Chicago Survival Guide

Download this guide in .pdf format: Chicago Survival Guide

On behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee, welcome to the 2016 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Chicago, Illinois!  We are thrilled you are visiting our city and hope this site will make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Conference Hotels
  • Arriving in Chicago
  • Getting Around Town
  • Downtown Shopping
  • Important Phone Numbers
  • Medical Attention
  • Places of Worship
  • Everyday Necessities
    • Pharmacies
    • Dry Cleaning
    • Groceries
    • Post Office


Hyatt Regency
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL, 60601
Tel:  1-312-565-1234

Hard Rock Hotel
230 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: 1-312-345-1000

Swissotel Chicago
323 East Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: 1-888-737-9477



O’Hare International Airport (ORD), is located 13 miles from downtown.

Midway International Airport (MDW), is located 10 miles from downtown Chicago.


Public Transportation:  The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is an easy way to get downtown from either airport.

Trips from O’Hare to downtown cost $5 for a one way ticket.

Trips from Midway Airport to downtown cost $2.25 for a one way ticket.

For full fare information, transit card retailers and maps, visit the Chicago Transit Authority website at  Check  their site for the latest updates to train schedules and routes that may affect your travel plans.

Taxi:  Both airports offer plentiful taxi service to downtown.  Rates range from $40 – $50 from O’Hare, and $30 – $40 from Midway. Rates vary based on travel time and are subject to change.

Shuttle Bus:  GO Airport Express provides shared ride services to all downtown hotels.

Car Rental: Many major car rental companies have facilities at the O’Hare and Midway Airports. Please visit specific rental company websites for details.


Chicago is accessible via several major interstates and highways: I-90 (Kennedy Expressway), I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway), I-55 (Stevenson Expressway), I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway), I-294 (Tri-State Tollway).

Parking: Use this fully-interactive parking map to search for parking options in downtown Chicago.   Check with your hotel to see if there is parking available.


Union Station is located at 225 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606.  To get to the conference, it is just a short bus or cab ride away.  Cabs are plentiful around Union Station, and the CTA provides several options to get to the conference hotel.  Click here for more information about the public transportation options. Each ride will take about 15 minutes. And if the weather permits, the walk is doable at 1.5 miles.



Walking is a great way to explore downtown.  Chicago is a great city for pedestrians, and the conference is located near some of our best parks.  Summer temperatures usually range in the upper 70s to mid 80s, but the city does experience heat waves, resulting in triple-digit temperatures and heavy humidity.  Be sure to drink lots of fluids and always be aware of your surroundings.


Chicago has an excellent network of buses and trains, run by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).  Check out their website for information on fares, timetables and other information.  If you are looking for directions, you can either use their website, or plot your points into Google maps.


Divvy is Chicago’s bike sharing system. Visitors to Chicago can purchase a 24-hour pass for $9.95 that allows you unlimited 30 minute trips. The closest station to the conference is at Stetson Ave and South Water Street. Just walk up to any Divvy station kiosk, purchase a 24-Hour Bike Pass using your credit or debit card and begin your ride. When you are done riding, you can return the bike to any Divvy kiosk in the city.


No need to hail a cab. Install the app, mark your location, and an Uber driver (of your choice) will pick up from your location. (You must have an account with Uber.) Your account is linked to your credit card, so no cash exchange is necessary. But, be sure to pay attention to surge pricing during times of high demand (i.e., rush hour, rain storms, concerts, etc.). Prices can skyrocket, depending on the demand.


Taxis are plentiful and easy-to-hail in downtown, and offer a convenient way to get around the city. Taxis charge a base rate of $2.25 for the first 1/9 mile, plus, $.20 for each additional 1/9 mile. If a gas surcharge is in effect, a sign will be displayed inside the taxicab and a surcharge may apply. Tolls are an extra charge; taxis charge $1 for the first additional passenger over age 12 and under age 65. Each additional passenger after first passenger, over 12 and under 65 is $.50. It is standard to tip the driver about 15-20 percent of the fare, plus $1-2 per bag if the driver helps you with luggage.

River Taxi

Chicago Water Taxi and Shoreline Water Taxi are the perfect combination of sightseeing and convenient transportation to Chinatown, Museum Campus, Willis Tower and more. Because the Chicago River bisects downtown and there are no stoplights, water taxis are both a great way to get around the city and a perfect way to see the sights. This method of travel also is less expensive and often quicker than a cab ride to get from the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, to the Navy Pier. Chicago’s water taxis make a continuous loop along the Chicago River from the Lake Michigan shoreline to Union Station and on to Chinatown. This route captures a comprehensive cross section of the Windy City’s storied architecture. From the water taxi, these landmarks can be viewed with little obstruction.


A new service offering shared rides for $3.95.  Rides are available weekdays, 6:30am to 9pm, anywhere in the Loop, West Loop, River North, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview (east of Sheffield).


There are two main shopping areas located near the conference hotels: State Street and the Magnificent Mile.  Both are within walking distance and you will find shops of all different kinds.  Check out the Choose Chicago site for more information about the two areas.


Emergency Fire / Police / Ambulance:          911
Chicago Police (Non-emergency):                  312-746-6000
City of Chicago (Non-emergency):                 311
Main Chicago area codes:                             312 and 773


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
251 East Huron Street,
Chicago, IL 60611
(0.7 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Michigan Avenue Immediate Care
180 N Michigan Avenue Suite 1605,
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 201-1234
(0.3 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Clinic Hours

Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

  • Northwestern Immediate Care Center – River North
635 N. Dearborn Street, Suite 100
Chicago, Illinois 60654
(0.9 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Hours: 7 days a week: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

225 E Chicago Ave,
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 227-4000
(0.8 miles from the Hyatt Regency)


There are a number of religious institutions around the city, but here is a sampling of places of worship in the downtown area:

  • Buddhist

Buddhist Temple of Chicago
1151 W. Leland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, 773/334-4661
(7.1 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Catholic

Holy Name
730 N Wabash Ave Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 787-8040
(0.8 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Christian Science

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
55 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago IL 60601, 312.236.4671
(0.3 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Episcopal

St. James Cathedral
65 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312.787.7360
(0.7 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Greek Orthodox

Annunciation Cathedral
1017 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago, IL 60610, 312.664.5485
(1.4 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Jewish

Chicago Loop Synagogue
16 S. Clark St., Chicago IL 60603, 312.346.7370
(0.9 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Lutheran

First St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
1301 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago IL 60610, 312.642.7172
(1.7 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Methodist

First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple
77 W. Washington St., Chicago IL 60602, 312.236.4548
(0.8 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Muslim

Downtown Islamic Center
231 S. State St., Chicago IL 60604, 312.939.9095
(0.9 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Presbyterian

Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago IL 60611, 312.787.4570
(0.9 miles from the Hyatt Regency)



  • CVS Drug Store

205 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
(0.3 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Walgreens Pharmacy

410 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 321-0951
(0.3 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

  • Target (CVS pharmacy inside)

401 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 894-1764
(0.5 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Dry Cleaning

Park Mill Cleaners
222 N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-5949


333 E Benton Pl, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 228-1349
(0.5 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Whole Foods Market
255 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 379-7900
(0.5 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Trader Joe’s
44 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 951-6369
(0.6 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Jewel Osco
550 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 527-2162
(0.7 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

Post Office

US Post Office
540 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 644-3919
(0.8 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

UPS Store
323 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 268-8290
(0.2 miles from the Hyatt Regency)

FedEx Office Print & Ship Center
111 East Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 938-0650
(0.2 miles from the Hyatt Regency)