The most convenient way to get to Urbana from afar is to fly into Champaign's Willard Airport (CMI). It is served by American Airlines with 6 flights in and out per day connecting to Chicago O'Hare (ORD, 5 flights) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW, 1 flight).
To get to your hotel from Willard, you have three options:
- rent a car (see "By Car" for directions).
- take a taxi (recommended)
- Typically, there are cab drivers waiting in the lobby with a sign; vehicles are clearly marked as commercial cabs.
- Taxis charge a flat fee of ~$15 for transport from the airport to destinations in the Champaign-Urbana area.
- hotel shuttle (check with your hotel; not available from all hotels)
Alternatively, you can fly into one of the airports listed below in order of proximity to Urbana. Each of these have on-site desks for the major car rental companies.
- Bloomington (BMI) is a 45 minute drive west of Urbana
- Indianapolis (IND) is a 2 hour drive east of Urbana
- Chicago Midway (MDW) is a 2.5 hour drive north of Urbana
- Chicago O'Hare (ORD) is a 3 hour drive north of Urbana
- St. Louis (STL) is a 3 hour drive west of Urbana
Note that it is possible to take busses and trains from the Chicago airports; see below.
By Shuttle Bus
Another shuttle service, LEX shuttle, provides more runs per day to and from area airports, including Chicago O'Hare, Chicago Midway, Indianapolis, Bloomington (IL) and Peoria, but with less convenient stops in Champaign. The cost of the O'Hare trip (which takes about 3 hours) starts at $28. You can obtain reservations on-line; choose "IL Terminal" as your destination. From there you can get a cab or a city bus to your hotel.
Note that the shuttle services are heavily used by the university students, so it is highly recommended that one obtains a reservation a few weeks ahead of your arrival.
Champaign-Urbana are served by Amtrak with 3 trains daily from Chicago and connections to other cities.
It is possible to take trains from Chicago airports to Champaign-Urbana, though it can be a bit involved, time-consuming, and involves a small bit of walking. (In other words, it's not well suited for people coming off long or late flights; the shuttle option described above tends to be more convenient.) Often a connection to fly into Champaign can be about the same price as the train option. Amtrak leaves from Chicago's Union Station; use the "El" (subway) to get there:
To ensure connections, buy your ticket on-line and arrive at Union station at least 45 minutes prior to your departure time.
Trains arrive into Champaign's Illinois Terminal. From there, one can take a taxi or a city bus. For a bus, use the MTD's trip planner to plan your trip. The Yellow and Brown busses stop close to the hotels and the conference center.
From Willard Airport
If you rent a car from Willard Airport (Champaign), you have quick 4-mile drive to the conference hotels. As you exit from the airport, turn left at the traffic light to proceed north on Rt. 45. Approximately 4 miles ahead is the intersection with Kirby Ave. (which features a McDonald's on the near left corner). Three of the hotels are located at this intersection (see map).
To get to the Hawthorn Suites, turn left into the parking lot just before the intersection. To get to the Hilton Garden Inn or the Homewood Suites, turn left at intersection onto Kirby Avenue, and then turn right into the parking lot just after the Walgreen's. The Hilton will be on your left; Homewood Suites will be ahead of you.
To get to the I-Hotel and Conference Center, turn right at the light onto Kirby Ave. Take the second right onto First St., and pull into the parking lot on your left.
From Out of Town
The conference facilities and area hotels can be most easily accessed by car from Interstate 57. If you are coming from a Chicago airport, you can get to Champaign via I-57. If you are coming from Indianapolis (from the east) or from St. Louis (from the west), find your way to Champaign via I-74, then proceed south on I-57 just west of Champaign.
Take the Curtis Road Exit (one exit south of the I-72 exit); turn left at the end of the ramp to proceed east. At the intersection with Rt. 45 (approximately 3 miles from the interstate), turn left to proceed north. From here, follow the directions from Willard Airport described above.
Parking near the conference
The conference center provides free parking for both hotel guests and conference attendees.