Welcome to Chicago!
We’ve assembled this “Know Before You Go” information to help plan your travel for the NAPO 2018 Retreat.
Please note, the Q Center in St. Charles, is in the far west suburbs, 45 Miles from Downtown Chicago (The Loop). Travel distance to the Q Center is 35 miles from O’Hare Airport, and 50 miles from Midway Airport. The Q Center campus is about 5 minutes drive from downtown St. Charles. Please consider this in your time and travel planning.
Traffic and Timing
Depending on your arrival time, your travel times to Chicago or the Q Center will vary depending on traffic. During rush hours, travel times can be double or more. Typical Chicago traffic starts to slow each day around 6am, with congestion clearing at 10am. In the evenings, traffic begins to slow starting at 3pm, and subsides in most places around 7pm.
Google Maps estimated travel times for reference:
From O’Hare to Q Center: 40 minutes - 1 hour
From Midway to Q Center: 50 minutes - 1 1/2 hours
Business Casual Dress Code
Even though this year's conference is being promoted as a "Retreat, the recommended conference attire will remain business casual.
Transportation to and from Airports
Arranged and shared ride services are generally more economical than a taxi for transportation from the Chicago airports (Midway and O’Hare). Local driver, app-based ride services (Uber & Lyft) also offer options for shared transportation to and from airports.
In addition to on-demand available Taxis at the airports, you can consult Curb, and official taxi app for City of Chicago. The Curb site offers travel and pricing information for 10 local taxi companies.
For info on the Uber app and services and Uber Cab in Chicago, click here. On this Uber Chicago site you can search airport ride options and pricing. (samples below):
Uber from O’Hare to Q Center: $95-$125
Uber Select 1-4 seat vehicle, $173-$227 for 6 seat SUV, and $141 - $187 for Uber Black (high end service with professional driver)
Uber from Midway to Q Center: $114-$149
Uber Select 1-4 seat vehicle, $208-$274 for 6 seat SUV, and $170-$225 for Uber Black.
For info on the Lyft app and services in Chicago, click here. You can also search online for discount promo codes if you are new to the service. On the Lyft website, you can search airport ride options and pricing (samples below):
Lyft from O’Hare to Q Center: estimated range $59 for 1-2 seat vehicle, $213 for 6 seat SUV.
Lyft from Midway Airport to Q Center: Estimated range $71 for 1-2 seat vehicle, $260 for 6 seat SUV.
A1 Airport Limousine Service is the Q Center’s preferred transportation provider, and the Business Center can coordinate pick-ups, taking advantage of shared ride rates. Attendees requesting transportation will receive a confirmation number and airport arrival instructions directly from the hired car service 72 hours prior to their arrival. Attendees pay driver directly for car service.
American Coach Limousine
From O'Hare to St. Charles:
From Midway to St. Charles:
The Clairvoyants at Arcada Theater, 7:30pm. 2.5 miles from Q Center
Barn Dance at Kuhn Village Barn at 7:30pm (exactly what you think it is) 12 miles from Q Center
Once the Musical at The Paramount Theater at 7:00pm 14 miles from Q Center
If you are shopping for fun and don’t want to drive into Chicago, 3rd Street in Geneva is a great option for a unique shops (most located south of State Street). This is a regional destination of small locally owned shops and restaurants. Don’t skip the Little Traveler or one of the candy shops; Graham’s or All Chocolate Kitchen.
If you forgot something on your trip or want to hit some strip malls or big box stores, head west to Randall road.
You’ll find anything you want between Rt. 64 (Main Street in St. Charles) down to Main Street in Batavia.
If you want to stretch out and get some work done Arcedium Coffee shop is the place to go. There is also a Starbucks in downtown St. Charles and Geneva. The closest Panera is at Kirk Road and Rt. 64 on the East side of St. Charles.
Check out the Brunch Cafe in St. Charles. Mother’s Pancake House is on the east side of St. Charles and DRM European Café in downtown. It also has a Polish buffet at lunch. If you are in Geneva Nosh and Egg Harbor are good spots. Buttermilk is also a popular restaurant in Geneva, but if you want to go on a busy day, make a reservation through the nowait app.
Chicago Food Faves without the Drive
Portillo’s – if you want a quick service restaurant with Chicago flair, this is it. Chicagoans love their Italian beef from Portillos. Salads and ribs are also popular items and hot dogs!
If you need to get a taste of Chicago deep dish pizza without the drive, there's a Giordano’s (if you don’t mind dining in a strip mall).
St. Charles Dining
There are lots of restaurants in downtown St. Charles. For a fine dining experience, check out St. Charles Place or La ZaZa’s Trattoria. For Italian, try Nova Italian. Wok ‘n Fire serves Sushi and PanAsian Cuisine with a great atmosphere – busy, so make a reservation or call ahead. For Mexican, try El Puente. For Indian and Nepali cuisine, try Taste of Himalayas.
Too many restaurants and shops to list. This is a dining and shopping destination for the area. Parking can often be difficult to find (but free) and you may need to walk a bit to your destination (mostly on weekends and in summer). Take a look at the parking maps. This is still a small town though, so really you don’t have much to worry about.
Bien Trucha is a tapas still Mexican restaurant that is very popular, it is also easy to miss on State Street because of its nondescript location. If you can’t get in there, Altiro Fusion has a similar menu.
American Fair: Patton House, home cooking try Preservation (this is a small restaurant), burgers (including a fantastic shrimp burger) at Burger Local. More fine dining, but if the weather is nice, Fiora’s has the best outdoor seating in Geneva.
Farm to Table: Try Niche for a fine dining experience, also on 3rd Street.
Italian: Riganato Old World Grill has a Martini Bar upstairs. Gia Mia is a newer restaurant in Geneva that serves small plates, pasta and pizza. Other good pizza can be found at Cotto A Legna and Doughocracy.
Sweets and Wine: All Chocolate Kitchen serves as you guessed it, chocolate. They also have a lunch menu and a wine Bar called Primo. If nothing else, stop it, and check out the amazing chocolate sculptures. Everything is good there, including gelato. Chef Roby is a celebrity Chef and you might find him there making sugar sculptures. If you want old time fudge and chocolate, check out Graham’s just down a block or so on 3rd street.
Gaetanos, a fantastic Italian restaurant, is about 15 minutes down Route 25 or 31. Splurge and get the Gaetapas, you won’t regret it. Small restaurant, so make a reservation or call ahead.
Get out and Explore near the Q Center:
If you want to go further out, check out Cantigny in Wheaton about 12 miles SE of St. Charles.
Bike Ride: Bring your bike or rent one at Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva and take a ride up and down the Fox Valley Trails. Check out the Japanese Gardens next to the Fox River along the bicycle trail in Geneva, just north of Fabyan Parkway.
Books: Check out local bookstore TownHouse Books and have lunch there as well.
Science: If you’re a science geek, head down to Fermilab National Accelerator Lab in Batavia. More extensive tours of Fermilab are offered on Wednesday morning. See Calendar (15 minutes from Q Center).
Have a group and want to try an escape room? Try iPanic Escape Rooms in St. Charles
Need to relax some more? Try out a Salt Cave – The Salt Escape in Batavia.