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Cars in Chicago
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Why rent a car in Chicago?
There’s something electric about Chicago, with its signature combination of urban bustle and Midwestern friendliness. Its grand attractions – treasure-filled museums, soaring modern architecture, unparalleled public art, immense parks – are best reached on foot or by public transportation. But renting a car gives you more flexibility to discover the locals’ Chicago.
Where to go in Chicago
Outside the downtown Loop, you’ll find eclectic neighborhoods in every direction, from ethnic enclaves to bohemian quarters to elegant districts of stately townhouses. Each tight-knit area has its own personality, but they all boast leafy streets, cozy restaurants and beloved local dives. Drive to Wicker Park for funky shops, to the West Loop for inventive restaurants, to Ukrainian Village to see indie bands or to the South Side for authentic Chicago blues. Or head out of the city to idyllic college town Evanston and to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces in Oak Park.
Getting around Chicago
Chicago’s straightforward layout – a north-south, east-west grid bounded on the east by Lake Michigan – makes it hard to get lost. A few diagonal streets make useful shortcuts, but left turns are tricky at the six-way intersections. Traffic can be trying throughout the city, especially at peak hours. Parking downtown is limited, but more plentiful in the outlying neighborhoods, though you’ll still need to feed the meters – side streets are often residential-permit only. Most hotels offer parking, but it can be pricey. Taxi drivers can be aggressive. Right hand turns on red are allowed unless there’s a sign stating otherwise.
Chicago car rental locations
All the major rental agencies can be found at the two Chicago area airports – O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW), as well as at locations around town. Wherever you pick up your car, you’ll get a great deal on your Chicago car rental from Hotwire.