Taking the Train to Chicago
Making a day (or weekend!) trip to Chicago just got easier.
Avoid rush-hour traffic and shelling out cash for gas and tolls by taking the train from Indianapolis to the Windy City.
The Indiana Department of Transportation recently made a long-term agreement with Amtrak, Iowa Pacific Holdings, and online communities for the Hoosier State train. The train offers new amenities such as Wi-Fi, food service, and a unique dome car that offers business-class seating among rounded windows and includes hot food and drink.
The train operates four days a week, which means that including the Amtrak Cardinal, which heads north three days a week, there will be daily train access to Chicago and back. With adult tickets at $24 to $48, it sounds like time for a day trip!
Don’t know what to do once you get there? Here are our suggestions for food, shopping, and outdoor fun, all within 40 minutes of Union Station:
TAKE A SELFIE IN FRONT OF THE BEAN
Visit Millennium Park and see the reflection of Chicago, and yourself, through the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, most commonly known as “The Bean.” Take your picture at different angles to create a new image every time. 16 minutes on the Blue Line, 201 E. Randolph St., 312-742-1168
— Josh Harrington (@joshuah03) July 25, 2015
SATISFY YOUR DEEP DISH CRAVING
Deep-dish is all around you in Chicago, but a classic is just a short walk from Union Station. Head straight from the train to Gino’s East in Printer’s Row. 15-minute walk or 8 minutes on the Blue Line, 521 S. Dearborn St., 312-939-1818
THIS is pizza. pic.twitter.com/7SFxl8zHEL
— Gino’s East (@ginoseast) July 30, 2015
SHOP ALONG THE MAGNIFICENT MILE
(Almost) every store imaginable lines The Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue. This is the go-to spot for a full day of shopping. The shopping district includes popular department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom as well as high-end retailers such as Tory Burch and Tiffany & Co. 27 minutes on the Blue Line to Red Line and walk, 312-409-5560
I’ve missed these streets 😍 #SummerTimeChi #MichiganAve #OnTheMove #MagnificentMile #MagMile #LakeShoreDrive #DrakeHotel #HigherLearning A photo posted by Alejandra (@ale_higherlearning) on
FIND THE BEST CHICAGO-STYLE HOT DOG
Look no further than the Vienna Beef Factory Store and Cafe, where you can indulge on the classic next door to the factory where it was born. 40 minutes on the Blue Line, 2501 N. Damen Ave. 773-278-7800
— Vienna Beef (@ViennaBeef) August 1, 2015
TAKE A STROLL THROUGH NAVY PIER
Make a stop at Navy Pier and walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Up for an adventure? Take a ride on the Ferris wheel before grabbing lunch in the food court. Or, from August 6 to September 10, watch a free classic movie (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is among the lineup) on Thursday nights at Pepsi Skyline Stage. 24 minutes on the 124 bus, 600 E. Grand Ave., 312-595-5282
good morning 😎 buen día #Chicago A photo posted by Quique Usales (@quiqueusales) on
BRANCH OUT FROM THE TYPICAL
If you’d rather watch people than the lake, head over to Big Star for tacos and bourbon. Located in an old 1940s gas station and accented with county and rock-and-roll music, it’s a place where things never stop being interesting. 19 minutes on the Blue Line, 1531 N. Damen, 773-235-4039, bigstarchicago.com
DRINK TO THE BEST VIEW
You have one night on the town, so why not go to the bar with a view of everything? The J. Parker offers outdoor viewing of the lake, Lincoln Park, and the city that makes it all possible. 37 minutes on Brown or Purple Line and a walk, 1816 N. Clark St., 312-254-4747, jparkerchicago.com