Business Travel Destination Spotlight

Chicago – the city that has it all – from a diverse population, world-class educational institutions, and sensational restaurants to a breathtaking skyline and countless museums. Dubbed the ‘Windy City’ in 1893 by Charles Dana, the editor of the New York Sun – not for its weather but for its long-winded politicians, Chicago has grown from a village of just 350 to a bustling city of almost three million.

Transportation

Airports Serving Chicago

There are two airports that service the Chicago area – O’Hare International and Midway. O’Hare (ORD) is the larger of the two airports, servicing over 70 million travelers per year. Located 20 miles from downtown, there are many transportation options including public transport, taxis, shuttle services and hire cars.

O’Hare is an airport full of modern amenities and services. Recent upgrades have been completed at the International Terminal 5 and additional renovations are underway at Terminals 2 and 3. Expected completion date is later this year.

Midway (MDW) is significantly smaller than O’Hare, serving 17 million travelers per year, but is only 10 miles from downtown. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers transportation from Midway to downtown Chicago via the orange line buses. Other shuttles, regional buses and of course taxis and car services also offer transportation to downtown.

Midway has all of the amenities that you would expect from a major airport, including restaurants and gift shops. You can do some sight seeing in Concourse A where the Battle of Midway Memorial and an SBD Dauntless dive bomber are housed.

Getting Around Chicago

Getting around town is much easier in Chicago than in some other big cities. Renting a car is a good option if you need to visit different locations during your visit. The city has several major highways, but plan to avoid them from about 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm on weekdays – the traffic delays can be very frustrating. To avoid traffic delays, the train system in Chicago can get you almost anywhere in the city – making it another good choice for business travelers that are sticking to downtown.

The Loop is the heart of the downtown business district – named for the elevated train tracks that circle the area. All of the cities addresses begin at the corner of Sate and Madison streets in The Loop, making the streets easy to navigate. Each 400 increment in an address equals one half mile.

What to See

There is an endless list of things to see and do while in Chicago. If you like to shop, be sure to check out The Magnificent Mile, a one-mile stretch of shops between the Chicago River and Oak Street Beach. There are also numerous internationally known museums in the city. The Field Museum of Natural History is home to the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil and the Art Institute of Chicago is famous for its collection of French Impressionists art.