According to Prescott Carlson, author of About.com's guide to Taste of Chicago 2010, the festival boasts of being the world's largest outdoor food fest and attracts over 3 million people every year. That number of participants can sometimes pose a challenge to out-of-towners looking for a place to stay, but at this point a variety of lodging is still available to those traveling from out of town.
3 to 5 Star hotels: In an online hotel search using ChooseChicago.com's online reservation system, the least expensive hotel available was - Hotel 71 which is described on ChooseChicago.com as being "a sleek and sophisticated boutique-style hotel swimmingly located on the Chicago River." Hotel 71 has rooms beginning at $162.68 per night and lists a special offer that includes the guest receiving $25 for Food and Beverage.
The 5 Star Conrad Chicago, which has 311 rooms, will cost you $218.64 per night. They are pet friendly and according to the online reservation search they are offering a parking package when you book with them.
Budget-priced hotels: For those whose budget does not include the more luxurious hotels, there are some less expensive options listed such as the Midway Inn Chicago for $61 per night which also lists a free breakfast, the Chinatown Hotel Chicago for $73 per night (right next door to the Cermak-Chinatown red and green line station) or the Amber Inn Chicago for $80 per night (free parking and just minutes from the US Cellular Field Stadium). Reviews on some of the lesser priced hotels are not as favorable.
Hostels: The hosteling budget travelers have it made. The HI - Chicago Hostel (500 beds) located in downtown Chicago within walking destance of Millenium Park has dorm beds for $28.39 and up. They have a 24 hour reception, no curfew and children of any age are allowed. Internet is available for a price. This hostel is wheelchair accessible. Baggage hold is available at a premium price. No co-ed dorms.
The downtown hostel AAE Chicago Parthenon (130 beds) has dorm beds available from $28.23. They have a 24 hour reception, no curfew, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Parking is $10 per night, but they do have airport pick-up available. They are located 2 blocks from Amtrack and Greyhound. No co-ed dorms.
The Chicago Getaway Hostel (330 beds) is only 10 minutes from downtown Chicago in Lincoln Park. They are within walking distance of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lake Michigan. Parking is very limited and comes with a high price tag. There is a 24 hour reception and no curfew. Dorm beds are available from $27 per night. They offer free Wi-Fi and free lockers (BYO Key). Luggage storage is $1 per bag. All ages are accepted. No co-ed dorms.
The Chicago International Hostel (125 beds) is located near Loyola University. They have a self-catering kitchen, 24 hour check-in and no curfew with the exception of being closed from 10:30am-2pm. Parking is free. Co-ed dorms are available. Internet is available for a price. This hostel allows all ages.
Camping: The Chicago Northwest KOA in Union, IL offers tent and RV camping spaces along with 1-room Kabins. Wi-Fi is free and some animals are permitted. According to CampingChicago.com they are accessible to Chicago via "the 'Metra' train from two nearby locations." Their website boasts of no 2010 rate increases. and prices vary from $35 to $49 for a full hook up, $31 to $47 for water/electric sites, $26 to $31 tent sites with no utilities and $55 to $68 for Kabins. Rates are based upon two campers.
CouchSurfing: For those who are members of the CouchSurfing.com online community, be sure to check the Chicago Group for any special activities. CouchSurfing requests should be done on a direct message basis unless the group has started a specific thread matching hosts with surfers.
The variety of lodging options available allows a greater number of people to enjoy the Taste of Chicago 2010 festival. Other options may exist as well. Readers who are aware of alternate lodging are encouraged to add a comment with details.
Written by Sandi Bird on June 22, 2010