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Need help getting to parks 'near' Chicago!

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I wanted to visit a couple of parks over the next week in the midwest but as I am a backpacker (Aussie!) I am finding it very hard to figure out how to get to them


I don't have a car and it isn't cheap for one person and public transport seems to be a huge hassle (if I can even find any to get to a park!).


Not sure if this is the right place to ask - but is anyone interested in visiting a park with me in the next week or so? Or have any ideas how one can get there via non car means? Any help would be great - I had my heart set on a short coaster trip before I headed to Canada!


The parks I wanted to goto are:

- Six Flags Great Adventure

- Kings Island

- Michigans Adventure


These just seemed to be close to where I am now (Chicago) but am flexible.


Looking forward to any ideas/replies...

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Honestly, without a car or lots of money, you're probably out of luck. Seeing how you are in Chicago, SFGAm is probably a reasonable possibility, but it might take a while to actually get there. I'm sure some of the Chicago locals might know more, but off the top of my mind, I'd say your best bet would be to take the Metra green line up to Waukegan and take a taxi from there (5-10 miles maybe?).


I'd say you're probably completely sunk on Michigan's Adventure. Sorry, but it's in the middle of nowhere and, to my knowledge, there is no good way to get there from Chicago.


Cincinnati, there is slight hope if you want to spend tons of money. There's a bus line called Megabus that has fairly cheap bus fare from Chicago to Cincinnati, but it takes you to downtown Cincinnati and Kings Island is considerably far from downtown. Public transportation is awful in the U.S. outside major cities (NYC and Chicago are the only decent ones that come to mind) and so it is quite expensive and inconvenient. You could get to Cincinnati for a reasonable price, but a taxi ride from downtown to Mason is sure to cost loads. But even if you can get there, you'll still probably need to pay for two nights in a hotel room because the bus ride will probably take close to seven hours and I'm sure a taxi (or any other form of public transportation) from Downtown Cinci to Mason will take 30 minutes to an hour.


Sorry, I'm sure this probably isn't what you want to hear. Best of luck, though.

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Frist, welcome to the site!


Second, I have to agree with Scott. I think you're out of luck getting any mass transit up to SFGAm. The Metra line Scott's referring to is the UP North line. It doesn't go anywhere close to the park, and that's about the only public transit way to get up there.

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Pace runs a shuttle up to SFGAM, but it is all the way out in Rosemont, or something like that, so while not far from Chicago, it would be a pain to get to it. I'm not even sure where it goes from(maybe the Rosemont Convention Center or All State Arena), but there is no easy way to get to these places without a car. CTA can take you out to Rosemont, but again, you'd have to find a way to where the shuttle is.

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*sigh* - thanks guys/gals... I thought as much!


I used the trip planner and found a 3ish hour and 3-4 different busses/trains to get from Chicago to SFGA... crazy! I'm really surprised there isn't a shuttle bus going there each day... thinking I might try for it though... would need to get up and leave around 6am though to get there by 9am.


mcjaco - thanks for the welcome, always wanted to join up to a site like this but its pretty pointless in australia... I would just drive myself crazy for hearing about all the cool rides and parks but not being able to get to any of them! (until now...)


lol Scaparri - Michigans Adventure is a while away's isn't it... and I also wanted to see a couple of other things nearby as well! Not much hope there I think.


Damm... looks like I might have to bite the bullet and learn to drive on the wrong side of the road... watch out people!

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I realize you said "near" but Chicago isn't all that near KI (5 hours in my opinion isn't even "near").


But as a suggestion for transportation, I know Greyhound runs cheap routes to Cincinnati. Also, Amtrak runs a line from Cincy to Chicago. Only downside, both of these will put you in downtown Cincinnati. Which is about 20 minutes (20 mins. is in good traffic, in bad traffic much higher) down I-71 from Kings Island. So you would then have to travel up 71 to Kings Island.

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Well true, by 'near' I meant anyplace around the Midwest that I can get to within a day. I am in Chicago at the moment, but won't be hanging around here. Have to be detroit in a week and a bit so was hoping to fill that gap with some sightseeing and (more importantly) parks.


So yeah, I can get to the major cities and towns okay, just not sure where to from there! But it doesnt look great...

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Dang, everyone crapping on Cincy. They have a great bus system called Metro, that runs everywhere around the city. You can grab a bus in downtown Cincy that will drop you off in the KI parking lot, it might take an hour for the 20 mile drive, but you can definitely get there with not much confusion.


As far as getting to Michigan's Adventure, good luck with that. There are a lot of TPR members here who you might hit up for a ride part way or all the way. You never know what might happen. I live about 25 mins from KI, but wouldn't be able to shuttle anyone, but you can always try.


Good luck though, that's a rough triple you're trying to pull off, hope it works out for you.

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I was by no means crapping on Cincy. I'm just saying that the Greyhound/Amtrak takes you downtown, not straight to KI (obviously). Therefore, with limited funds (as I imagine they have), it could get add up to do all the additional fees and routes. It's not too hard, but also, not easy. The Greyhound station isn't too far from the Metro station, but it's not the best area to walk thru.. Probably a 15 min walk though. From the Union Terminal, the walk would be much longer. The Metro is probably the best option though once in Cincy.

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The nearest parks to Chicago (big parks) are:



-King's Island


I'll drive you to SFGAM, MIA, and KI depending on the dates and the understanding that we'd split gas. It's very last minute but give me a PM.


Coaster Craze at Valleyfair is friday, july 25th and I was planning on doing that. PM me and we can try to figure something out.

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Well I made it to SF Great America yesterday - 3 hours there, a bit more coming back. A loooong day! Good fun though, very dissapointed in the much advertised 'Dark Knight' ride but enjoyed the Superman and the Velocity rides (amongst others).


Got there by the metra train (to Waukeeke or some station like that) and then asked where the bus was. A nice lady then offered to drive me to the park as she lived close by! Same thing happened to get back to the station so I was pretty lucky to get these lifts... I didn't much like the idea of hanging around the town late at night by myself!


sixflagsguy5 - I sent you a PM, be cool if we could arrange a visit to KI maybe.


Cincy - Yeah I found a bus schedule but it was a little hard to understand... it looked like they had express services FROM the park to downtown cincy in the morning and the reverse in the arvo/night - weird huh?

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