View Full Version : Chicago and Minneapolis St Paul.
16th Feb 2012, 03:39
It seems to be cheaper to fly from AMS to ORD than to MSP and the drive between the two is not especially onerous. Any suggestions as to hotels at either airport or in the respective downtowns would be much appreciated. Any other suggestions gratefully received as well including those that advise where not to go and what not to do.
Thanks to one and all.
16th Feb 2012, 04:46
EAA AirVenture museum is about a 2.5/3hr drive door-to-door from ORD. Well worth the visit. If you make it here to Oshkosh, as well as going to the museum, take the time to drive over to the Weeks hangar where EAA's flying aircraft are maintained & some are restored. It is only a 5 min drive away, and is a glory hole of fascinating aeroplanes :ok:
It takes about 5 hrs from here to Minneapolis by car. Unless you decide to make a detour to the Spam Museum SPAM > SPAMŽ Museum (http://www.spam.com/games/museum/) in which case, it will take a bit longer.....
Do you know when you'd be heading this way? Come & join us (EAA Chapter 252 - Events - Chapter 252 (http://www.252.eaachapter.org/events.htm)) at our monthly meeting.
The Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago is well worth a visit too. Milwaukee's Public Museum is excellent.
16th Feb 2012, 12:41
In regards to hotels, you will find cheaper places around airports. Around Chicago, these tend to be within a few blocks of Midway airport, such as Hampton Inn, etc. Many offer aircrew discounts, plus several have free breakfast. Also, there is a CTA (metro) train from MDW airport direct to downtown (the loop area). In fact, you could take a CTA train from ORD to downtown. In Minneapolis, there are several airline type hotels, and our company stays at the Crowne Plaza, downtown St. Paul. This hotel has a free airport shuttle, and is exceptionally helpful to crews, not to mention a spotlessly clean hotel. Are you bringing wife and kids or going solo?
17th Feb 2012, 05:14
Thank you for your very helpful replies and suggestions. I'm not quite sure about the Crowne Plaza in St Pauls. While I take Trip Advisor with a gob stopper of cocaine to deaden the senses, the poor old hotel gets a thrashing even unto advice not to stay there.
We'll drop into ORD in early May and pick up a rental going straight to Oshkosh for three days and then to MSP. Five days there and then out to the Badlands National Park and Rapid City. That's a realistic two day drive each way from MSP. Then we'll route back, perhaps via the Spam to ORD for four or five days of blues before returning to Europe. I doubt we can do better or cheaper than Marriott Courtyards and suchlike but one can usually book these either the same day as the night stop or from the previous night stop in the same chain on check out.
Any further advice would be much appreciated and thanks again for giving me a couple of really useful steers. I hadn't registered either the Oshkosh/EAA factor nor had I thought of training it int he cities.
17th Feb 2012, 12:37
May is a really pretty time of the year in the Midwest. The trees look like someone has just painted them with a velvet green brush and the colours are very vibrant. We are having a very oddly warm winter - temperatures at least 10-15' warmer than normal, so spring will either not happen if we get hammered with a late winter, or will arrive much earlier than usual. May temps usually can vary from needing a down jacket & gloves to trying to fit into last summer's mysteriously shrunk shorts :uhoh:
Drop me a pm when you are heading towards Oshkosh. If I'm home will definitely try to meet up, if you want :) Best hotel is the Hilton - right on the airport. If you come over the weekend, Pioneer Airport will be open AirVenture Museum - Pioneer Airport (http://www.airventuremuseum.org/flightops/pioneerairport/) It doesn't open weekly until the end of May.
As for hotels... I stay in a quite a few over the whole country on quite a regular basis. The quality of the hotel depends very much on who is running that particular one, not necessarily on the chain/brand name. A Best Western in one town can be fantastic but in another, it will be less so :ooh:. We usually use Hampton Inn, or Country Inn & Suites - they tend to be the nicest without being a crazy price. Staying in MSP recently, the hotel (Marriott, I think) was perfectly nice, but the rooms were tiny in comparison to many I've stayed in. I think it was something to do with being in the area of the Mall of America, where space is at a premium so they are fitting in as many as possible. The Marriott hotels tend to charge for internet. There are also Bed & Breakfasts in some places. Usually very nice, and the hosts are always extremely friendly, and very proud of the history of their home. Google the town name & B&B to find a list.
If you are going to MSP, the surrounding airports have great aviation history & aircraft hanging around. Take a trip to Anoka (KANE) on the north side of town.
The People and Planes of Anoka County | History of Flight | Air & Space Magazine (http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/anoka.html)
Greg Herrick keeps his collection of unique & beautiful aircraft there. It isn't a public museum & may take a little advance planning, (the website suggests emailing in advance to set something up) but I can guarantee you won't be disappointed with your visit - it will be well worth the extra effort. His Tri-Motor is restored immaculately, polished aluminium and just beautiful. Home (http://www.goldenwingsmuseum.com/)
KSGS, South St Paul is where Wipeline Floats are based. As well as a CAF group & some great old hangars.
The EAA calendar, if you are interested in visiting aviating folks along your route, is great for finding out where there are pancake breakfasts & fly-ins. May is normally when flying in the Midwest really starts to come out of winter hibernation, tho' this year has been extraordinarily mild. You could also post a "Hello, I'll be in the area" on the EAA Forum - you never know who might offer you a ride or have other suggestions on places to visit.
EAA - Aviation Calendar of Events (http://eaa.org/calendar/)
EAA Forums (http://www.eaaforums.org/)
I've landed at Rapid City twice. Flying in, it looked like fabulous country to go horse riding in - miles of open space & very few fences. Very dramatic scenery to the west of town, and no shortage of fascinating places to visit.
20th Feb 2012, 17:04
My apologies for not having responded to your kind offer and suggestions sooner than this. Thanks very much and once I've got Memsahib's relatives duty calls out of the way I shall get around to making enjoyable plans that do involve pancakes and planes.
Will be passing through Oshkosh around May 1st on the way up north round the penninsula to Duluth and thence down to Minneapolis. Might just have to give the Badlands a miss. Rapid City is a little further in real time that it would appear in map time, There seems to be so much to do between MSP and ORD that time already runs out. That's one of the great things about the States in that there's always another and quite different trip to be done.
Thank you for the Blaine suggestion and I have written to Golden Wings requesting entry to the museum. We shall have fun if they can accommodate us.
20th Feb 2012, 23:19
In that case, Door County, the "thumb" of Wisconsin that sticks out into Lake Michigan is very pretty to visit too. You can take the ferry to Washington Island, which is nice to visit. There are so many pretty towns up north WI & MN which will all be starting to wake up around then - great places to stay & eat and explore. Eagle River, Three Lakes, Ashland, Ironwood, Houghton, Two Harbours, Apostle Islands, Madeline Island, to name but a few.
5th Mar 2012, 08:59
Stayed here whilst in Chicago.........
Chicago Hotels Downtown - Hilton Downtown Chicago Hotel, IL (http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/CHICHHH-Hilton-Chicago-Illinois/index.do)
A last minute deal, so really very good! Sister live in Clarendon hills in Chicago...and we needed a break.........