Pokemon Go Fest Info — How to Get There

A little bit off the usual stuff here, but I’m going to Pokemon Go fest, And I think a lot of people are going run into problems which I’d love to minimize if possible. I’m not a CTA employee, but your’e going to find public transit will be very useful during Go Fest, so I thought I’d give you real direction to get to Go fest.

If you are going, and if you got the map they give you with the wristbands and QR codes, you are expecting something you are not going to get.  The space for the event is not as square as the map appears to be. It is a long, thin  waking course instead.

 

The yellow on this map is Go Fest.  This is based on data from Chicago’s Data portal for park district permits.  https://data.cityofchicago.org/Events/Chicago-Park-District-Event-Permits/pk66-w54g

But more importantly, if you bother to look at how to get there on the back of the map you got, there’s some problems. The map tells you to take the train to Go Fest. Except it doesn’t tell you are still  half mile to mile  and a quarter (0.8 – 2km) away from Go fest, and does not give you directions past that point.

So Unless you want to hatch 2K eggs and see a few Chicago Neighborhoods I’m going to give you those directions. Chicago is my hometown, and I want to greet you all right.

When you leave go fest, you can use the direction for the other entrance to get you home. South Entrance people will be exiting from the North Entrance, so you might want to know about the 151 southbound  and 77 bus for example.

Arriving at the airports

You may be coming through one of our two airports. O’Hare and Midway.  Let me tell you about public transportation there.

O’Hare International Airport.

At O’Hare You’ll be taking the Blue line.  the train station is under the parking garage at about Terminal 2.  If you are  a domestic flight, You’ll see signs from the baggage claim for the train.  Follow the signs to the train.

If you are at Terminal 5 from an international flight, you’ll have to take the people mover to Terminal 2.  Follow the signs once you get to Terminal 2  and you’ll get to the train.

Once there you’ll find machine labeled Ventra where you can get your transit pass. I’m not 100% sure, but I do believe you can get a 1 and 3-day pass right here.  This is there end of the line so follow the signs to whatever train is boarding next.

For hotels, You’ll probably be getting off at one of the Stops between Chicago and Jackson. Check your hotel for the best stop.

 

Midway

Midway Airport is the smaller of the two airports in Chicago. Found on the south side, it also has a train line connecting to downtown, the Orange line. Like O’Hare you’ll find signs directing you to the train, which might seem odd to get to. It is down down a long passageway to the station behind the parking garage. Again you’ll find Ventra machines for passes(see below for more), and since you will need a transfer if you are staying north, I highly suggest this over using Apple Pay, or other mobile pay options which may end up  charging  you two full fares. Take the train downtown.  This is one of the elevated loop trains, and it only goes as far north as Lake Street. If your hotel is around the loop, contact them  or check a maps app for the best stop.

If going  more than a few blocks further north you might want to take the Red line north to Grand or Chicago Avenue.The red line runs underground downtowns depending where you transfer can be a pain.  Transfer the Red line at Roosevelt, which is the easiest stop to transfer. The other two transfer Stops, Harold Washington Library and Clark/Lake  will require you to exit the  station, walk on the street a bit and then go down to the red line station and tap your Ventra card again to go through the gates to the tracks. For train transfers this should be free, but only with the card.  Its still a pain, which is why I prefer Roosevelt. 

Walking

Some of you Staying at hotels on the North Part of Michigan Avenue, I’ll suggest walking. If your hotel is 700 North (Chicago Avenue or the Water Tower Gym) or more and you got a South entrance ticket, walking is a option you should consider. I’d suggest walking north on either Michigan avenue, State street or Dearborn until you get to the park.  Follow the paths north to one of two pedestrian underpasses. You’ll find Go Fest  on the other side of the underpasses.  This weekend is also Garden Walk. Many of the houses on State and on Dearborn you’ll pass will  be trying to outdo themselves in garden presentations.

There’s another route to take if you really are into walking – The lakeshore path.  There is an underpass at Michigan and Oak streets, one at Chicago Avenue  and lake shore Drive and one at Ohio and Lake Shore drive.  This is a five- seven mile long (depending how you count)nest in case you haven’t caught enough mons. The nest during go fest weekend is Aipoms. If you want to grind for Stardust, a walk along the lake is a must.

The lakeshore path is an active bike path, with many people training for triathlons, so be careful of fast bikes.

To get to Go Fest on the trail,  head north from downtown.  For the South entrance, take the Pedestrian overpass into the park, not far from what looks like a grounded freighter but is the restrooms and restaurant for North Avenue beach . For the north entrance if you really want to walk there, exit at the Barry pedestrian underpass just before Belmont Harbor.

My Preferred Transit: CTA Buses

The rest of the options I’ll give you requires public transportation.  You’ll need either a Ventra Card, which you can get at the El  (aka subway, Rapid transit) stations or most drugstores like Walgreens or CVS.  You can also use Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay directly.  For more on Ventra cards see here: https://www.ventrachicago.com. For more on using one of the mobile device pay options, see here

The big thing I’ll tell you if you want to save yourself from walking until you take your 4k Walk in the park is to take the bus.  There’s four routes that are important: 22,36, 151 and 156.  As you should know by now there is a south entrance and a North entrance. Since you’ll end at the other entrance,  pay attention to the bus stops to get home.

North Entrance Buses

There is more than  a few of you staying at downtown hotels. For the North entrance from downtown, your best bet is take the 151  northbound bus headed to either Belmont/Halstead or Devon/Clark.   In the Loop  you’ll find it on Dearborn until Washington, where it heads east over to Michigan Avenue and keeps on that along most of the hotels. You can also take a northbound 156 Belmont/Halsted bus from Lasalle Street.

For both the 151 and 156, Get off at Wellington, and walk east (same side of street)  a block in towards the park.  tothe Hug Tile or Dragonfly Sculpture Gyms.  (UPDATE: these gyms were deactivated for the fest) The entrance is there, you should see the activity at the end of the block.. 

If you head out a little later, these buses might start to slow down a bit, especially at Stockton after dropping off at the south entrance. If you don’t mind a half mile walk before the fest, you can also take the 36 Broadway to Clark/Devon bus north to Barry.  Walk on Barry eastbound (Barry’s One way, so the way traffic is going)  When Barry ends at at the park, you are there!

South Entrance Buses

For the south entrance, you can pick up a  northbound 151, 156,  or 36 bus  as Iv’e mentioned above downtown.  One more option for the south entrance is the 22 Clark to Howard which you can get on Dearborn downtown. Get off at the LaSalle (Clark/LaSalle 36 & 22 , Stockton/LaSalle 151,156) stop.  Head east towards all the noise into the park. 

By Car: Just don’t…but

Lets talk a bit about parking. Don’t expect there to be any, and it will be expensive.  To the north, there is two  5k/10K races, one in the morning and one in the evening, so Participants will be parking around Motrose Harbor. To the south is Taste of Chicago. One trick you might use is check with local apartment buildings if they have public parking. Especially South entrance people, you can find several garages in the Gold Coast  and Lincoln park that do public parking, some with reservations.  If you do, reserve a spot now. But I’d suggest not going that route and taking public transportation. You will be fighting for the roads  and spots with Taste of Chicago folks too.

Trains for Trainers

For Chicago Surburban folks, One option that might be slow but will get you a short walking distance is to take Metra commuter rail into the city and the 151  or 156 bus from Union Station as I described above for the 151  and 156 downtown. If you come into Ogilvie, walk a few block south to Union Station. If you come into LaSalle, take the 156 at Jackson.

Some will want to take the rapid transit like it says on the map.  As I pointed out this will get you about a half a mile to a mile and a quarter to the station.  Let me give you the best routes.

North Entrance Red and Brown Lines

For the North Entrance,  take a Red line or Brown line to the Belmont stop. Take the 77 Belmont to Diversey/Lake Shore eastbound to Lake Shore Drive/Barry.  This is directly in front of the North Entrance. You can also walk.   It’s a 1.44km/0.90mi walk down Belmont east(towards Ann Sather Garden Gym), then keep waking to the park and turn right into the park. The bus is faster than walking, but on the bus and walking you can pick up supplies from a lot of pokestops along this route, if you haven’t downtown. 

South Entrance Brown Line

For the south entrance, closest stop by train is Sedgwick on the Brown line train, which downtown you can get on the elevated tracks, and almost every train stop is a gym, so they are easy to find.  When you leave the station, walk north a quarter of a block to North Avenue to the bus top on that side of North Avenue. You can either take the 72 North Avenue bus for half a mile To North Avenue and Clark and the history museum. Some buses end here, but some go on to the beach from here. You want to get off here unless you want two security searches.  You can also  walk to Clark Street, past Second City where you’ll see the History Museum.  When you get off the train, you’ll see people in bathing suits with beach gear. Follow them as far as the Museum. They are going to the beach which is just east of Go Fest. Walk behind the museum and you’ll see a pedestrian underpass to the  left of the Lincoln monument. Go through the underpass and you’ll  be there. 

South Entrance Red Line

If taking the red line, Your south entrance  option is either Clybourn or Division, then transfer to a bus or walk. Clybourn is more than a mile. You’ll want a 72 North Ave , which you’ll pick up on the same side of the street as the station and Apple Store.  Division is a bit less than mile, and a 156 Lasalle bus or if you exit on clark a 22 Clark Northbound  will also get you there.

Here’s a basic map around Go Fest to help with transit. you can also check the CTA website for more public transit information.

Also If you have never  been to Chicago on a summer weekend, Check out the Navy Pier fireworks at 10:15PM on Saturday night.  Just head towards the lakeshore, you can see them from anywhere along the lakefront. I actually prefer avoiding the big Navy Pier crowd and being a little farther away.

Hope you have great time in my city and you have a great Go Fest and catch a lot of  cool, rare mons.

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