The Newberry Library is located in the “Near North” neighborhood of Chicago. Just north of the Loop (Chicago’s downtown business district), south of Lincoln Park, and a quarter-mile east of Lake Michigan, this neighborhood is within walking distance of many of Chicago’s best-known attractions. The Newberry is just west of the historic lakefront neighborhood known as the “Gold Coast,” which, as the name implies, is home to many upscale restaurants and stores as well as blocks of beautiful homes, many that, like the Newberry Library, date from the end of the nineteenth century. The famed Hancock Building, the Chicago Water Tower (home of the Lookingglass Theatre), the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Driehaus Museum, and Oak Street Beach are within blocks of the Newberry. Due north is Lincoln Park, home of the Chicago History Museum and Chicago’s free Lincoln Park Zoo. Below is a list of resources to help you navigate and enjoy the area:
Picnic and Recreation Spots:
Washington Square Park (in front of the Newberry Library)
Oak Street Beach (Located directly east of library)
Lincoln Park (north of the library)
The lakefront trail, which spans 19 miles of Chicago’s lakefront, is four blocks from the Newberry Library. The path is a favorite place for cyclists, runners, and pedestrians of all kinds.
Big Shoulders Coffee, 858 N. State, 312-631-3970
Starbucks (many area locations, the closest at 39 W. Division, 312-951-6992)
Third Coast Cafe, 1260 N. Dearborn, 312-649-0730
La Colombe Coffee, 4 E Elm St, Chicago, IL 60610
There are many hotel bars and bars that serve food in the area: Chicago Reader Neighborhood Bar Guide
For a simple choice:
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St (typical Chicago bar, no food service, but it does have a nice patio in the back for the warmer months)
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): From the library, public transportation is available to most areas of the city. The nearest CTA train stops, both serving the underground red line, are located at Chicago Avenue and State Street, about four blocks south and east of the library, and at Clark and Division Streets, about four blocks north. The closest elevated brown and purple line train stop is a few blocks away at Franklin and Chicago. Both underground and elevated CTA trains are known colloquially as “the El.” Bus lines 22 (northbound) and 70 stop (west to CTA blue line and neighborhoods such as Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, and Humboldt Park) at the front entrance to the library, and several other bus routes run on nearby streets, including Dearborn, Clark, State, and Michigan. Buses stop only at locations marked by signs. During rush hours and for destinations farther than downtown, trains often get you there faster than a bus. A downtown transit map will be included in your participant folder.
CTA fares vary with the kind of ticket you choose to use.
- With a Ventra card, available through machines at the airport and most train stations and at certain local retailers and online (ventrachicago.com/retailers/locations), L-train fare is $2.50 (except from O’Hare Airport). You may not use cash to ride CTA trains, though most stations have transit card vending machines.
- The L-train ride from O’Hare costs $5.00; you can purchase tickets at machines at the airport (the same train to O’Hare costs the normal $2.50 fare).
- Only buses accept cash; the cash fare is $2.50 and no transfers are issued. Bus rides paid for with a Ventra card are $2.00.
- You can purchase single-use tickets from machines for $3.00 for use on any bus or L-train (except coming from O’Hare).
- If you plan to stay some distance from the library and use public transportation daily, you may want to purchase an automatically-recharging Ventra card or even a 30-day pass, which permits unlimited rides on CTA buses and trains for $100. Shorter-term unlimited-ride visitor passes also are available for one, three, and seven days. For more information, see transitchicago.com.
Divvy Bikes: Chicago’s city bike share system has stations located throughout the city.
Taxis: Uber, Lyft, and traditional cabs all operate throughout the city.
Parking: The Newberry Library does not have a visitor parking lot. Limited metered parking is available on area streets. Daytime and evening parking restrictions apply, so be sure to read the posted signs carefully. Learn more about how to use the pay meters at www.chicagometers.com.