Tips on Attending the Chicago Auto Show

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Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 10:25am

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest indoor auto show in North America. It's also the oldest. If you like vehicles - at all - then this is the show to see!

Here at The Local Tourist we love the auto show and it's become an annual must-do tradition. Over the years we've learned a few things about making it as enjoyable as possible, so here are our top five!

  1. Wear comfortable shoes
    The show covers 1.2 million square feet, so be nice to your feet.
  2. Take advantage of weekday discounts
    Stop by local car dealerships, Fifth Third Banks and State Farm Agents to get a voucher for $6 off the full ticket price. The show's open until 10pm every day, so even if you have to work Monday through Friday you can still make it during the week.
  3. Don't drive
    Sure, it's the auto show, but we don't recommend driving to it! Parking at McCormick Place is  expensive and there isn't much street parking around. What is available has a two hour limit, and you'll need more than that. However, if you park in a nearby lot there will be shuttles.

    The #3 King Drive bus will take you there from Michigan Avenue, but since you're in the Loop you might consider the Metra Electric. It's only $2.75 from Millennium Station and drops you right inside McCormick, although it doesn't run as frequently as the bus. You can also take the Red Line to the Chinatown stop and either hoof it or catch the #21 Cermak bus. There are also a couple of bus lines dedicated to the show and you can find more information on the show's website.
  4. Map it
    Check out a map of the show floor ahead of time and plot your course. 
  5. Relax and Have Fun!
    This is probably the most important tip of all. The show is big and boisterous and loud and c-r-o-w-d-e-d! So allow plenty of time and just relax. There are going to be a few hundred other people who want the same shot of your dream car, who want to ride the cool Jeep track, and who want to test out all the new interactive tools. Think of it like a trip to Great America during the middle of the summer, except these rides you could actually take home!

 Now it's your turn - what are your tips for getting the most out of the Chicago Auto Show?

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Theresa Carter

Theresa Carter is the founder and publisher of The Local Tourist. 

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