michigan, indiana, CHICAGO july july10-15

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Meetups' started by Liman, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. random_roller, Apr 19, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    Liman will be driving to Chicago in July, that's why I figured he could make a slight detour off I-80 to Pittsburgh as he reaches Western PA. Damn nice of me to volunteer him, huh, lol?

    From Pittsburgh, he could take I-70 west to Indianapolis and then I-65 north to Gary, Indiana and stop by Ameristar / Majestic Star or continue on I-80/94 or I-90 (Chicago Skyway) towards Chicago.
     
    #21
    yacraps likes this.

  2. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    that's not so impossible, Ive been thinking about instead of going east with 90 to Presque isle, I can stop off in Youngstown and visit an old friend, then head south to Pittsburgh area, I believe its not that far of a ride at all from there.
    then go with 76 I believe back towards philly area, then head up home.

    koko, if I did drive that way, it would be around july 17th or so, mid week, and then I wouldn't be meeting up with mycoalsmith in Salamanca, Im just thinking about it now. let me know what you think, here, pm, whatever...

    random, I get a kick out of you, you not only give me directions, you give me detailed instructions, just thought you should know, Im extremely confident with my navigation skills, I can go by sun position or sometimes stars when all else fails.

    when it gets closer, Ill punch it all into my gps in my car, so I don't have to fight with the audio commands to get each location in there.

    I also print out directions in case everything else fails to work, directions to hotels and casinos are usually pretty easy.

    its the small restaurants buried in local neighborhoods that make gps necessary. while it may take me crazy ways, it will get me there.

    I tend not to listen to gps in any large city, since it seems to make errors of judgement.
     
    #22
    yacraps likes this.

  3. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    random, do me a favor, and list the areas you think I should totally avoid, if I happen to be out and about.
    Im sure we will spend 3 minutes on Michigan ave, being from NY, I don't need the magnificent mile lilke my friends from down rural Georgia, we actually don't enjoy big cities, but I will go see it and walk around the loop?

    I don't want to drive somewhere Id regret having the top down. or easier, tell me where I should only go.
     
    #23
    yacraps likes this.
  4. random_roller, Apr 19, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    Not doubting your ability to get around, especially if you have planned the routes in advance and also use GPS to help navigate. BTW, I've driven in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens -- pre-GPS -- and from my perspective, driving in Chicago is more frustrating in general, even though I know the city much better than NYC. The Second City has some seriously screwed up traffic patterns as a result of poor street layout, narrow roads & ongoing (never-ending?) "improvement" projects, too many intersections/traffic lights/stop signs, and dumbass drivers/bicyclists/pedestrians (though not a problem unique to Chicago by any means).

    Just to mess with residents and visitors, there is a clandestine group within City Hall that occasionally replaces or relocates some of the traditional green street signs in favor of a brown one that renames the road "Honorary [insert name of famous person] Way". Usually the green signs are supplemented by the brown signs where applicable, but sometimes it's hard to spot the traditional green street sign after an honorary one has been installed.

    Throughout the world -- whether it's San Francisco, Rome (Italy), New York City, Washington, D.C., Shanghai (China) or another city, popular tourist areas attract criminals because tourists have money and often they aren't paying attention to their surroundings. And the reality is a lot of great places to visit are often located in areas that have declined over the years even if the immediate area is relatively safe. That doesn't mean one shouldn't visit those places -- they're popular for a reason b/c there are things worth seeing/experiencing. Just be vigilant.

    Chicago addresses are divided into north/south/east/west designations by State Street (divides city into east & west addresses) and Madison Street (divides city into north & south addresses). So 401 North Michigan Avenue is north of Madison Street, while 322 East Wacker Drive is east of State Street.

    In general, within Chicago stay north of Museum Campus / Roosevelt Road (1200S), east of the North & South Branches of the Chicago River, and south of West Bryn Mawr Avenue (5600N). When downtown, the closer to Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, the higher the rent. As always, be vigilant as to your surroundings, even in "good" parts of the city.

    For additional research about Chicago crime:

    Chicago Crime Map -- Click on the circles / use the slider at the left to get more detailed information.
    https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Crimes-Map/dfnk-7re6/data

    Chicago Homicide Map --
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-homicides-data-tracker-htmlstory.html

    Hey Jackass! -- Illustrating Chicago Values. Among other interesting information, there is a map with shootings by neighborhood. Note the concentration of killings/shootings in the west (Austin, Garfield Park, Humbolt Park neighborhoods) and south (most of the other neighborhoods listed) parts of the city. Avoid these neighborhoods and others listed -- there is likely no reason for you to visit them.
    https://heyjackass.com/

    IMO, one of the best drives anywhere in the world is Lake Shore Drive from West Bryn Mawr Avenue (5600N) all the way down south to the Museum of Science and Industry (my all-time favorite museum) on East 57th Street. Map this route and drive it (or at least parts of it) during the daytime, preferably heading south from Bryn Mawr (or Montrose Avenue). Note that you can keep driving south on Lake Shore Drive (follow US 41 signs, as the roads change names) and eventually arrive at Horseshoe Casino (Hammond, IN). If you choose to drive to/from Horseshoe on US 41, do so during daylight hours.

    The downtown parks/beaches along the lake are very nice. The early city planners did the future Chicago residents and visitors a huge favor by reserving the lakefront for public use. Museum Campus (bottom of image below) is a great place to take sunrise pictures of the city's skyline. Lots of people stop by early morning to watch the sunrise. Also a great view of the downtown skyline from Navy Pier (top of image below). There is a water taxi that travels between Navy Pier and Museum Campus (seasonal).

    Water Taxis -- This one offers a trip between Navy Pier and Museum Campus.
    https://shorelinesightseeing.com/tours-taxis/taxis/

    Chicago Architecture Foundation tours -- If you're into architecture / history of the city, this is a great way to see the city (by boat).
    https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/tours/

    Museum Campus is home the Field Museum (National History), Shedd Aquarium & Adler Planetarium. Oh, and Soldier Field (home of da Bears).

    Chicago Riverwalk -- Nice walk along the Chicago River (main, not the North / South Branch). You can basically do the same thing by walking along Wacker Drive but you'll have to wait at street intersections for traffic light changes.
    https://www.chicagoriverwalk.us/

    Cloud Gate (The Bean), a world famous sculpture, is located in Millennium Park. I'm not a big art fan, but that one is really cool.

    Buckingham Fountain (featured in the opening credits for the tv show Married with Children) has a nice light/sound show (seasonal).

    Willis Tower is the former Sears Tower. Observation Deck (for a fee). However, if you visit The Signature Lounge atop the John Hancock Center (further north on Michigan Avenue; not shown in map below), you can get a great view of the city by ordering a few drinks.

    The Signature Lounge (96th Floor)
    https://www.signatureroom.com/lounge/

    upload_2018-4-20_0-32-36.png
     
    #24
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
    yacraps likes this.
  5. yacraps, Apr 20, 2018

    yacraps

    yacraps Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,585
    Likes Received:
    2,737
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    san diego
    how bout this instead of gps :D
     
    #25

  6. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    ya gotta love random, I just drew out a map of the boundries he listed,
    . Basically, Im just a drop west of his safe zone(Rosemont), but if we have any free time, we will be spending it all in the safe zone.
    its good to know where to keep the top up and where its safe to put the top down.

    I know its really early to plan out a trip for july, and I don't think me and my wife really are into to walking around downtown Chicago, its no different than walking around manhattan NY, looks identical, and this is going to be the resting and relaxtion part of my trip.
    IM not one for bus tours, boat tours, crowded tourist attractions, etc.....I like the local flavors of neighborhoods, the diversity of stores, restaurants, maybe some historic sites not as famous as the big draw attractions, and ofcourse, CASINOS.
    the problem with me travelling is my health and how decent I feel. Neuromuscular disease has no rhyme or reason, it can hit me anytime, especially when Im physically tired, so I rarely plan too much out in advance. Id be content hanging out in casinos for 3 days.
    maybe hit some quilting stores for my wife

    I have a little pad Im writing down things random suggests as Ive never been in Chicago, and I don't believe anything I read from internet sites that promote this or that as I know the motive is all for profit.
     
    #26
    Onautopilot and yacraps like this.
  7. random_roller, Apr 20, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    The area near Rivers Casino is fine. Nice office buildings, hotels, restaurants, convention facilities. The Big Ten Conference HQ is in Rosemont, perhaps 10 minutes from the casino. The area caters to corporate travelers and convention attendees.

    The boundaries I had listed were a suggestion for City of Chicago, not the suburbs.
     
    #27
    yacraps likes this.

  8. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    taking in consideration of me being exhausted and washed out after a lot of driving, I laid out a plan, and if anyone wants to shoot dice along the way, Im ready. I just need times.

    sunday the 8th, I have no idea where Ill end up, Monday, Im in at 4 winds new buffalo, and decided as of now, Im there for 2 nights, I might have friends visiting me there, so 2 nights is good since the Monday will be a R and R day.
    then Im headed over to Ameristar in east Chicago Indiana, it was there or (I believe Hollywood, don't recall the city in Illinois, but I want to stay on the lake one night, as I love the water views and I can hang outdoors if I care too)
    after Ameristar one night, Im headed up to desplaines Illinois to Rivers casino, staying nearby.
    that would be Thursday the 12th until sunday the 14th. my wife will be joining me by Thursday evening, and we will take in a few sites as well as some eateries if we decide to leave casino at night.
    sunday and Monday will be headed up north in Michigan to visit old friends.
    Tuesday will try to get to Pittsburgh, not sure if Ill make it or have to kill a night somewhere.
    if not, will be near rivers casino in Pittsburgh by Wednesday, one night. leave Thursday for Lancaster PA area,
    maybe end it in Bensalem pa at parx on Saturday night the 24th .

    Im not worried about anyone knowing my plans, and like I mentioned, if anyone is around and wants to shoot dice or hang out, please pm me at least before I leave in july

    nothing is set in stone, things may change, but Im booked in until Pittsburgh.

    sorry mycoalsmith, wont be headed out towards Salamanca this trip, my wife wants to hit zooks quilting in Lancaster area.
     
    #28
  9. random_roller, Apr 21, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    If you're driving from Four Winds (New Buffalo, MI) to Ameristar (East Chicago, IN), noted by the red icon on the map below, instead of getting back onto I-94 west, you can take US 12 (Dunes Highway), which eventually joins US 20 & later SR 912. You'll pass through Michigan City (IN), where Blue Chip Casino and Lighthouse Premium Outlets are located.

    upload_2018-4-21_20-37-55.png

    The drive on US 12 is nice and relaxing during the off-season, especially compared with the mess you'll encounter once you near Chicagoland. You could stop by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on the way. However, during the middle of the summer beach season, Indiana Dunes will be quite crowded and US 12 will probably have quite a bit of traffic.

    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
    https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/kemil-beach.htm

    In the map below, you can see how (relatively) close Ameristar (East Chicago, IN) and Majestic Star (Buffington Harbor, IN) are located to each other (@5-10 minutes, depending upon traffic). Note the presence of the huge ArcelorMittal steel plant next to Ameristar Casino. When there is a shift change, there could be some traffic.

    upload_2018-4-21_19-57-6.png


    The map below shows Horseshoe Casino (Hammond, IN) and Ameristar (East Chicago, IN), which is the red icon on the map. Either get back onto I-90 (Chicago Skyway) or take local roads. Note that some smaller local roads might be limited to plant traffic. Drive takes @25 minutes.

    upload_2018-4-21_20-11-0.png
     
    #29
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    yacraps likes this.

  10. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    I kinda figured staying away from the immediate shore area might be a bit better since it will be mid july.

    my intentions once I get to Michigan, is to do as little driving for a few days as possible.

    I might go to horseshoe Hammond, I might not. its going to be a day by day call.
     
    #30
  11. KokomoJoe4, Apr 21, 2018

    KokomoJoe4

    KokomoJoe4 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,213
    Likes Received:
    3,375
    Location:
    Cranberry Twp, PA
    I'll get down to the Rivers after work on either Tues or Wed that week, depending on how your travels go. Hopefully the timing will allow me to get home, showered and changed, but if not, who cares?

    Maybe mycoalsmith can get into Pittsburgh when you're there.
     
    #31
    yacraps likes this.

  12. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    looks like my wife is insisting we stop in Youngstown one night so she can hang with her quilting friend out there, so Pittsburgh will be Wednesday night for sure,the 18th
    hey, getting mycoalsmith would be great.

    I did notice a load of hotels near the casino, not making reservations yet, thinking Ill probably not have a problem?
    Ill check out the cancellation policies and it might be a good idea to secure a room soon, I just have to figure out exactly what my wife wants to do.
    her time off is limited, me, I can go and do anytime I want.
     
    #32
    yacraps likes this.

  13. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    been getting bombarded with free room offers and meal comps for may and june.
    unusual for us as may and june seem to be busy months for casinos, guess they all are looking to keep their tables full.
    I just cant squeeze in any of the offers to jive with my trip plans in the immediate future, but its good to see the casinos offering.

    on 4 winds new buffalo website, it explains the reward program, seems exclusively for slot players, so I see little value in getting a players card unless it offers a few bucks off of meals(usually its like a 2-3 dollar discount on buffets and a percentage off at restaurants)
     
    #33
    yacraps likes this.

  14. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    Im probably leaving earlier in the week than I planned, I checked out hotel prices and they aren't bad that week in july.
    Id like to leave earliler so I can hit Hollywood in Toledo, and have more time to drive in case I want to stop off and visit someplace I might enjoy.
    Im clearing my doctors appts, an all other obligations so I can have at least 2 weeks to be on the road.

    amazing how much shit one has to do even though I have no job, no kids, no responsibilities.
     
    #34
    yacraps likes this.
  15. The Midnight Skulker, May 11, 2018

    The Midnight Skulker

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    Likes Received:
    2,888
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    The bills just keep on coming. Had a day job back when that involved quite a bit of traveling to job sites. Even with a better half holding down the fort I would get antsy after 2½ weeks wondering what I forgot to do.
     
    #35
    yacraps likes this.
  16. random_roller, May 11, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    $5 tables during the day usually available with 20x odds at Harrah's & Hollywood in Joliet, Illinois. $10K max odds at Harrah's, higher (I believe) at Hollywood. Or you could drive @3 hours past Chicago and visit the 3 casinos in the Quad Cities (Jumer's Casino & Hotel, Rhythm City Casino Resort, Isle Casino Hotel) and 2 more in nearby (@70 miles north) Dubuque, Iowa (Diamond Jo Casino, Q Casino). Q Casino even has an attached Hilton Garden Inn.

    If you are a roller coaster enthusiast, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH) is a must stop. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland, OH) and Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton, OH) are interesting places to visit along your planned route.
     
    #36
    yacraps likes this.

  17. Liman

    Liman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,208
    Likes Received:
    5,196
    youre a funny guy, drive 3 hours past Chicago..........I want to condense the trip, not make it longer!

    I like places where you can walk to everything.

    I might do really daring and exciting things, like drive thru gary with my top down during nighttime. takes a lot more guts to do that than ride a bull.

    not sure if Ill play at every casino, just hope I can add to my tee shirt collection of casinos I visit.(its always a challenge to find 2x-3x universal size tees in the gift shops)

    the heat can be a driving factor(no pun intended) on where and how far I drive on any day.

    we loved the rock and roll hall of fame, only problem with Cleveland downtown is if there is a game, the traffic comes to a halt, parking is ridiculous, and hotel prices skyrocket, and the rest of Cleveland wasn't that thrilling.
    me, Id find some local lumberyard or sawyer and be thrilled to hang out there and shoot the breeze.
    maybe some furniture builder that would let me take a tour of the factory.
    I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.
     
    #37
    yacraps likes this.
  18. James Hall, May 11, 2018

    James Hall

    James Hall Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    11,001
    Likes Received:
    1,898
    Gender:
    Male
    You may have a point , there are few things in the world
    more dangerous than riding a bull
    Things like
    * going into a firefight unarmed , against a platoon of highly
    trained enemy troops

    *Going sky diving with no parachute

    *VOLUNTEERING AS A TEST PILOT FOR GUIDED MISSILES

    and evidently , from what you say driving around in certain parts of the country
    Well be careful then and avoid those places , we would miss you
     
    #38
  19. yacraps, May 13, 2018

    yacraps

    yacraps Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,585
    Likes Received:
    2,737
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    san diego
    Roller make sure to reserve a spot in Peoria...I think the Longman would luvv the drive to do this :rolleyes:
     
    #39
  20. random_roller, May 13, 2018

    random_roller

    random_roller Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    Just giving you additional options, since you had stated you might be extending the trip by departing earlier.

    Horigan Urban Forest Products -- You probably won't get to visit the saw mill, but the warehouse might be something of interest if you want to spend time away from the casino.
    http://horiganufp.com/

    Calumet Harbor Lumber Company
    http://calumetharborlumberco.com/
     
    #40
    yacraps likes this.