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Getting around without a car

by soodyer Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 4:26 AM

Due to visual problems I'm not allowed to drive. My husband will be working in Gurnee for a couple of months and I'm hoping to come over for a good part of that time.

We tend to favour Holiday Inn's as he is platinum in their loyalty system. My question is - will I be able to get around on foot or by cab? Mall's etc look close on maps but aren't always pedestrian friendly. Any tips would be greatly appreciated for someone on foot to fill in their days. I'm quite happy walking a mile or so as long as it is safe.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by Dabs Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 6:51 AM

    I'll try to remember to look today when I'm up there but I'm not finding a Holiday Inn in Gurnee. The closer you are to Gurnee Mills, the better, I don't think there is a grocery store at Gurnee Mills but there should be one in the general vicinity. The street Gurnee Mills is on is a very busy road (Grand Avenue) but there are traffic lights. There is an exit for a major highway on Grand Avenue, you'd want to try and be on the Gurnee Mills side of that, not the Great America side of that, Vista (which used to be a Holiday Inn according to Trip Advisor), Comfort Inn and Fairfield are the three that pop up on Trip Advisor's interactive map.

    Not being able to drive in that part of the state is a real downer, I'm wondering if you would be comfortable enough to go to downtown Chicago on your own if it might not be better to try and stay near one of the Metra train stations so you could go into Chicago during the day, going to Gurnee Mills would get old fast. I'm sure though that any hotel can give you info on Pace buses or taxis to get you to a train station

    Libertyville is up in the same general area as

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by riorich55 Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    I'm going to assume that you are going to be staying at the Holiday Inn just off Grand Avenue in Gurnee. The Gurnee Mills Outlet Shopping Mall is immediately across the street. But, and this is a big but, Grand Avenue is an especially busy road. And crossing it would be a challenge even with the stop lights. Usually the Holiday Inn's do have shuttle vans. I would strongly suggest that if they do you ride that to the mall. There are some stores on the Holiday Inn side of the road that you could walk to. Most of the other things on that side of the road (south side of Grand) are residential. My aunt and uncle live in that residential area and I believe there are a few parks.

    Other then that there is not all that much to do without a car. It is very near the Wisconsin border about halfway between downtown Chicago and downtown Milwaukee (about 45 miles to either city, but unfortunately unless you can get to the train station in Waukegan (a suburb east of Gurnee) where you could catch a train to Milwaukee or Chicago there won't be much to do.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by riorich55 Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    Good morning, Kristi!

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  • soodyer's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by soodyer Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    Thanks for both very helpful replies. I will give some research and thought to staying nearer to one of the stations. Hub will be working in this area and doesn't want a long commute every day. I'm pretty easy to please as long as I have some audio books on my ipod and can get a stroll and to the cinema a few times a week. I'll look for a place with a pool so I can get some fitness training in. Thanks again for taking the time to reply. Sue

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    Re: Getting around without a car

    by Dabs Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    Rich, I think that's the Holiday Inn that turned into the Vista, if you look at HI's website they don't have a hotel listed in Gurnee, the closest ones that come up are Waukegan (there are some bad areas there so be careful) and Libertyville.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by riorich55 Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    You are absolutely right Kristi. I guess I need to visit my Aunt and Uncle more often.

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    Re: Getting around without a car

    by riorich55 Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    Sue, what is the farthest in either time or distance that your husband would feel comfortable with? We could possibly offer you some additional choices if we knew that.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by Dabs Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    The Holiday Inn in Libertyville has an indoor pool and is a mile from the Libertyville train station, 6 1/2 miles from Gurnee

    hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/l...

    The Holiday Inn in Waukegan also has an indoor pool, it closer to Gurnee but further from the train station

    hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/w...

    If you come up with some other choices, come back and I can try to have a look at them as I'm up that way at least every couple of weeks.

    The major highway that runs to Gurnee is a tollway, if your husband plans on using it, look into an I Pass, it will save time and money as the tolls are double for cash, there is open tolling (no toll gates) with an I Pass

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  • soodyer's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by soodyer Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    My hub will be working at Huntsman which I believe is in Ringwood. That looks like a 40 minute commute from google maps, he's not here at the moment but I guess he picked Gurnee as the nearest bigger town. I'll ask him what he's comfortable with commuting distance. thanks again, this is very helpful.

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    Re: Getting around without a car

    by soodyer Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Sorry, discount that last post re Ringwood. I put 2+2 together and came up with 5! He is in Gurnee so the two places nearby would be suitable. thanks!

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by riorich55 Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Learn something new everyday. I'd never heard of the small town of Ringwood. But actually with that location you are nearer to the town of Crystal Lake which has a Holiday Inn.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting around without a car

    by Dabs Online Now Jul 31, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    For what it's worth, I had a look at the Vista Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) in Gurnee, you could theorectically walk across the street to get to Gurnee Mills and there are a whole bunch of strip malls up there as well but there are no sidewalks that I could see coming from the other side (east side) of highway 94 so it would be extremely dangerous to try to walk from the hotels on that side. You might want to look at the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking any of them. I'd still recommend trying to stay near a train station esp. if you will be here for over a month.

    Metra's Union Pacific North line runs to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, you get off at the Braeside stop, directions on the attached link. Waukegan would be the closest station to Gurnee. That line also stops in downtown Highland Park which has some shops and restaurants you can walk to and Ravinia which is an outdoor concert venue, I think the season ends in September. Downtown Evanston is also a place you can check out

    chicagobotanic.org/visit/dir...

    Here's a list of some of the other places you can visit on that line, I think the train also stops in downtown Lake Forest which is a very nice town with very old money

    metrarail.com/metra/en/home/...

    I don't know if the Waukegan train station is in a safe part of town or not, I can try and find out for you if you are interested. Many of the towns along that line are very wealthy (Lake Forest, Glencoe, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Wilmette) but Waukegan is a bit more mixed as is North Chicago. Great Lakes is the Naval Base

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