The best ways to get to the 2017 Chicago Auto Show – Chicago … – Chicago Tribune
Traffic, construction, confusing GPS directions from your smartphone? All of these obstacles might be faced when getting to McCormick Place for the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, but fear not. Take your time, create a plan and save time, money and aggravation along the way.
If you have an iPhone, be wary of the pre-loaded Maps app, which won’t display accurate results for the Chicago Auto Show, leading you instead to places such as the city of Chicago Auto Pound or Chicago Auto Center if you’re not paying attention. Be sure to search “McCormick Place” for more accurate options, including routes that might add about five minutes to your commute but will allow you to avoid the construction on Lake Shore Drive. Google Maps provides faster, local routes particularly if you’re coming from the south. For example, Google Maps recommends exiting at the 35th or 31st Street exits and taking 26th Street toward King Drive, a route that clocks in at around 12 minutes after exiting the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The official 2017 Chicago Auto Show app links its directions tab to Google Maps, and refreshes to account for changing traffic patterns.
Plugging in the exact addresses of McCormick Place’s various parking garages is also helpful. There are three parking lots to choose from: Lot A, 2301 S. Prairie Drive, is $23 for up to 16 hours. Lot B, at 3050 S. Moe Drive, is a $15 flat rate. Lot C, at Fort Dearborn Drive, is a $23 flat fee. There are no in-and-out privileges at any of these lots. All McCormick Place lots are $10 after 6 p.m. While recommended directions for reaching individual lots include taking Lake Shore Drive, the alternate route of using Congress Parkway to work your way to the largest lot, A, seems simplest if you’re already in the city. Take Congress to Michigan Avenue, turn right to head south, then turn left on Cermak Road to head east. Cermak will turn into King Drive, and the signage will lead you the rest of the way.
Millennium Park Garages on Columbus Drive offers free shuttle service to and from McCormick Place on Saturday and Sunday and Feb. 18, 19 and 20. On those dates, the parking rate at Millennium Park is $18 for 12 hours with validation, which will be provided as you exit the shuttle. Parking can be bought in advance at a cheaper $15 rate online, a special during the Auto Show. The entrance is on South Columbus between Monroe and Randolph streets. The free shuttle stops at 10- to 15-minute intervals at the Lower Randolph Street pedestrian exits.
If driving sounds like too much of a headache, there are plenty of public transit options that’ll bring you as close as it gets to the front door.
The nearest CTA rail station, Green Line Cermak-McCormick Place, will drop you two blocks away. One-way fare is $2.25, with trains about every nine minutes.
The No. 3 King Drive bus runs on Michigan Avenue, and will drop you right at McCormick Place’s main entrance. The No. 21 Cermak bus also stops at McCormick Place. One-way fare is $2.
The Metra Electric District line toward University Park, or the South Shore Line seems to be easiest, with stops inside McCormick Place. Metra will bring you directly to level 2.5 of McCormick Place’s Grand Concourse in the South Building. The South Shore, which typically provides only rides to McCormick Place on weekends, will stop select weekday trains, running about once an hour. Metra’s weekend pass, with unlimited rides Saturday and Sunday, is $8, while Metra Electric’s one-way fare to McCormick Place costs from $3.50 to $7.25.
If money, along with traffic, is the least of your worries, McCormick Place has designated Uber and Lyft drop-off points. Prices vary by distance, time of day and demand in the area so prepare yourself for a surcharge if you take this route. You can also turn your visit to the 2017 Chicago Auto Show into a getaway of sorts and book a night or two at McCormick Place’s Hyatt Regency.
The Auto Show package is $204 per night and includes two tickets to the Auto Show per day booked. The Auto Lovers package is $229 per night and also includes two tickets to the show per day, along with $40 in food and beverage credits.