For many, O’Hare Airport is a gateway into the Windy City. After arrival, claiming your bags, and picking up your rental, your Chicago experience actually begins, as you must actually navigate your way into the heart of the city. O’Hare is actually located at the extreme northwest corner of the City. To access the greater part of Chicago, you will take I-190 East into The I-90 – Kennedy Expressway East. Be advised that The Kennedy is one of the nation’s worst traffic bottlenecks.
Driving Directions to Chicago Loop From O’Hare Airport
From O’Hare, you will follow signs that read “To City,” which are posted overhead the airport service drives. The airport service drives eventually transition into Interstate 190 heading east for Chicago. You will take 190 East for two miles, before the route ends and directly feeds into The I-90 – Kennedy Expressway East. From this point, you are 12 miles away from the downtown Chicago Loop.
Before the Loop, I-90 will join the I-94 carriageway at what locals refer to as The Junction. After The Junction, The Kennedy will be signed as I-90/94 into downtown. As you approach the Loop, the Chicago skyline will loom large and the Sears Tower will become clearly visible. Downtown exits off The Kennedy will be clearly marked as Ohio Street, Jackson Boulevard, and Congress Parkway.
Driving Directions to North Side Chicago From O’Hare Airport
The I-90 – Kennedy Expressway forms a direct link between O’Hare Airport and Chicago’s North Side. From O’Hare, Interstate 190 feeds directly into the I-90 – Kennedy Expressway. After the 190 merge into 90, The Kennedy transitions into the City of Chicago from the Northwest as I-90/94. Major exits into the North Side are located at IL 19 – Irving Park Road, Belmont Avenue, Fullerton Avenue, and IL 64 – North Avenue.
For Rogers Park and the Far North Side, you will exit the I-90 – Kennedy Expressway at Nagle Avenue. At the top of the ramp, you will turn left and follow Nagle into Milwaukee Avenue. At Milwaukee, you will make a sharp left and a quick right turn onto Devon Avenue. From there, Devon heads directly east into the Rogers Park section of town.
Driving Directions to South Side Chicago From O’Hare Airport
For the South Side, you will also take I-190 into the I-90 – Kennedy Expressway from O’Hare. On the North Side, the I-90 Kennedy Expressway will link up as I-94, before heading into downtown. After tracing the fringes of the Chicago Loop, I-90/94 will enter the South Side of Chicago as the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Immediately after the Chicago Loop, you will observe exits for The I-55 / Stevenson Expressway. The Stevenson connects Midway Airport to Lake Shore Drive via the Southwest Side. Following the Stevenson, you will approach major interchanges for the I-90 – Skyway and I-57. Alternatively, you can pick up surface level streets at Roosevelt Road, 35th, 43rd, 55th, 63rd, 71st, 87th, and 95th Streets off The Dan Ryan Expressway.
Driving Directions to West Side Chicago From O’Hare Airport
For West Side Chicago, you will follow directions into the Chicago Loop from O’Hare, before exiting onto the I-290 – Eisenhower Expressway. From O’Hare, you will take I-190 East into The I-90 – Kennedy Expressway for Chicago Loop, which is twelve miles away from the airport. Immediately outside of the Loop and Sears Tower, you will approach the I-290 – Eisenhower Expressway exits at the Circle Interchange. You will bear right for I-290 heading west into the West Side of Chicago. On the West Side, you can pick up Ashland Avenue, Western Avenue, Kedzie Avenue, Pulaski Road, and IL 50 – Cicero Avenue directly off I-290.
Driving Directions to Chicago Suburbs From O’Hare Airport
As a suburbanite, you can hook up with The I-294 – Tri-State Tollway from O’Hare and I-190 East. The Tri-State forms a circumferential belt around the Chicagoland area between I-80 in the South Suburbs and I-94 on the North Shore. In between, I-294 features major interchanges at I-290, I-88, and I-55. For the West and South Suburbs, you will take I-294 South, which is signed as “Indiana.” For the North Shore, you will take I-294 North “Wisconsin.”
Airport traffic heading for Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Palatine, and Arlington Heights will take The I-90 West Jane Addams Tollway into the Northwest Suburbs. For the Northwest Suburbs, you will follow signs to I-90 West “Rockford” from I-190.