Long layovers, flight delays, and cancellations are dreaded words in any traveler’s lexicon. But being stuck at Chicago’s O'Hare Airport no longer means you are stuck to a plastic seat, stuck in an overcrowded bar, or stuck for hours with nothing to do but wander around the concourses. Thanks to a well-developed retail and entertainment oasis within three miles and shuttle service from the airport to the venues listed below, that layover or flight delay can be part of your vacation instead of an irritation.
You can shop! Fashion Outlets of Chicago is 2 miles from O'Hare and has 130 upscale outlet stores in an enclosed mall. Bloomingdales, Sax Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Forever 21 are anchor stores. Popular retail outlets include Burberry, Etro, and Ports 1961. Herve Leger is the only outlet in the world. Their Guest Services Department is centrally located and meets the travelers’ needs with a real-time flight board, TSA-certified staff who will check your packages to your final destination including international, a currency exchange, translation services, and local delivery service.
You can sleep! Loews Hotel caters to travelers with luxury rooms and suites, fine dining, a state of the art business center, 24/7 room service, and real-time flight boards in the lobby and business center. Loews is across the street from a forest preserve with great hiking trails and less than a block from Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Loews welcomes domestic and international travelers who need a place to sleep or just relax while in transit. Although close to O’Hare runways, the rooms are soundproof and have black out curtains, making the hotel is a favorite with airline flight crews.
You can sky dive! M.B. Financial Park, also nearby and on the shuttle route, has an iFLY indoor sky diving experience, one of 34 around the world. Its 14-foot-wide circular tower contains winds up to 175-miles-per-hour. You can be aloft while your plane is still grounded. Safe for 3-year-olds, elderly, and people with special needs, this simulated, sky diving experience is exhilarating. For outdoor winter fun, the Park has a skating rink and a snow-covered tubing slope.
You can enjoy authentic German beer and food! Also in the Park are several restaurants you won’t find in the airport. A favorite is The Hofbrauhaus, the first German/Bavarian beer hall and restaurant in Chicago that provides a Bavarian beer hall experience with German bands, sing-alongs, and dancing in the aisles. The on-site microbrewery uses original recipes from 400 years ago handed down by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria. Food includes Bavarian favorites such as pretzels with cheese and mustard, schnitzels, sausages, sauerbraten, dumplings and more. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (longer on weekends), after a meal at The Hofbrauhaus you can just say “no” to your next airplane meal.
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