really good. I haven't been to the Field Museum since I was a kid The museusms are expensive though. It's like $30 a person.

    I would reccomend going to the top of the John Hancock or the Sears Tower. I personally like the Hancock because the view is nicer in my opinion.

    As far as food goes, get a hot dog at Portillo's. They also have good Italian Beef, but not the best. I like Beuno Beef, but that's in the burbs. Best deep dish pizza is Lou Malnati's or Gino's East. Uno's would be third choice. Not a fan of Giordano's.

    I would stay in the River North area where these restaurants are. They have a lot of hotels in that area, are reasonably priced, and close to El station and walking distance to Michigan Avenue.

    For a franchise type of restaurant Portillos is pretty good.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

  24. #24
    There's a Residence Inn/Spring Hill Suites on Dearborn a block or two from the river in the River North area. From there it's only a three block walk to the Red Line Grand or Lake stations. It's also across the street from Harry Carey's restaurant.

    We've had decent luck with reasonable rates there in the past.

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