Chicago, Illinois, is a city full of soul. With high-rise buildings, modern and elegant restaurants and over 500 green parks, Windy City offers plenty to see and do. The city is a welcoming retreat all year round, and once you’re in Chicago, you’ll frolic at the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, watch the stars at the Doane Observatory in the Adler Planetarium, and get your culture fix at the Chicago Institute, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States.
But if you feel like taking a break from the city during your action-packed vacation in Chicago, it’s a good idea to take a quick day trip. And fortunately, the possibilities are endless. Families can drive to Rockford or hike to Oglesby, one of North America’s most beautiful national parks. Fancy a tasty gastronomic experience? Then head to Fennville, Michigan, for an incredible wine tasting weekend.
Before boarding a train or flying to Chicago O’Hare or Midway airports, check out our list of the 8 best day trips from Chicago.
The 6 Best Day Trips from Chicago
Best Day Tour, Start In Chicago By Train: Cedarburg
Drive from Chicago to Cedarburg take about 3 hours by bus and cost you from 27 to 58 one-way. To fully enjoy Cedarburg with its theatres, museums and more, visit the Sainte-Jeanne-D’Arc Chapel, the Manoir de Pabst and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. To add to these historical and religious sites, go to Covered Bridge, which was one of the few covered bridges in the state of Wisconsin that was around 40 covered bridges, and goes back to 1876. Explore the Ozaukee Intercity Trail from Milwaukee to Random Lake to have fun with the kids and discover their history.
Best Family Day Trip From Chicago: Rockford
Rockford is one of the best options for family day trips. Just 100 miles away is the Discovery Center Museum. This center offers more than 300 exhibitions ranging from electricity to flights to art.If you are looking to have fun with the family, Volcano offers Tombe karts, un laser tag and even mini golf to make every child’s dream come true. After the kart races and maybe even NASCAR-sanctioned trucks at Rockford Speedway (the only one in Illinois!), you can eat an Italian pizza in the restaurant of Lino or Francesco.
To get your dose of nature and physical activity, go to Japan’s Anderson Gardens, which is a must in the cherry blossom season in April. Filled with beautiful flowers, imposing trees and two picturesque Koi carp ponds, accessible by beautiful paths, the Japanese Anderson Gardens can surely offer you the quiet end of your journey.
Best Day Trip From Chicago: Oglesby
Oglesby is home to several hiking and BIKING trails and is located between Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Parks. The city is an excellent day trip to depart from Chicago if you’re looking for fun, because it offers a wide range of outdoor activities including trekking, kayaking, horseback riding, ponies and traveling on river rafts.
For an adrenaline-fueled family time, visit Starved Rock State Park with 13 miles of hiking trails. This wilderness has been home to humans since 8000 BC, when the Hopewellian, wooded, and Mississippian Native American cultures arrived and lived there. From the 1500s to the 1700s, Illinois (Indian tribe) lived here until the French arrived and the country returned in the first half of the 17th century. Starved Rock State Park was named after an American legend that the Allied tribes of Potawatomi and Ottawa surrounded and held the ground until the ill-fated Illinois starved to passed away, so the park was given the name Starved Rock State Park.
Although the visitor center is currently closed, you can watch Bald eagles, hike (even with dogs on a leash) and choose trails from 1 mile to 3 or combined walks of 10 miles, depending on your preferred activity level. You can also go fishing, boating and hunting in the summer, or climbing and cross-country skiing locations in the Matthiessen Dells Region, on the weekends of December to March. The possibilities for active time outdoors are endless!
Starved Rock State Park is located within the borders of Illinois and can be reached in 2 hours by car or by train and bus (also by night bus every day) through Ottawa. The reserve has 18 gorges, some of which are closed during the current coronavirus pandemic, and you must wear the mask. However, the Park is currently open, and offers picnic facilities, with playgrounds for children, as well as other attractions.
Best Cultural day trip from Chicago: Milwaukee
Milwaukee is only 1.5 hours away by train (every 2 hours on weekdays), but you can also get on the bus and get to Milwaukee in 2 hours. The city is the ultimate destination for those who love department stores, cafes and restaurant culture. After a walk along the Milwaukee RiverWalk, stop at one of the many excellent restaurants-we recommend buying pancakes and mimosas at the SweetDiner or taking refuge at the Milwaukee Public Market to enjoy a seafood snack in St.Paul Fish Company.
If you love art and culture, Milwaukee RiverWalk also houses many rooms in its outdoor gallery, but for those who want to learn more about the city’s history, colorful explanatory boards are placed along the RiverWalk.
If you’re taking kids with you, be sure to visit the Milwaukee County zoo and Discovery World and opt for sweet treats such as hand-soaked chocolate with sweeping candy. So you want a sweet treat for yourself? The wine thief the Boutique and the Bar you will discover the wine-making traditions of the old world. You can also try the most amazing grain cheese in the brewery on the lake.
Best Romantic Day Trip From Chicago: Madison
Located between two lakes, Madison is full of beautiful sights, alongside cheese and beer. The university town offers excellent prices for those who want to save their gastronomic experiences and see everything. While you don’t compromise on beautiful places to take over your weekly Instagram post. You can rent a bike at the B-cycle stations that offer 30-minute rides, or a budget bike center starting at $10 for the whole day.
If you are walking through the city, be sure to include a visit to the smallest lake, Lake Monona, to enjoy the romantic and picturesque scenery. Then bring your loved ones to The Malt House brewery, known as the Craft beer oasis and dating back to the Civil Debate era. You can also try the amazing Wisconsin cheese at Capitol Square and cheese in grains at Vern’s Cheese Inc.buy. in Chilton. Fresh and with beer in a mix of baby / blonde, this curd will be a real gastronomic delight.
Madison is 122 miles from Chicago, Illinois, and the best sustainable travel options to get there are bus rides. They will take about 3 hours, and you can also choose a combination of train and bus (with a change to Milwaukee for the bus – again, you can bring your fido on Amtrak trains). You can visit Madison from$10.
Best Day Trip From Chicago: Fennville, Michigan
One of the best day trips from Chicago, Illinois, is Fennville, the perfect retreat for those who love mulled wine and cider. Some of the best things you can do in Fennville are wine tasting in the vineyards of the Fenn Valley and head to Virtue Cider and Blue Star Farms to sample apple farm cider in Michigan while indulging in hand-picked blueberries. Black Star Farms has wine tasting rooms and a distillery, so you need to book the tour in advance.
Fennville is 140 km from Ville des vents and it takes about 2 hours by car or 3 to 4 hours by bus or train to get there. Depending on the mode of transport, it costs 6 62-8 82 one-way.
Best Day Tour In Summer, Departure From Chicago-Michigan City
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Michigan City offers exciting summer activities. When the weather is pleasant and warm, visitors and locals head to Indiana Dunes National Park, located 15 miles from the shores of Lake Michigan. Perfect for a while in nature, the park includes nine beaches, 50 miles of hiking trails, dunes and rivers.
After enjoying the endless outdoor activities of Indiana Dunes National Park, you should visit some of Michigan City’s major attractions, such as the Michigan City Lighthouse and the 19th-century Grand Manor Barker.