Des Plaines is in Chicagoland. It is an inner-ring, northwest suburb of Chicago with two distinct portions: a suburban northern portion reminiscient of other, nearby northwest suburbs (including Niles, Park Ridge, and Mount Prospect), as well as a built-up southern portion with the businesses, hotels, and other amenities of the O'Hare Airport corridor (much like Rosemont, Chicago's O'Hare neighborhood, and Elk Grove Village).
Des Plaines is served by two stations on Metra's Union Pacific Northwest Line: 1 Des Plaines and 2 Cumberland. Frequent service (as well as some express trains) between 6:40AM and 1:15AM during the week, with less frequent service on weekends.
Des Plaines is easily accessible from anywhere in the country through Interstate 90 and Interstate 294. Both Interstates are toll-roads. Numerous local roads pass through Des Plaines from all directions.
The nearest airport is O'Hare International Airport, which borders Des Plaines. The Chicago Executive Airport is another option. Directly from O'Hare, you can take the 250 Pace bus to many parts of Des Plaines including downtown.
The combination of superior air transportation, good railroads, and a network of expressways continues to foster full development of Des Plaines. Bus, rail commuter, and taxis services are all accessible to and from Des Plaines.
The Metra Train Service provides Des Plaines commuter train service to downtown Chicago. The Union Pacific Northwest Line is the Primary route that goes through Des Plaines.
Bus service is provided by Pace Bus Service.
- 1 Kinder House Museum, 781 Pearson Street (Pearson & E Prairie Ave), ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Su 1-4PM. Benjamin F. Kinder, owner of a hardware store, built a house in 1907. The Kinder family lived here until the 1960s, and the house was already viewed as a historical building of Des Plaines by 1969. The significance of the Kinder House comes from its past inhabitants and architectural style. Benjamin Kinder was the owner of one of the city’s longest-standing businesses, and his son George served as Des Plaines’ third mayor.
- 2 Lake Opeka. A scenic lake along Touhy Ave near O'Hare Airport.
- 3 Maine North High School Bldg, 9511 Harrison St (at Holly Ln). Maine North High School had a short life as a school, shutting down in 1981. But it is permanently memorialized as the filming location for two of John Hughes' most famous high school movies. During the spring of 1984, the school was used in the filming of the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club. In 1986, the interior of the building was used in the filming of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (while the exterior shots took place at Glenbrook North High School). The building is now a district headquarters for the Illinois State Police, Cook County 911 Dispatch Center, Illinois Lottery and offices for other state agencies. The only reminder of the filming is a plaque inside the building, downstairs. Maine North is located in unincorporated Maine North township.
- 1 Des Plaines River Trail. Being in Des Plaines gives you access to this recreational multi-use trail that follows the course of the Des Plaines River all the way up to Wisconsin.
- 2 Rivers Casino, 3000 S River Rd, ☏ , toll-free: .
- 3 Lake Park, 2200 Lee St. This park offers access to boating, fishing, and an 18-hole, par-3 golf course on the shores of Lake Opeka.
- 4 Golf Center Des Plaines, 353 N River Rd. Par-3 public golf course, this time 9 holes and near Des Plaines' northern border. Also features a driving range. Both the course and the driving range are lighted, enabling players to continue after dark.
- 1 Boston Fish Market, 1225 E. Forest Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-8PM. Legendary seafood restaurant hidden away on a dead end street. If you come on a nice summer evening, be prepared to wait up to an hour. Even in bad weather, wait time can be around 20 minutes. $15-30.
- Dotombori, 1526 Miner St (at River Rd), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5-9:30PM, Sa Su 5-10:30PM. A little pricey, but happy hour is 5-6PM, and sushi is half-price.
- Giacomo's, 740 N Wolf Rd (just north of Central), ☏ . Tu-F 11AM-10PM, Sa Su 4-11PM. Family-owned. Has great Italian-American food.
- Dung Gia - Annam, 1436 Miner St, ☏ . Authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Lunch specials: $6.95-7.95; soups: $7.95-11.95, salads: $8.95; rice dishes: $7.25-11.95; other prices on the menu are similar.
- 2 Paradise Pup, 1724 S River Rd, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-5PM. Featured on Guy Fieri's television show, this burger joint attracts a lot of people so be prepared to wait in line.
- Miner Street Tavern, 1492 Miner St (downtown Des Plaines next to the Sugar Bowl and across from the Metra Stop), ☏ . Su-W varies but usually open until 2AM, Th-Sa open until 4AM. Neighborhood bar full of locals. Occasional theme parties that are too hilarious too miss. Cheap drinks and daily specials. Small, narrow, and dark. Dart board and juke box make for a good time. Under $10.
- Comfort Inn O'Hare, 2175 E Touhy Ave, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. On-site restaurant, free breakfast, free 24-hour O’Hare airport shuttle, fitness room, and free Wi-Fi. About two miles from the airport. Rooms from $90.
- Wyndham Chicago O'Hare, 1450 E Touhy Ave, ☏ . About 1.5 miles from the airport. Rooms from $105.
- Courtyard Chicago O'Hare, 2950 S River Rd, ☏ . About 4 miles from Chicago O'Hare airport. Hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to the airport, on-site restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center and meeting space.
- 1 Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood St (next to Metra station). M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM.
- Belize (Honorary), 780 Lee St Unit 109, ☏ . Su-F 9AM-5PM.
|Routes through Des Plaines|
|Rockford ← Arlington Heights ←||W E||→ Rosemont → Chicago|
|Milwaukee ← Glenview ←||N S||→ Park Ridge → Gary|
|Lake Geneva ← Mount Prospect ←||W E||→ Rosemont → Chicago|
|Harvard ← Mount Prospect ←||W E||→ Park Ridge → Chicago|
|Milwaukee ← Mount Prospect ←||N S||→ Rosemont → Tinley Park|
|Ends at ← Elk Grove Village ←||W E||→ Park Ridge → Ends at|
|Harvard ← Mount Prospect ←||NW SE||→ Park Ridge → Chicago|