I might be going to Chicago for a few days this summer... advice?

If you pay attention to our long-standing WWE thread at all, you know that I’m a fan of pro wrestling. In the past few years my interest has expanded past the McDonald’s of wrestling that is the WWE, and I’ve gotten interested in the smaller promotions and in independent wrestling. One of the biggest things happening in indy wrestling this year is that Cody Rhodes, the son of the American Dream Dusty Rhodes, is self-financing and promoting an independent supershow that looks to be the largest non-WWE wrestling show in the US since the collapse of WCW. Yesterday, after months of speculation, he announced the date and the venue - September 1st, the Sears Centre Arena, in Hoffman Estates, IL, which I understand to be on the periphery of Chicago.

I haven’t decided for sure that I’m going yet. I want to find out what ticket rates for the show are and then decide whether I can afford a ticket and the flight and the hotel. If I do go, it’ll probably be for either 2 or 3 nights - fly in, get the hotel, see the show, and fly back the next day.

I know I’m gonna be a substantial distance from the city core, and I’m hoping that I won’t have to rent a car to get around. Ideally I’d like to be able to get from the airport to a hotel in the area of the show by light rail, or bus, or Uber if necessary. Is it feasible to get from O’Hare to Hoffman and back by public transport without it taking all day and/or having to make transfers in sketchy parts of town? What’s Hoffman like in general? The impression that I get is that it’s one of the more gentrified parts of the city. Would I be able to roam a few blocks from my hotel to find a grocery store or a restaurant without having to worry too much?

Are there any particularly notable eateries in Hoffman that I wouldn’t want to miss out on? If I’m going to Chicago I think it ought to behoove me to have a hot dog, an Italian beef, and maybe some pizza. Are there places between O’Hare and Hoffman that are not-to-miss?

Any other absolutely-can’t-be-missed destinations for a visitor with a short window of time to take it in? I welcome your recommendations.

It looks like Hoffman Estates is right next to Schaumburg, which I’m very familiar with as my company is headquartered there.

I’ve never tried taking public transportation from O’Hare, but in theory it can be done. I’m guessing you’ll have to transfer at least once. Depending on where you’re staying, I would think at the end you’d end up having to grab an uber or a taxi to get from the station to your hotel.

On alternative is American Taxi, which goes from O’hare to the suburbs on a flat rate of around $33. They’re reliable & fast, I take them all the time.

I’m not sure about Hoffman in general, but Schaumburg has about a million zillion restaurants, shopping areas, etc. There’s a huge mall there, and just about every kind of store and chain restaurant has popped up around it. If Hoffman doesn’t supply all the things you need, Schaumberg will, and it looks close enough that you could cheaply Uber to your fight when the time comes.

Portillo’s is a really good choice for Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian Beefs. Highly recommended. Giordano’s or Lou Malnatti’s is a good bet for Chicago style pizza.

Other than O’Hare, you won’t be in Chicago at all, just the suburbs. So don’t worry about “sketchy” parts of town. Unless you plan on getting an Uber/Taxi everywhere , it would probably be easiest for you to rent a car. I’m of the opinion that Lou Malnati’s is the best deep dish. There’s one in Schaumburg, along with a Portillo’s for Italian beef.

The Sears Centre is about as far from O’Hare as O’Hare is from the center of Chicago. You’re going to be way out there. I think a rental car will be a must. They are both pretty much right on I-90, so the drive will be easy enough. And I concur, both Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s have a very good suburban presence and will give you a good Chicago-esque experience. As far as other not-to-be-missed experiences, forget about it. This is deepest, blandest suburbia at its finest.

(ETA: Unless you want to check out Medieval Times?)

You will need a car. If that’s not an option, I’d just forget that the show is taking place.

Watch Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, or Ferris Bueller and take a look at that suburbia, that’s where you’ll be.

I live near Wrigley Field, I just checked Uber rates from here to the Sears Centre and it was $56 one way. So, if you want to stay in the city and just use Uber to get to and from Hoffman Estates, I’d budget at least $150 round trip and lots of time as I expect your ride would be cancelled by many Uber drivers.

What Tim said. Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg aren’t really “gentrified” (in the sense of “a formerly-downscale area that’s been revitalized and is now full of professionals”)-- they’re largely post-WW2 suburbs, and known for (if anything) being bland. They aren’t downscale or poor, but nor are they known for being where the wealthy live (though Barrington, not too far from Hoffman Estates, is more upscale).

There’s a lot of shopping and eating in Schaumburg, centered around Woodfield Mall. There’s also an enclave of shops and restaurants near the Sears Centre.

Taking public transportation from O’Hare to that area may be possible, via Pace buses, but you might well be looking at several transfers. So, I concur with the other posters that you’re either going to want to rent a car, take a taxi, or take an Uber or Lyft.

As far as taxis go, you could grab one at the taxi stand at the terminal, but those are City of Chicago cabs. If they take you to a destination that’s not in the city itself, or in a suburb that’s adjacent to the city, they have to charge you 1.5x the meter rate (which would apply to both Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg).

I live in the suburbs, and when I go to ORD, I’ll often take American Taxi (the service that Athena mentioned). If you set up a ride with them in advance, you can usually get picked up within just a few minutes of letting them know that you’re on the ground at the airport, with bags in hand.

If he gets a rental car, what will the tolls be like over to Hoffman Estates from O’Hare? Is there a toll on I-90? I found driving around O’Hare an absolute nightmare, but once away from it, the area’s as navigable as any suburb with which I’m not familiar.

And yes, Portillos! Wow, I really miss Italian beef. And Giordano’s pizza. Are there any Pizzeria Unos still around? It seemed like they were on the way out when we left.

ETA: It will most likely be hot and humid, Smapti, nothing like our summers.

Here’s a map (my work) of all the transit service out that way. That 610 bus that runs express right to Sears Centre? Sorry, that runs outbound in AM rush hours only. Sears Centre is on the far edge of suburbia, but it would only be a $10 Lyft or Uber ride from Elgin, which has commuter rail service.

Ideally, I’d like to get a hotel within a few miles of the venue, get from O’Hare to there somehow without needing to rent a car, stay in that vicinity, and then get back to O’Hare somehow for my return flight. It’s not that I can’t rent a car - it’s just that it’s an expense and a liability I’d rather do without.

Helena330 - I’m originally from San Diego, so I’m no stranger to hot and humid. :smiley:

There is a toll, but it shouldn’t be more than a few bucks each way. It’s probably better to just pay cash. The rental cars come with I-Pass, but you have to pay extra to use them. It usually only evens out on longer trips.

I agree leaving O’Hare is bad, but it’s pretty easy to get to I-90 from where you pick up rental cars (Bessie Coleman Drive). Plenty of signs. Worst case scenario is if you miss the on ramp there’s plenty of places to loop back around.

Then, I think that taxis or Uber are going to be your best options.

BTW, I took a look at the Regional Transportation Authority’s Trip Finder, to see what it’d take to get from O’Hare to Hoffman Estates via public transit. Bearing in mind that I didn’t put in a specific address in Hoffman Estates, the app indicates that, while you can do it, it’d involve a trip on the Blue Line L, then two different buses, and take at least 1 hour and 40 minutes (including some walking time).

The 610 bus conveniently goes directly between the Blue Line (one stop from O’Hare) and the Sears Center, but only runs at very specific hours. You might try to time your arrival and departure to coincide with those hours, but I would plan for Uber as backup.