Being able to get away from the city for the day is always an adventure, because even though Chicago is a city full of great things to do, city life can get to you. Around Chicago there are some pretty incredible destinations that appeal to all types and interests, and because they are only a couple hours away you can go and come in a day. Decide what it is you want to do for the day away from the city and then choose a destination based on what they are known for.
Whether you want to stroll through a small town, take a ride down a river, see Lake Michigan in a different way or shop your heart out, there is something within a day’s journey of Chicago to enjoy!
The city of Aurora has changed so much in just the last five years, making it into a destination for everyone. The addition on the new, state of the art River View Music Park is changing the way Aurora celebrates music and summer, bringing artists big and small out to the suburbs of Chicago. Aurora has it’s own downtown shopping area, where you can stroll around to shop or get a look at the interesting architecture that still exists from the time Aurora was established. If you don’t want to drive, hop a train out to Aurora where you can attend a festival, bike the Prairie Trail, rent a kayak, visit the casino or shop the Chicago Premium Outlets.
St. Charles and Geneva
St. Charles and Geneva lie along the Fox River and each of them has a lot of small town charm mixed with a downtown vibe. Each has a downtown district that is filled with an eclectic mix of shops, boutiques, restaurants and salons that cater to the locals and out of towners. Both also sit along the prairie trail, so you can ride from one to the other in under an hour, having lunch in Geneva and then shopping for antiques in St. Charles. Boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts abound, some of them are even historic.
Zion, Illinois sits along the shores of Lake Michigan, north of the city of Chicago. A huge majority of Zion is protected land that makes up a state park with pristine beaches, dunes, marshes and oak forest. Families, campers and day guests are free to come and go, though if you want to camp you’ll need to make a reservation. Go here for a day away from it all, where you can enjoy nature and see Lake Michigan in a whole different way.
Milwaukee is Chicago’s big city, and entirely doable in a day, with entirely different city trappings than the one you are used to. Foodies that love Chicago will find whole new reasons to like Milwaukee. Art museums, farmer’s markets, shopping, recreation and world class dining options all have something to offer that represents what most of Wisconsin is all about.