| Connecting by
Amtrak in Chicago
What to do if have a long connection
Connecting by Amtrak in Chicago and have a long wait? With Amtrak Union Station in the heart of the Chicago Loop, there's much to do nearby.
With one exception, all Amtrak passengers travelling
across the United States must change trains at Chicago Union Station. You may have a few hours there.
Instead of remaining in a crowded terminal, here a some hints to enjoy your time in Chicago.
Chicago Union Station stands adjacent to the "Loop", the main commercial and museum area, and within walking distance of the North Michigan Avenue upscale shopping area.
The Union Station food court
You find the Union Station food court on its lower level. Any railroad employee can direct you. This is not a "chain" environment. These are local vendors, who depend on the repeat visits of all the suburban Chicago commuters who pass through the station each weekday. In other words, in general the food is good.
Union Station "Grand Hall"
The basement Amtrak waiting area is an overcrowded, claustrophobic mess. That the trains are just steps away is its primary attribute.
The original waiting area, in contrast, offers a normally quiet and uplifting environment. Moreover, you are more likely not to have to stand.
Make sure that you return to the Amtrak waiting area in time in order to queue. Amtrak boards by type of passenger—senior, physically challenged, etc.—and type of accommodation booked.
Sightseeing in centre city Chicago
Gray Line Chicago offers tours of Chicago
for those with ample time.
Or, during warm weather,
you can take a taxi to Oak Street Beach, north of the "Loop" business district, to enjoy a swim in Lake Michigan and relax on
a reasonably pleasant urban beach.
Take a walk
Feeling healthy and fit and have some time?
Walk to Oak Street Beach during the day as follows: From the North
side of Union Station (one of the Adams Street exits), turn right,
and walk eastbound some nine blocks on Adams Street to Michigan
Avenue through the heart of the city centre.
In front of you at the intersection of Adams
and Michigan are Grant Park and the Art
Institute of Chicago, one of the most well-known art venues and
schools in the United States. The Art Institute frequently has major
From just south of here, on the ground floor
of the Santa Fe building on Michigan Avenue between Adams and Jackson,
the Chicago Architecture Foundation sells wonderful group walking,
coach, bicycle, and even boat tours of Chicago. Check its outstanding
site for tour details or stop by its information desk in the
Santa Fe building.
Doc V highly recommends these tours. The
walking tours usually start at the Santa Fe Building, and are fascinating
even if you have no architectural background. Its coach tours often
feature the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, who was based in Chicago
for many years. Its Chicago River boat tours are exceptionally popular. This is a non profit organization. Prices are very reasonable.
If walking on your own, turn left, and walk
northbound on Michigan Avenue, the premier business street of Chicago.
You will pass the Wrigley (gum) Building, the The Trump Tower, Water Tower Place, and other well-known sights.
After some 21 mostly short but interesting blocks,
you reach Oak Street, where Michigan Avenue ends at the lake. Access
this nice beach through the park and enjoy the views of the skyline
and lakeshore. Lake temperatures in mid-summer are just right for
shoreline apartment buildings just south of here are amongst the most desirable
places to live in Chicago.
Take a taxi back. You deserve it. If feeling
undeserving or under financed, walk westward several blocks to State
Street and then south (left) to the Chicago Transit Authority metro
stop at Chicago Street. Take any Red Line train marked "Dan
Ryan" southbound to Jackson Street. Then walk westbound on
Jackson to Union Station at Canal Street. Walk north on Canal to
use the impressive eastern entrance to Union Station in order to
enter its grand waiting room.
Note: Greyhound connecting passengers can access
the above walking tour by exiting the Greyhound Terminal on its
Canal Street side, turning left, and walking north three blocks
to Adams Street (Union Station). Turn right on Adams to Michigan
Avenue. Do not walk between the Greyhound Station and Union Station
Go To >> Amtrak & Via Rail -
Travelling the most scenic routes
Go To >> Amtrak & Via Rail
- Tips for booking and finding the best fares
Copyright 1999-2018 Nadeau eSolutions, LLC. All rights reserved.