October is a great time to be in Chicago: crowds have dissipated and the weather is generally good. But it’s fall in the Windy City, so be prepared for anything—warmth, chill, or rain. There is an endless supply of fantastic things to see and do, and we will provide recommendations, from food and drinks to walks and exhibitions. But let’s start with where to stay and how to get around. For the best selection and rates, book a place to stay as soon as you register for EPIC2023.
Neighborhoods & Transportation
With so many great Chicago hotels to choose from—and many folks choosing rentals—EPIC2023 doesn’t have a headquarters hotel. We do have some recommendations from Conference Co-chair Evan Hanover, as well as some tips to orient you.
Whether or not you decide to stay in the downtown core, EPIC2023 will get you into a few different Chicago neighborhoods: The Loop (welcome reception), Hyde Park (conference dinner), and Bronzeville (main program). We recommend staying downtown or Hyde Park.
We invite you to get cozy with the public transit icon known as the Chicago L (serious transit wonks can fritter away 2+ hours with a bottle of Malört and this documentary). What better way for an ethnographer to experience a city and ponder the past and future of communities and urban space?
Look for hotels on the Red Line and Green Line, which will take you directly to the Illinois Institute of Technology (main program) without transfer. We recommend downtown neighborhoods (The Loop, South Loop, West Loop) close to these train stations. Hotels on or near S. Michigan Ave are just a block from the Green Line and especially great for anyone wanting to roam (or run) lakeside parks before hopping on the train to IIT. The River North and Magnificent Mile neighborhoods are also a straight shot on the Red Line, but a longer ride.
The Hyde Park neighborhood is home to the University of Chicago, DuSable Black History Museum, Robie House, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, the Museum of Science & Industry (conference dinner) and more. Transit is less direct; unless you’re up for a substantial walk + train or bus/train transfers, you’ll take a 10-20 minute car ride from Hyde Park to Illinois Institute of Technology (main program).
Here are a few recommendations from EPIC2023 Co-chair Evan Hanover. Prices in USD reflect the rates when we looked them up, but of course, rates vary over time/platform.
In addition to your favorite hotel/travel platform, we encourage you to use FairHotel.com hosted by UNITE HERE, a labor union of hospitality workers in the USA and Canada.
- Hyde Park
- Evan says: “Right off of 53rd in Hyde Park, fun University of Chicago neighborhood to explore. Public transit isn’t as direct; the car ride to IIT is 10-20 minutes.”
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
- Downtown/The Loop
- Evan says: “Overlooks Millennium Park, cool remodeling of old Athletic Club. The gorgeous dark-wooded lobby is this Co-chair’s favorite place to work outside the office.”