15 Spectacular Day Journeys from Chicago IL

These are one of the best 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 faculty 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 an important base to discover the Midwest (particularly Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan) if you want an escape from town.

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Final Up to date: August 17, 2020

15 Spectacular Day Journeys from Chicago

I do know if you consider the Midwest, you image countless corn farms (there’s that too!). But past the cornfields, it’s a area crammed 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 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 of 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 creator, Ernest Hemingway was born right here and you may tour his Victorian birthplace too. And, for those who want a respite from structure and interiors, you possibly can 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 primary 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 the event you’re not in a rush to get again to town, discover the Skokie Lagoons Nature Protect, the place you possibly can stroll round lagoons searching for wildlife or hire a kayak and benefit from the tranquil waters.

Don’t depart Glencoe with out exploring the village itself. In addition to 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: Mountaineering Trails, Acorn Tram Journey
What to Eat: Manna Kitchen, The Bavarian Lodge, Burrito Parrilla Mexicana

Lisle is a part of Higher 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 lots of of sorts of bushes and crops. Spend a leisurely day immersed in inexperienced forests on any of its 16-miles of climbing trails.

Highlights embrace a delicate stroll across the Meadow Lake or a visit into woodlands through the Heritage Path. You too can see your entire park on the narrated Acorn Tram Journey, and in the middle 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 time out on the seaside? The Illinois Seashore State Park is not any bizarre seaside outing. Situated alongside a 6.5-mile stretch of seaside on Lake Michigan, this state park gives 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 simple Camp Logan Path. Afterward, chill out 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 town the place you possibly can 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 respect the fantastic thing about the wetlands and marsh, an excellent spot for birding and wildlife viewing. Different out of doors actions embrace swimming and fishing. With 50 miles of trails, you might be 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 buildings together with the Bailly Homestead and a collection of homes from the 1933 World’s Honest that 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 fantastic thing about the Kankakee River State Park. Although it’s roughly an hour from town, this someday 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. In case you have a motorcycle, benefit from the 11-mile bike path that follows alongside the river. You too can 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 possibly can’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 possibly can 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. In case 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, Huge Foot Seashore State Park, Black Level Property and Gardens
What to Eat: Fitzgeralds Genoa Junction, Mars Restaurant & Resort, Joni’s Diner

Convey 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. In case you have the power, rent a motorcycle and full the 20-mile circuit across the lake.

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

Once you assume bikes, Harley Davidson instantly involves thoughts. Expertise the historical past of this cultural firm and think about over 400 bikes. Or, take within the dwelling museum of the Mitchell Park Domes, the place crops from world wide 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 for those who love the outside. With 18 canyons and 13-miles of trails, there’s countless magnificence to see from a chicken’s eye view or deep inside canyons.

In style 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 simple 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 simple to overlook 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 chill out whereas sipping a glass of wine on the Fenn Valley Vineyards.

You too can really feel like a child once more as you choose fruit recent from the orchard at Crane’s U-Decide Farm. The totally different seasons dictate what fruit is offered, 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 hundreds of thousands of years, the Apple River slowly carved its method via the rocks, creating the canyons seen right this moment. There are 5 trails for a mixed whole of round 5 miles the place you possibly can 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 every single place making Holland one of many prettiest cities within the US.

Downtown Holland is crammed with charming retailers, 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 enjoyable on one of many many seashores and the Huge Pink 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 a component 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 overlook with over 10 totally different gardens and sculptures by famend artists like Rodin and Degas.

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

In the event 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 america. Tour a duplicate of the Oval Workplace and pay your respects to Ford and his spouse, Betty, at their closing 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 Sources

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

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

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15+ Incredible Day Trips from Chicago IL

Day Trips from Chicago IL

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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 among the prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They imagine that journey could be discovered each close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover regionally. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and at present base themselves in Las Vegas.

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