Welcome to Chicago!

Chicago Logistics

Chicago - Team Red Cross Welcome

Hotels

Experient is the official housing partner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, offering access to exclusive room blocks at the city’s most desirable hotels. Visit chicagomarathon.com/2016hotels to book your race weekend hotel room.

Hilton Chicago

The Hilton Chicago is the official headquarters hotel of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Located just across the street from Grant Park, the Hilton Chicago is a hub of activity on race weekend.

Click here to view distances from major Chicago hotels to the Chicago Marathon start line, finish line, Health & Fitness Expo, airports, public transportation, city landmarks and more.

Transportation

There are plenty of transportation options in the city of Chicago. It is easy getting around the city via public transportation on the city’s CTA subway line or busses. Ubers and Lyfts are almost extremely popular in the city, as well as regular cabs.

For more information on the CTA subway and bus system, visit http://www.transitchicago.com/.

If you are planning on driving to the city, please look into your parking options ahead of time. Parking is expensive and can be hard to find in the city. It will be worse on race weekend given the number of spectators expected at the event. We recommend taking public transportation whenever possible.

Transportation to the Rauner Center (2200 West Harrison St.) for the Runner Brunch
  • The Rauner Center is easily accessible on public transportation. The blue line will drop you off in the heart of the Illinois Medical District, which is approximately an eight (8) minute walk down Damen Avenue to the Rauner Center on 2200 West Harrison Street.
  • The following city buses also service the Illinois Medical District: 20 Madison and 126 Jackson. Please check the CTA website during marathon weekend, delays and reroutes should be anticipated.
  • Cabs and Uber/Lyft rides are also a safe and easy mode of transportation. You can hail a cab off every major street in the downtown area or make a reservation online/by phone. The Uber and Lyft apps are also extremely popular in Chicago and will allow consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to drivers who use their own car. Uber and Lyft are cheaper than taxis, but might be on high demand during race weekend.
Transportation to the McCormick Center for the Expo
  • The McCormick Center, located at 2301 South King Drive, is also accessible by CTA buses. The 3 King Drive and Cottage Grove buses stop within an 8-18 minute walk from the large convention center. Please check the CTA website during marathon weekend, delays and reroutes should be anticipated.

Airports

There are two main airports within the city of Chicago that we recommend flying into. Both are accessible via public transportation, or have plenty of taxis that service the area.

O’Hare
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport is an international airport located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, 17 miles northwest of the Loop. The airport is serviced by CTA trains and buses as well as suburban options like the Pace Bus and Metra rail line. The O’Hare airport is located off the blue subway line at the O’Hare stop. Click here for complete details on getting to and from the airport.

    O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world so it is important to arrive within two hours of your flight. With restaurants, art, and shopping you won’t be bored while you wait.
Midway
  • Chicago Midway International Airport is an international airport on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois, eight miles from the Loop. The airport is serviced by CTA trains and buses as well as the suburban Pace Bus and Metra rail line. Midway is located off the orange subway line at the Midway stop. Click here for complete details on getting to and from the airport.

Top 10 things to do in Chicago

Chicago - Team Red Cross Welcome

Chicago is an incredible city, with a lot to offer! We highly recommend making a weekend out of your visit while you are here, and checking out some of the great things to do, listed below.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago - The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located just steps away from the race route, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. The museum is known for its iconic collection that hosts over 300,000 permanent works and at least 30 special exhibits a year. In 2014, The Art Institute was awarded “Best Museum in the World” by TripAdvisor. Don’t skip the gift shop where you can purchase rare art books, jewelry and more.

2. Navy Pier – Navy Pier is a true Chicago landmark and the city’s number one tourist attraction. The 3,300-foot-long pier is located on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. While on the pier, visitors can take in a live show at Chicago Shakespeare Theater or see a blockbuster at the IMAX theatre. Shops, gardens, restaurants, and a history-making Ferris wheel ensure that you will have a day to remember.

3. Magnificent Mile - Chicago's Magnificent Mile is the 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River to the south, to Oak Street to the north. The Mag Mile is historically known for its mid and high range shops where tourists and Chicagoans alike can find something to their taste. However, the mile is also home to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the historic Chicago Water Tower, and the John Hancock Center.

4. Shedd Aquarium – The Shedd Aquarium is the largest indoor aquarium in the world, with more than 8,000 aquatic animals. The aquarium has received multiple awards for best exhibit from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It contains over 1,500 species including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects. The Shedd is constantly displaying new and exciting exhibits, but their six permanent exhibits (Waters of the World, Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef, Stingray Touch and the Abbott Oceanarium) are not to be missed either.

5. Lincoln Park Zoo - Lincoln Park Zoo is a free 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. The zoo is home to 1,200 animals representing 230 species. Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to creating a safe space for both animals and visitors; and they make education and conservation a priority in everything they do.

6. Willis Tower - The Willis Tower is a 108-story, skyscraper in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. The Willis Tower is the second-tallest building in the United States and the 14th-tallest in the world. The tower offers a special experience that is not for the faint of heart: The Ledge. The Ledge is located at the SkyDeck at the very top of the tower. Visitors can take in breathtaking views of the city and if they are brave enough, they can step out into the glass boxes that extend out 4.3 feet from the SkyDeck.

7. Field Museum of Natural History - Founded in 1893, one of the world's great natural history museums, with a world-renowned scientific staff and collections of more than 20 million specimens. The Field’s permanent exhibits include Inside Ancient Egypt, Underground Adventure, and Grainger Hall of Gems. However, the must see exhibit is Chicago’s oldest resident – Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex. Sue is 67 million years old, 40 feet long and 12 feet high; she is also the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil yet discovered.

8. Cloud Gate – It is an unwritten rule that every Chicago visitor must take a photo of their reflection in Cloud Gate, commonly referred to as “the bean.” The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor's first public outdoor work installed in the United States.

9. Chicago Cultural Center - Discover the free visual art and performance programs presented at the Cultural Center by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Each year, the CCC features more than 1,000 programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts. In addition to the programming, visitors can take their time exploring the historic building which once served as the city’s central library building. Don’t forget to look up and see the Louis Comfort Tiffany art glass dome — the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world.

10. Buckingham Fountain – Buckingham Fountain is a historic Chicago landmark located in Grant Park and is one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain was built in a rococo wedding cake style, inspired by the Palace of Versailles. It operates from April to October, with regular water shows and evening color-light shows beginning at 8:00am and ending at 11:00pm. During the winter, the fountain is decorated with festival lights.

Other ideas include the Adler Planetarium, visits to Wrigley field or White Sox stadium, taking in a laugh at Chicago’s well-known Second City, and of course, shopping along the famous Magnificent Mile!