Romantic place to watch planes land in Chicagoland?

My girlfriend has been after me to go near an airport and watch planes land in a wayne’s world type fashion (where the plane seems to be directly above you)

Without breaking any laws or putting ourselves in danger, is there a place in the chicagoarea where we can drive to, lay on the hood of the car and watch the planes land?

Any other similar ideas??

This time of year? Watch Wayne’s World on video from your suite in Hawaii.

You could always go to St. Maarten.

That is effing beautiful! Just…wow…awesome. Thanks for sharing that!

We did acid and did it at O’Hare airport, but that’s ancient history. I couldn’t tell you exactly where we were. I’m sure any small airport (Lake In The Hills comes to mind) would afford a spot where you could pull over and watch the planes. Have you checked out Palwaukee Airport? Bigger than LITH, but I’m not sure if there’s a romantic spot you can park.

Depending on how low you want the airplanes to be, check out Busse Woods. When the wind is right, it’s about 2 miles off the end of the runway at O’Hare. There are also a series of forest preserves just east of 294.

Doesn’t O’Hare have some kind of restaurant where you could do that? For instance, LAX has one in that famous “theme building” with the two intersecting concrete arches. It’s expensive, but certainly worth it once in a while. And you don’t have to go through security to get to it, but it offers a great view of landings and takeoffs.

A quick once-over with google maps seems to show that somewhere near the instersection of Mt Prospect Rd and Old Higgins Rd would be a good place to look, assuming the wind is in the proper direction.

We used to just park on the shoulder along the S side of east bound Irving, along the S side of the airport. Not sure about the romantic part - or even if it is still permitted in these days where terrorists are suspected of hiding behind every Bush.

And it was always cool to hang out along the promentory heading out to the Adler Planetarium, and have the small planes land and take off right overhead while you enjoyed what is arguably the best view of the city. What’s that you say? Can’t do that anymore? What a shame.

are you speaking of meigs?

My wife said that when she was a kid her dad used to take them to the White Castle across from Midway. They would sit on the hood, eating sliders and watch the jets take off and land, usually passing right over their heads. I think that place is gone now because of all of the construction but there is a BK south of the airport on Cicero which would be almost as good.

(bolding mine)


That would be Northerly Island, of course!

Regarding Midway, I’ve heard that you could get up close and personal with landing planes simply driving by the joint. Almost feel as tho they are in the car with you!

You could also check the Schaumburg Airport, I suppose. The last time I did anything like this was 20 years ago. Same place Dinsdale mentioned, I believe. But not with Dinsdale. I don’t think. It was a long time ago.

You could always try Palwaukee like Kal mentioned - I know there are forest preserves right near there - but still, you wouldn’t get to see much.

Oh and Dins - just so’s ya know, I get your Midway reference. You’re BAD… :smiley:

You are correct. 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007.

That was just the first page of my search. No way would I live right off the end of the runways at Midway. To much stuff falling out of the sky.

Until about 1970, there used to be a plane-spotting hangout called Bobbo’s on Elmhurst Road near Oakton Street. It was a hot dog stand surrounded by fields, and people would eat in or on their cars and watch the planes come in. I never understood the appeal myself, but there are people that like that sort of thing.

Alas, tastes change, the neighborhood filled up, and Bobbo’s is long gone. Nowadays your best bet, at O’Hare at least, might be St. John’s Cemetery, the tiny and endangered plot of land which remained in place while the airport grew up around it. Of course, you might get some dirty looks gawking at planes if anyone is there to mourn their loved ones.

St. John’s is interesting because it’s the only publicly accessible place where you can simultaneously be within the city limits of Chicago and in DuPage County. The remaining 99.9% of Chicago is in Cook County.

I work very near O’Hare (about Landmeier & Busse) and I’m struggling to think of anything like romantic. The Target lot on Mannheim, next to the Allstate Arena (formerly Rosemont Horizon) might have nice views of the planes but falls terribly short on the ambiance. Guess which building the Target is!

The area where Higgins doglegs is about as close to that landing strip as you can get but there’s not really anywhere to stop for a while. Honestly, unless there’s some secret spot to the south, I’d say O’Hare is out.


That’s where my husband proposed to me.


Yeah - but don’t you feel safer? :rolleyes:

Grr - No, I don’t. I feel I am more likely to be harrassed for flying Cessnas, Pipers, and other assorted general aviation aircraft.