Chicago

Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the renowned "Windy City" has been making a statement ever since its incorporation in 1837. Chicago is a cosmopolitan city that has always been on the cutting edge of technology, innovation and fine arts. About 185 miles south of Chicago is Indianapolis, Indiana's state capital and home of the famous Indianapolis 500. Its nickname is "Crossroads of America". There are many roads leading into Indianapolis. This article covers many of the possible ways to get to Indy from Chicago.

What is the distance between Chicago is Indianapolis? About 185 miles.

»Chicago to Indianapolis By Plane

Chicago to Indianapolis By Plane

O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the nation. For example, ORD is home to over 120 food and beverage locations and serves . United Airlines offers non-stop trips starting at $132 round-trip. There are a variety of schedules from which to choose. Other airlines with flights to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) include Alaska, American, and Delta airlines.

Chicago also has another airport: Midway International Airport (MDW) is a much smaller airport. Delta and United offer service to Indianapolis International Airport. Neither airline offers a non-stop flight. Fares begin at $360.

When time is of the essence, a plane ride is probably the most efficient, but probably not the most scenic or exciting. This is a great option particularly for the business traveler.

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»Chicago to Indianapolis By Train

Chicago to Indianapolis By Train

Amtrak has two trains that travel from Chicago to Indianapolis daily: The Cardinal and The Illini. The Cardinal is an evening route departing at 5:45 p.m. and arriving in Indianapolis at 11:50 p.m. This train features a café/lounge car and a dining car. As always free Wi-Fi is available. Prices for a reserved coach seat start at $20 and business class starts at $64. Other options on this train include the Superliner Roomette ($101), which is a cabin with two berths and a Superliner Bedroom ($302), which accommodates two adults having two berths and an en suite bathroom including a shower.

The other train is the Illini. This is an express train that departs Chicago at 4:05 p.m. and arrives in Indianapolis at 615 p.m. Reserved coach seats start at $43 and the business class at $66. The Illini features a café/lounge car and free Wi-Fi. In addition, checked baggage is not allowed on this route.

Traveling by train can be very restful. You can enjoy the scenery and not have the stress of driving intercity streets and highways. Everyone should ride the rail at least once in their lifetime; Amtrak can take the hassle out of traveling.

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»Chicago to Indianapolis By Bus

Chicago to Indianapolis By Bus

Hoosier Ride provides daily bus service between Chicago and Indy. Fares for the 7 hour ride start at $40 depending on the day of departure. The bus departs Chicago at 7:00 a.m. and arrives at Indy at 3:35 p.m. The amenities include reclining seats, air conditioning, and a bathroom.

Another bus option is Greyhound. Greyhound offers service between Chicago and Indy. Fares start at $20 depending on the day of departure. There are several routes from which to choose; the earliest departure is 7:00 a.m. and the latest is 11:50 p.m. The trip averages about 3½ hours. Features on the bus include leather reclining seats with ample legroom; free Wi-Fi; air conditioning with adjustable vents; personal power outlets; restroom; and overhead storage bins.

By Private Transfer Service

Stretch Limousine, Inc. offers service between Chicago and Indianapolis. The fares begin at $345 for a town car and go up to $914 for large passenger van.

Uber seems to be growing in popularity especially in larger cities. This author checked with Uber to see if there were any fares between Chicago and Indianapolis. The answer, yes. Fares are as follows: UberX - $214; UberXL - $401; Uber Black - $790; and UberSUV - $873. This may be a better option for some of the readers.

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»Chicago to Indianapolis By Car

Chicago to Indianapolis By Car

Beginning in downtown Chicago, get on to I-90 south. Follow this route to Gary, Indiana where you will take Exit 17 onto I-65 south. This exit makes a rather large loop, so do not be alarmed. I-65 south will take you right into Indianapolis. It should be noted parts of I-65 have tolls; be prepared with change for these toll booths.

An alternate route is to take Hwy. 41 along the shore of Lake Michigan; exit on to Hwy. 52. Hwy. 52 will meet up with I-65 in Stringtown which will take you the rest of the way to Indianapolis.

Before you head out of Chicago, make sure to see some of the sights that are available. The Navy Pier has a little bit of everything - shopping, dining, boat tours, etc. Another big Chicago hit is the Museum of Science & Industry. From bricks to brains; coal to chicks; subsea to storms; and trains to technology – this museum has fantastic interactive exhibits well worth a visit. Take in a ball game at the historic Wrigley Field; home of the Chicago Cubs. These attractions are just a fraction of what is available in the lovely city of Chicago.

As we head out of Chicago there are a few things on the way to Indy that may draw your attention. On the shores of Lake Michigan right near the intersection of I-90 and Hwy. 41 is the Horseshoe Hammond Casino where you can try your luck at any number of casino games. This venue also has a large theater that hosts many music acts.

If you have the time, as you come in to Gary, Indiana, exit on to Hwy. 12 and head toward the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; stunning views, spectacular trails, wildlife, picnic grounds, bird watching, camping and more. Even though this takes you off the path, it is not every day you get to visit a national dune.

Back on I-65 headed south, the highway crosses over the Kankakee River, near Forest City. There are several vacation resorts and camping grounds in this area: Sun Aura Resort, Ponderosa Sun Club and Lake Holiday Camping Resort just to name a few.

Continuing on I-65, the city of Lafayette, Indiana, has several interesting attractions. This might be a great place to stop and stretch your legs. Here is a list of what is available:

· Celery Bog Nature Area:

· Prophetstown State Park:

· Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Gardens

· Fort Ouiatenon Park

· Columbian Park Zoo

· Birck Boilermaker Golf Course

· Wildcat Creek Winery

Entering Indianapolis, you will pass by the Eagle Creek Park featuring swimming, canoeing, sailing, Dog Park, nature center, hiking trails, and cafe.

Probably the most iconic attraction is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Known as the "Racing Capital of the World" the speedway hosts several renowned races throughout the year including the infamous Indy 500. Also on the grounds of the speedway is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. This is a chance to immerse yourself in all things NASCAR; enjoy a tour of the grounds, take a lap around the track, and see some historic cars. This is sure to be a thrill to kids young and old. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (March through October) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November through February). Admission prices start at $10/adult.

Your interests may lie elsewhere. How about a trip to the Indiana Medical History Museum? This is your chance to tour the two-story pathology building and the grounds of the Central State Hospital. The subject matter may not be appropriate for younger guests. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tours are by appointment only. Call 317-635-7329 to schedule your tour.

The Indianapolis Zoo is always a fun place to visit. The zoo features a variety of animal habitats from deserts to oceans, forests to plains, an orangutan center and the popular zoo babies. Adjacent to the zoo is the White River Gardens. Tickets start at $29/adult and $24.95/children.

Like most large cities, there is a vast variety of restaurants; ethnic to eclectic, bakeries to barbecues, pizza to pancakes, fast food to luxury fare - Indianapolis is no different.

If you like lodging with a homier feel, try out one of the many bed and breakfast establishments. Just off of I-65 are several B&Bs: Villa Inn, Stone Soup Inn, Old Northside B&B, The Looking Glass Inn, and Yellow Rose Inn just to name a few. Further south on I-70 are a few more: Nestle Inn, The Harney House Inn, and Shirley's B&B.

Just as with restaurants, so it is with hotels. Indy offers luxury hotels, family hotels, and budget hotels. No matter what your budget can handle there is a place for you in Indianapolis.

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»Chicago to Indianapolis By Bike or Walking

Chicago to Indianapolis By Bike or Walking

There are a lot of bike trails within both Chicago and Indianapolis. There are also numerous bike trails in Lafayette, Indiana which is in between our two focus cities. This writer could not find a trail that went continuously from Chicago to Indy. Google Maps has two rides that come up on the search utilizing sections of established bike trails. The key points are to make sure you are physically and mentally prepared; have access to plenty of drinking water; plan where you will stay each night; and pack as light as possible so you are not loaded down. Also, pick the right month to travel. Summer months can be extremely hot, so it may be best to plan your trip for spring or fall.

Google Maps also shows a route for walking between the two cities. Again, make sure you are in excellent physical shape and have prepared for a trip of this length.

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Chicago to Indianapolis: Driving, By Plane, Train or Bus