Campgrounds near Chicago/Itasca IL - Fiberglass RV



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Old 02-11-2019, 11:18 PM   #1
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Campgrounds near Chicago/Itasca IL

I'm hoping to attend an event in Itasca IL in early Sept and was hoping for some recommendations for places to stay in that neck of the woods. I want to head into Chicago to visit some museums, so any suggestions on transport into town would be wonderful. The Tundra isn't exactly a city-parking vehicle.


Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:09 AM   #2
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We stayed at Bullfrog Lake campground last summer. It is a Cook County park and relatively convenient to drive to the Midway Airport light rail station for a ride into the city. It is a rather nice campground except they have an issue with the water so just think of it as dry camping with restrooms.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:39 AM   #3
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I'm hoping to attend an event in Itasca IL in early Sept and was hoping for some recommendations for places to stay in that neck of the woods. I want to head into Chicago to visit some museums, so any suggestions on transport into town would be wonderful. The Tundra isn't exactly a city-parking vehicle.


Thanks!
We do not take cars downtown. During rush hours, city streets get extremely congested, drivers get irritable, and you regret paying $50 to park for the day.

We take the Metra (commuter rail) from Lake County. From our stop it is $7.50 per person one way. It looks like there's a station on another line right in Itasca with day parking. You'll want to research payment options for the parking lot at the station you choose ahead of time. One station we've used could only be payed through an app, while another could only be paid via phone or website. Not all stations offer overnight parking, and those that do have a limited number of spots.

If the Metra station has a ticket booth or vending machine you should buy your ticket there. You can purchase on the train from the conductor, but there is a convenience fee tacked on if you could have bought the ticket at the station. The ticket price is based on how many stops are in you trip but is affordable.

You can ride the Metra all the way to Union Station. From there you can walk to many downtown attractions and museums or take transportation. Cabs, Ubers, and Lyfts are plentiful, but you can expect a wait during rush hours. Several blocks to the east you can find a subway station, which is much more affordable than taking a car if you are willing to deal with the hassle of changing trains, planning out your route, and doing some walking to your final destination.

One tip I have it to not rely too heavily on GPS once you are downtown. The skyscrapers can do a number on your GPS accuracy. The first time we visited, we tried using GPS to give us walking directions and we couldn't use them because they started us out several blocks over! Look at street signs and find your position on a map (phone map works fine). If you are calling an Uber or Lyft, check to be sure your pickup position is correct, and if it's not either manually set it or hoof it over to the place indicated.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:06 AM   #4
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We have stayed several times at the Chicago Northwest KOA near Union, IL. It is a very nice campground about 40 minutes west of Itasca. You can catch a Metra train at Woodstock which takes you downtown in Chicago. Then, you can walk, use a cab, city bus, Divy bike rental, etc., to get around.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Woodstock does not charge to park either if you take the Metra. If you get off at Clinton, you can get on the L and take it farther down to the Loop. My office is in the Auditorium building and that is what I do, since Kevin and I now live in Woodstock.

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Old 02-13-2019, 11:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
I'm hoping to attend an event in Itasca IL in early Sept and was hoping for some recommendations for places to stay in that neck of the woods. I want to head into Chicago to visit some museums, so any suggestions on transport into town would be wonderful. The Tundra isn't exactly a city-parking vehicle.


Thanks!
:I would think the Dunes is a good one as it is big, lots of spots, and you walk down and catch the train to S. Bend Studebaker Museum which will blow you away or take the train in to Chicago the big Museum in Chicago place 4 days just for it. Also Elkhart has a great RV Museum going back into the ealry 1900's. If you ever get to Kingman they have some nice museums on Route 66. another good Museum is the OWL Musuem in Maine, and the Auburn, Packard & Dusenberg in Indiana also in behind it is another museum with the regular cars and trucks museum.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's information and help. I've booked at the KOA north of Chicago and will be there for 5 days. Plenty of time to check out the museums, aquarium and what-not, as well as my event on Saturday in Itasca.


Now to start researching the various locations I'll be in during this trip.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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If you do the Metra into Chicago from Woodstock, you can buy tickets on the train going, but you need to purchase return tickets when you get there, or you get charged extra. The ticket window is off to the right as you get off the train and go through the revolving doors. Olgilvie is the last stop on the train, so you ride from Woodstock to the end.

I have not used a cab in around 15 years from Olgilvie and have never used Uber or Lyft, but when I did take the cab from the Metra station to my office, it was $5.00. They wait at the Metra station; turn left as you exit the door and they sit on the side of the building. You can, however, go behind Olgilvie and use the L train at the Clinton stop; it will get you down to within walking distance of places in the Loop. My office is in the Auditorium Building at 18 South Michigan. I take the Metra from Woodstock, get on the L Green Line headed for the Loop and get off at Adams. I will kind of suggest places centering on my building (which is fabulous to see itself. Beautiful auditorium! Designed by Louis Sullivan, mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright)

My office is not too far from the Field Museum and Shedd Acquarium across Michigan Avenue on Lake Michigan.

The Art Institute is several blocks north of the Auditorium Building on Michigan. It houses Grand Wood's American Gothic. And you can visit Millennium Park near the Art Institute with its Bean sculpture. I forget the real name of that sculpture; everyone calls it the Bean. It was hand sanded to be like a mirror, so you can see yourself in it.

We have walked to Navy Pier from the L station, although it is a long walk. Lots of people like going there.

Lincoln Park Zoo is downtown north of the Art Institute, but we have not been there, so I am not sure how to tell you to get there.

The Science and Industry Museum is farther south of the Loop. You will need a cab or something to get there.

If you get on the Green Line L train going west, you can get off at the Conservatory stop and visit Garfield Park Conservatory.

Going farther west on the Green Line is Oak Park where we used to live and that has the office of Frank Lloyd Wright and many of the homes he designed. You can take a tour of these, although only the outsides of the private homes.

Brookfield Zoo is a ways. It might be easier to drive and park there.

There is a neat French market in the basement of Olgilvie that we just discovered a few weeks ago.

If you want to see a Broadway show, most of the theaters are within walking distance.

There are a lot more smaller museums, but I have not seen any of them. I know that there is a military museum near the Art Institute

You can also do a quick tour of Woodstock. It has a quaint downtown and is the location of the film, Groundhog Day. Cute bookstore, nice restaurant in the old courthouse and jail. You can even eat in what used to be the jail cells and see if they have a show you might like at the Opera House. We saw the Buckinghams there this fall.

Next do the KOA is a western town, but that appeals more to kids. We took our grandkids there. Also near there is a train museum.

Have fun! Not sure where we will be at that time. We usually go to Algonac Rally, but this year, Kevin is being treated to a Cubs game by our daughter that weekend.

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Old 02-20-2019, 01:41 PM   #9
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What a coincidence, I just moved out of Itasca, lived there my whole life! Great little town, you'll like it. Wish there was a closer campground, I'd like to stay myself when going back to visit. With the train in town it does make a great place to stay and visit the beautiful city. Be sure to take the water taxi, it's a fun mode of transportation downtown! And the architecture tour on the river is an absolute must! Enjoy your trip!
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