15 Spectacular Day Journeys from Chicago IL

These are the perfect day journeys from Chicago IL.

After 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 after 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 loads to do in Chicago already, however it additionally makes a fantastic 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 stuffed with tradition and beautiful 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 House & Studio, Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, Unity Temple
What to Eat: Pete’s Red Hots, Freddy’s Pizza, Rustico

Oak Park is true subsequent to the West aspect of Chicago. Earlier than the world found Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect spent his early days designing houses 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 House and Studio. Afterward, go to his Unity Temple, thought-about to be the primary trendy constructing in historical past. Then, take a stroll round a small part of Oak Metropolis to understand Wright’s 25 houses nonetheless standing.

There’s a couple of well-known resident from Oak Metropolis. Famend writer, Ernest Hemingway was born right here and you’ll tour his Victorian birthplace too. And, should you want a respite from structure and interiors, you’ll be able to benefit from the unique crops on the Oak Park Conservatory.

2. Glencoe, Illinois

Distance: 24.Three mi / 31 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Chicago Botanic Backyard, Skokie Lagoons, House 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 straightforward day journey from Chicago. The principle attraction is the Chicago Botanic Backyard. Spend the day in any of the 27 gardens and cease to scent 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’ll be able to stroll round lagoons in search of wildlife or hire a kayak and benefit from the tranquil waters.

Don’t depart Glencoe with out exploring the village itself. Moreover charming boutiques and eating places to peruse, there are historic houses, together with 13 by Frank Lloyd Wright, and probably the most well-known home within the space that was featured in House Alone.

3. Morton Arboretum, Illinois

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

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

Highlights embrace a mild stroll across the Meadow Lake or a visit into woodlands by way of the Heritage Path. You can even see the complete 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, Climbing Trails, Fishing
What to Eat: Taqueria Los Naranjos, The Shanty

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

Discover the realm 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 one of the vital 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, Climbing 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’ll be able to breathe within the contemporary air. Sand dunes hug the shore alongside a 15-mile stretch of Lake Michigan.

Benefit from the cowl of black oak forests or recognize the fantastic thing about the wetlands and marsh, a great spot for birding and wildlife viewing. Different out of doors actions embrace swimming and fishing. With 50 miles of trails, you’re certain 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 constructions together with the Bailly Homestead and a sequence of homes from the 1933 World’s Honest that you may 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, Climbing, Canoeing
What to Eat: Burgers & Beer, BrickStone Brewery, New York City Deli

Unspoiled landscapes make up the fantastic 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 fantastic thing about the canyon partitions that includes a waterfall. When you have a motorcycle, benefit from the 11-mile bike path that follows alongside the river. You can even hire 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 chicken watching and climbing any of the 22 miles of trails. Hikes you’ll be able to’t miss embrace Turtle Pond (4.Zero miles), Prairie Creek Woods Loop (2.Zero miles), and Henslow’s Path (5.Three miles). You can also’t depart 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’ll be able to 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. When you 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, Massive Foot Seashore State Park, Black Level Property and Gardens
What to Eat: Fitzgeralds Genoa Junction, Mars Restaurant & Resort, Joni’s Diner

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

On Lake Shore Path, you’ll move mansions from the Gilded Age. When you have the power, rent a motorcycle and full the 20-mile circuit across the lake.

To see how individuals lived in splendor up to now, take a tour of the Black Level Property and Gardens or loosen up at Massive 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 gives guests a cultural expertise inside with its huge assortment (together with the biggest assortment of Georgia O’Keefe) however the outdoors leaves you in awe with its trendy design and moveable wings.

While you suppose bikes, Harley Davidson instantly involves thoughts. Expertise the historical past of this cultural firm and examine over 400 bikes. Or, take within the dwelling museum of the Mitchell Park Domes, the place crops 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 should you love the outside. With 18 canyons and 13-miles of trails, there’s limitless magnificence to see from a chicken’s eye view or deep inside canyons.

Widespread trails embrace 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 climbing trails inside 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 Facet County Park, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Crane Orchards
What to Eat: Blue Goose Café, Salt of the Earth

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

You can even really feel like a child once more as you decide fruit contemporary from the orchard at Crane’s U-Choose Farm. The totally different seasons dictate what fruit is on the market, 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 way of the rocks, creating the canyons seen at present. There are 5 trails for a mixed whole of round 5 miles the place you’ll be able to spend the day in serenity.

14. Holland, Michigan

Distance: 150 mi / 2 h 31 min
Issues You Can’t Miss: Downtown, Windmill Island Gardens, Massive Crimson 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 go away 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 stuffed 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 shade 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 Massive Crimson Lighthouse, probably 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 website is an expertise you gained’t neglect with over 10 totally different gardens and sculptures by famend artists like Rodin and Degas.

Persevering with your inventive expertise, traverse Calder Plaza to behold the mammoth, crimson 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 duplicate of the Oval Workplace and pay your respects to Ford and his spouse, Betty, at their remaining resting place on the museum grounds.

Extra Chicago Day Journeys Beneath 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 Greatest Day Journeys from Chicago

Greatest Locations to Keep

Extra Assets

  • 60 Hikes Inside 60 Miles: Chicago: Together with Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana
  • Japanese USA Journey Information
  • Chicago Journey Information
  • Rand McNally Street Atlas

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

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15+ Incredible Day Trips from Chicago IL

Day Trips from Chicago IL

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

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Native Adventurer, which is without doubt one of the prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They consider 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 present base themselves in Las Vegas.

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