Home Holidays & Travelling 15 Spectacular Day Trips from Chicago IL

15 Spectacular Day Trips from Chicago IL

by kyngsam

These are the most effective day journeys from Chicago IL.

Once I was rising up in Iowa, Chicago was the main metropolis close to us. I keep in mind my older cousin taking street journeys and returning with thrilling tales of the large metropolis. It wasn’t till school once I had moved to the South that I managed to go to Chicago for the primary time.

Chicago is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and is a vibrant metropolis well-known for its deep dish pizza, museums, and immediately recognizable structure.

There’s lots to do in Chicago already, but it surely additionally makes an excellent base to discover the Midwest (particularly Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan) once you want an escape from the town.

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Final Up to date: August 17, 2020

15 Spectacular Day Journeys from Chicago

I do know once you consider the Midwest, you image limitless corn farms (there’s that too!). But past the cornfields, it’s a area crammed with tradition and gorgeous landscapes as these day journeys from Chicago will show.

1. Oak Park, Illinois

Distance: 9.1 / 15 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Frank Lloyd Wright Residence & Studio, Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, Unity Temple
What to Eat: Pete’s Red Hots, Freddy’s Pizza, Rustico

Oak Park is correct subsequent to the West facet of Chicago. Earlier than the world found Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect spent his early days designing properties for the residents of Oak Park, and the town is a gold mine for his work.

First, take a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Residence and Studio. Afterward, go to his Unity Temple, thought of to be the primary fashionable constructing in historical past. Then, take a stroll round a small part of Oak Metropolis to understand Wright’s 25 properties nonetheless standing.

There may be a couple of well-known resident from Oak Metropolis. Famend creator, Ernest Hemingway was born right here and you may tour his Victorian birthplace too. And, when you want a respite from structure and interiors, you may benefit from the unique vegetation on the Oak Park Conservatory.

2. Glencoe, Illinois

Distance: 24.Three mi / 31 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Chicago Botanic Backyard, Skokie Lagoons, Residence Alone Home
What to Eat: Frank & Betsie’s Restaurant, Bake Homemade Pizza

The village of Glencoe on Chicago’s north shore is a fast and simple day journey from Chicago. The principle attraction is the Chicago Botanic Backyard. Spend the day in any of the 27 gardens and cease to odor the roses (and all the opposite flowers).

In case you’re not in a rush to get again to the town, discover the Skokie Lagoons Nature Protect, the place you may stroll round lagoons searching for wildlife or lease a kayak and benefit from the tranquil waters.

Don’t go away Glencoe with out exploring the village itself. In addition to charming boutiques and eating places to peruse, there are historic properties, together with 13 by Frank Lloyd Wright, and essentially the most well-known home within the space that was featured in Residence Alone.

3. Morton Arboretum, Illinois

Distance: 26.1 mi / 36 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Mountaineering Trails, Acorn Tram Trip
What to Eat: Manna Kitchen, The Bavarian Lodge, Burrito Parrilla Mexicana

Lisle is a part of Better Chicago, however there’s loads to do to make it a day journey. The Morton Arboretum is a dwelling museum encompassing 1,700-acres and a whole lot of sorts of bushes and vegetation. Spend a leisurely day immersed in inexperienced forests on any of its 16-miles of mountaineering trails.

Highlights embody a delicate stroll across the Meadow Lake or a visit into woodlands by way of the Heritage Path. You may as well see all the park on the narrated Acorn Tram Trip, and in the midst of an hour, you tour the arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands, and prairies.

Morton Arboretum One Day Trip from Chicago

4. Illinois Seashore State Park, Illinois

Distance: 47.5 mi / 1 h 5 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Swimming, Mountaineering Trails, Fishing
What to Eat: Taqueria Los Naranjos, The Shanty

Who doesn’t love a day trip on the seashore? The Illinois Seashore State Park is not any atypical seashore outing. Positioned alongside a 6.5-mile stretch of seashore on Lake Michigan, this state park presents an assortment of landscapes from sand dunes, wetlands, and black oak forests.

Discover the world on any of the 5 miles price of trails together with the straightforward Camp Logan Path. Afterward, loosen up on the sand and uncover why it’s some of the scenic seashores within the Midwest.

5. Indiana Dunes Nationwide Park, Illinois

Distance: 48.9 mi / 59 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Sand Dunes, Historic Houses, Mountaineering Trails
What to Eat: Fiddlehead Restaurant, The Polish Peasant, Mucho Mas

Indiana Dunes Nationwide Park is an ideal escape from the town the place you may breathe within the recent air. Sand dunes hug the shore alongside a 15-mile stretch of Lake Michigan.

Benefit from the cowl of black oak forests or admire the great thing about the wetlands and marsh, a super spot for birding and wildlife viewing. Different outside actions embody swimming and fishing. With 50 miles of trails, you might be positive to remain energetic.

Don’t miss the Dune Ridge Path (0.7 miles), Paul H. Douglas Path (3.Four miles), and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (0.9 miles). The nationwide park additionally protects 60 historic buildings together with the Bailly Homestead and a collection of homes from the 1933 World’s Truthful which you could tour.

Indiana Dunes Beach

6. Kankakee River State Park, Illinois

Distance: 57.Eight mi / 1 h 7 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Kankakee River, Mountaineering, Canoeing
What to Eat: Burgers & Beer, BrickStone Brewery, New York City Deli

Unspoiled landscapes make up the great thing about the Kankakee River State Park. Although it’s roughly an hour from the town, this at some point journey from Chicago will make you’re feeling such as you’ve entered one other world.

For hikers, there’s a 3-mile path showcasing the great thing about the canyon partitions that includes a waterfall. You probably have a motorbike, benefit from the 11-mile bike path that follows alongside the river. You may as well lease a canoe and spend the day on the river.

7. Midewin Nationwide Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois

Distance: 60.1 mi / 1 h 06 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Tallgrass Prairie, Bison Herd
What to Eat: The Launching Pad, Nelly’s Restaurant on Rt 66, New China Restaurant

Midewin Nationwide Tallgrass Prairie is the one tallgrass prairie east of the Mississippi River. This distinctive spot ensures a tranquil day of fowl watching and mountaineering any of the 22 miles of trails. Hikes you may’t miss embody Turtle Pond (4.Zero miles), Prairie Creek Woods Loop (2.Zero miles), and Henslow’s Path (5.Three miles). You can also’t go away with out seeing the wild herd of bison reintroduced into the area in 2015.

8. Dayton Bluffs Protect, Illinois

Distance: 79.9 mi / 1 h 21 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Fox River, Waterfalls, Native American Burial Mounds
What to Eat: Lone Buffalo by Tangled Roots Brewing Company, Sandi’s Bar & Grill, Court Street Pub

A real hidden gem in Illinois is the Dayton Bluffs Protect, the place you may expertise acres of prairies, woodlands, Native American burial mounds, waterfalls, and the Fox River.

As a comparatively new park, you get to really feel such as you’re within the wilderness. A 2.7-mile loop mixes the prairie and woodlands options. You probably have a full day, there are smaller trails to discover within the park too.

9. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Distance: 82.Eight mi / 1 h 31 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Lake Geneva, Huge Foot Seashore State Park, Black Level Property and Gardens
What to Eat: Fitzgeralds Genoa Junction, Mars Restaurant & Resort, Joni’s Diner

Deliver your swimsuit and funky off within the water or take a cruise round Lake Geneva.

On Lake Shore Path, you’ll cross mansions from the Gilded Age. You probably have the power, rent a motorbike and full the 20-mile circuit across the lake.

To see how folks lived in splendor up to now, take a tour of the Black Level Property and Gardens or loosen up at Huge Foot Seashore State Park.

10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Distance: 92.2 mi / 1 h 34 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Milwaukee Artwork Museum, Harley Davidson Museum, Mitchell Park Domes
What to Eat: St Paul Fish Company, Swingin’ Door Exchange, The Vanguard

Milwaukee is famend for its beer, however there’s a lot to find. The Milwaukee Museum not solely presents guests a cultural expertise inside with its large assortment (together with the most important assortment of Georgia O’Keefe) however the outdoors leaves you in awe with its fashionable design and moveable wings.

While you suppose bikes, Harley Davidson instantly involves thoughts. Expertise the historical past of this cultural firm and consider over 400 bikes. Or, take within the dwelling museum of the Mitchell Park Domes, the place vegetation from around the globe thrive in numerous ecosystems.

Downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin

11. Oglesby, Illinois

Distance: 101 mi / 1 h 42 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Starved Rock State Park, Matthieson State Park
What to Eat: Uptown Grill, Haze Smokehouse, Stone Jug Barbecue

Towering sandstone canyons and picturesque waterfalls mix to make Starved Rock State Park, a must-visit when you love the outside. With 18 canyons and 13-miles of trails, there’s limitless magnificence to see from a fowl’s eye view or deep inside canyons.

Common trails embody the Starved Rock and Sandstone Level Overlook Path, Saint Louis Canyon Path, and French Canyon Path.

Deep canyons and bluffs are additionally the dominant options of Matthieson State Park. Comply with the river into the canyon to Cascade Falls. Uncommon rock formations dot the 5 miles of mountaineering trails throughout the park. Take a activate the straightforward Dells Canyon and Bluff Path or go for a extra concerned hike to the Vermillion River.

12. Fennville, Michigan

Distance: 140 mi / 2 h 24 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: West Aspect County Park, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Crane Orchards
What to Eat: Blue Goose Café, Salt of the Earth

It’s simple to neglect time as you benefit from the easy pleasures discovered at Fennville, Michigan. Lose your self within the gorgeous views throughout Lake Michigan at West Aspect County Park or loosen up whereas sipping a glass of wine on the Fenn Valley Vineyards.

You may as well really feel like a child once more as you decide fruit recent from the orchard at Crane’s U-Decide Farm. The completely different seasons dictate what fruit is out there, and the 20-acre corn maze is the spotlight

13. Apple River Canyon State Park, Illinois

Distance: 144 mi / 2 h 23 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Nature Trails, Limestone Bluffs
What to EatJJ & Freddies, Stella’s Café & Catering

The passage of time is fantastically on show on the Apple River Canyon State Park. For tens of millions of years, the Apple River slowly carved its manner by means of the rocks, creating the canyons seen at the moment. There are 5 trails for a mixed complete of round 5 miles the place you may spend the day in serenity.

14. Holland, Michigan

Distance: 150 mi / 2 h 31 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Downtown, Windmill Island Gardens, Huge Pink Lighthouse, Seashores
What to Eat: Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub, El Huarache, New Holland Brewing

Think about touring to Europe with out having to depart the nation. That’s what it seems like as quickly as you set foot in Holland, Michigan. Dutch influences are in all places making Holland one of many prettiest cities within the US.

Downtown Holland is crammed with charming outlets, eating places, and breweries. You particularly can’t miss the magical Windmill Island Gardens the place over 10,000 tulips erupt in coloration in spring. Additionally, take a look at DeZwaan, the one true Dutch windmill within the US, in motion.

End the day by stress-free on one of many many seashores and the Huge Pink Lighthouse, essentially the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan.

Chicago to Holland MI

15. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Distance: 181 mi / 2 h 54 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids Museum of Artwork
What to Eat: Butcher’s Union, The Green Well, The Mitten Brewing Co.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is an element backyard and half artwork museum and is the one spot you shouldn’t miss in Grand Rapids. Strolling within the 158-acre web site is an expertise you received’t neglect with over 10 completely different gardens and sculptures by famend artists like Rodin and Degas.

Persevering with your creative expertise, traverse Calder Plaza to behold the mammoth, purple sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, an icon of the town. Then, proceed to the Grand Rapids Museum of Artwork to understand, not solely the 19th and 20th century artwork, but in addition the primary licensed LEED museum within the US.

In case you’re a historical past buff, step again in time as you discover the museum detailing the lifetime of Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the US. Tour a reproduction of the Oval Workplace and pay your respects to Ford and his spouse, Betty, at their ultimate resting place on the museum grounds.

Extra Chicago Day Journeys Below Three Hours

  • Six Flags Nice America (44.6 mi / 51 min, map)
  • Rockford, IL (88.6 mi / 1 h 31 min, map)
  • College of Notre Dame (94.Three mi / 1 h 42 min, map)
  • Madison, WI (147 mi / 2 h 23 min, map)

Map of the Finest Day Journeys from Chicago

What number of of those day journeys from Chicago have you ever achieved? Any others we must always add to our record?

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“Discovery consists not of searching for new lands however in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Native Adventurer, which is likely one of the prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They imagine that journey might be discovered each close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover domestically. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and at the moment base themselves in Las Vegas.

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