iPRES 2023 Chicago Travel Information

We are excited to welcome you to Illinois and share everything you need to know to make your journey to iPRES 2023 as smooth and enjoyable as possible. 

Table of Contents

Getting from/to Chicago Airports from Champaign-Urbana

If you’re flying into Chicago, we recommend choosing O’Hare airport, and that you reserve a one-way trip to Champaign with Peoria Charter. Peoria Charter buses cost $42 one-way, take about 3 hours, and run 9 times daily from O’Hare and 3 times daily from Midway airport. Tickets are available for purchase starting 2 months from the date of travel. The University of Illinois is working with Peoria Charter to make sure that we have sufficient buses running to get everyone conveniently from Chicago to the conference; we will post here if Peoria Charter has added more southbound bus service on September 17th and 18th. 

There are three Champaign-Urbana stops. We will provide detail on which stops are most conveniently located to area hotels soon.

A note of caution about Amtrak:  Getting from Chicago to Champaign may be easier than getting from Champaign to Chicago. If you are leaving from Champaign directly for an airport connection in Chicago, you will want to use a bus! There are many opportunities for the train to get behind schedule between New Orleans and Champaign.

That said, there are three Amtrak trains from Chicago to Champaign daily and vice versa. Both Chicago airports have CTA stations inside the airport that get you close to the Amtrak station. Trains leave from Chicago Union Station, take 2.5 hours, and (as of March) cost under $20. 

To get to Chicago Union Station from O’Hare airport by train, you will take the CTA Blue Line. You have 2 options for getting from the Blue Line to Union Station:

  • Get off at the Jackson stop and walk a pleasant ½  mile west.
  • Get off at the Clinton stop and walk 2 blocks north. You will emerge from the CTA station under a freeway, which some do not enjoy.

To get to Chicago Union Station from Midway Airport by train, you’ll take the CTA Orange Line, get off at the Quincy stop and walk 3 blocks west. 

See the Amtrak website to search and book trains between Chicago and Champaign.

If you plan to take part in the conference site visits in Chicago, then you’ll reserve your return trip through the conference. There will be a $40 fee and we will provide a separate reservation form for return buses. These will leave from the conference venue and will arrive in Chicago by 4pm, Friday September 22. Box lunches will be provided that day. These buses will not go to the airports! They will stop at the conference hotels in Chicago.

If you need to go right from the conference site to O’Hare or Midway airports, then you should use the regular Peoria Charter service linked above to go directly to the airport.

Events in Chicago

The Chicago Reception will be taking place at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center (PIMCO Midway Club, 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive) from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.

Afterward you can take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk or head out for dinner on your own. We’ll provide nearby restaurant suggestions soon.

On Saturday September 23, a number of Chicago cultural heritage organizations will open their doors to iPRES attendees for guided tours, led by local staff. Events are free for registered iPRES 2023 attendees.

Most site visit locations are members of the Chicago Collections Consortium. The member institutions of Chicago Collections collaborate, uniting their resources to offer access and exciting learning experiences to both the general public and academic researchers. Its flagship service is Explore Chicago Collections which provides unified discovery of archival and digital collections about Chicago history and culture across dozens of Chicago-area libraries, archives and museums.

Please update your registration if your plans change, so that hosts know how many people to expect!

Explore the site visits here: http://ipres2023.us/chicago-events/.

Arrangements in Chicago

The iPRES 2023 hosts have arranged for conference hotels with nightly room rates under $225.00 in Chicago for Friday September 22 and Saturday September 23.  

To benefit from our best rate please book your stay before August 5th.

Please book here for the negotiated rate.

Chicagos’ CTA trains and buses are a great way to get around the city. If you’re staying the weekend, we recommend getting a CTA 3-day pass. Here is CTA’s fare information page, with information about how and where to get tickets.

The most convenient way to pay CTA fares is with a Ventra card and/or app. You can order a Ventra card online, and choose either day passes or pay-as-you-go. You can also use a contactless credit card or Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other payment apps on your phone to pay fares on both trains and buses. Learn more about alternate payment methods on the Ventra site.

Google Maps will provide public transit directions and arrival times.

Other Chicago Activities

Chicago Architecture Center
CAC offers walking tours throughout the city, and is home to the architecture river cruises, which are not to be missed!

Brick of Chicago

Photographer Will Quam offers tours throughout the city focusing on noteworthy brick architecture. He knows his bricks! These tours are a great way to experience Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Mahogany Tours

Sherman “Dilla” Thomas leads these tours of predominantly Black neighborhoods in Chicago.

Chicago for Chicagoans

Patti Swanson and Anthony Alfaro lead pay-what-you-can tours and public lectures about Chicago history. Tours are often dedicated to themes, such as prohibition-era speakeasy locations that still exist today.

Mysterious Chicago

Adam Selzer offers lectures and a changing list of themed Chicago walking tours. 

Great Chicago Fire Walk

If you are staying longer in Chicago, on Sunday September 24th iPRES co-chair Tracy Seneca will offer a walking tour of the perimeter of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The walk route is approximately 12 miles and will start at 9 am in front of the Chicago History Museum. The time the walk takes depends on the comfort and pace of the walkers; it has wrapped up anywhere from 2 to 5pm. This event will be free and a registration form will be posted here.