Trolleys (some are FREE), Chicago
Museum Campus free trolleys circulate between the parking lots, all three museums (Adler Planetarium, Field Museum & Shedd Aquarium) and the CTA station @ Roosevelt Road. Take the Red, Orange or Green CTA line to Roosevelt Road and then trolley the rest of the way! Just catch one at a stop marked "Free Trolley".
- Outside CTA station on Roosevelt Road (remember to cross over to the other side of the road when you get out of the station)
- In front of Field Museum on McFetridge Drive
- Outside Shedd Aquarium on Solidarity Drive
- Outside Adler Planetarium on Solidarity Drive
Service runs every 20-30 minutes from 10am - 6pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Trolleys run on weekends in the fall and winter. Board 30 minutes before service ends.
No trolley service on Chicago Bears home game days & Christmas Day.
Seems like they have change a little on this service. Will update once I find out more about it.
"One reason for knowing the history of Chicago is that its history is the history of the Midwest, and the history of the Midwest is, to a larger extent ...the history of the nation."
Floyd Dell, author, 1912
If you have never visited Chicago, and this is your first time here, it is a good idea to become familiar with the city by taking a sightseeing tour. See the highlights of Chicago's downtown and lakefront aboard an "Original Chicago Trolley" These hourly lectured tours depart daily. (Call 427-3105)
Shoreline Sightseeing and Charters is one of the best and most diversified. They operate from three Grant Park locations daily through the end of September. Daytime rides depart every half hour from the SHEDD AQUARIUM/FIELD MUSEUM from 11:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Every half hour from the ADLER PLANETARIUM from 11:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Evening rides depart from BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN every half hour from 7:15 p.m. to ll:15 p.m. with extended hours for major holidays and festivals.
All tours have live commentary on Chicago's history and architecture. Printed translations available in 10 languages!
Shoreline offers evening and weekend rides from their NAVY PIER location just west of the Skyline Stage nightly Mon-Fri every hour from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sat. & Sun. from 1 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
If you are a tourist and you are not willing to spend your money on transportation. That is the perfect option.
There are several lines that will take you to the most popular tourist spots.
The best part is that you could hop up on the trolley for free. The disadvantage for me was that I was using it in July, so it got pretty stinky inside at times.
If you are only spending a few days in Chicago, the Chicago trolley is not a bad idea. It takes you around downtown Chicago and stops at major attractions sites. Also the guide gives you an insight on the architecture and history of most of the historic buildings and of the city. Tickets are about $20 per person for the whole day. You can get off at any trolley stops and catch another one any time you like. Trolleys come by about very 30 minutes.For routes, check the website.
There is a free trolley that runs to and fro Navy Pier to the museum campus (Shedd aquarium, Field museum and Adler planetarium), Art Institute, State and Michigan avenue shopping district and Lincoln park. Look for the sign "free trolley".
You can pick up a trolley every few minutes at any stop during operating hours, so you shouldn't have to wait long at any stop. Here's one of the signs that show you which route to take (each bus has a symbol, such as a star or a square, in the window identifying the route it drives).
There is a free trolley that operates in Chicago from Memorial Day through Labor day, and during the winter holiday season, (except on the holidays themselves). You can take the trolley from just outside Marshall Fields on State Street (there's a sign for the waiting area) to Navy Pier or to Michigan Avenue. You can also pick it up at either train station (Union Station or Oglevie), so it's great for saving you a long walk to the typical tourist attractions. Maps are available inside the trolleys for their routes, and signs by the trolley stops show where each of the three routes stops.
Beware of the lines, though--you can wait quite a few minutes for a trolley that isn't full on busy shopping days.
There are several free trolley's that travel up and down Michigan Avenue, and to Navy Pier, Grant Park and several other area's. The trolley's are very convenient, great for tourist because they go to the tourist hot spots, and they are FREE.
Chicago is easily linked with the Loop (a Metro system above the ground), buses and trains, so it's not necessary to have a car. In the main tourist areas, watch for free trolley cars that skirt tourists to the major museums and attractions.
If you're around Navy Pier, there's a parking garage right on the pier that is a tad less expensive than other nearby garages. (Sorry, you're not going to find a deal anywhere in the city.) It'll run about $20 for a whole day. There's also a free trolley service that runs during the day that will take you from Navy Pier to several downtown landmarks--State Street, Michigan Avenue, etc. That'll save you a few minutes' walk if you came by car or train.
This is the free trolley that you can catch at places like Michigan Ave. to take you to different landmarks around the city for free.
These "trolley" tours are run by Chicago Trolley & Doubledecker Company -- this stand was just outside Orchestra Hall on S. Michigan Ave. near the Art Institute.