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21 Best Day Trips From Chicago In 2024

21 Best Day Trips From Chicago In 2024

Welcome to the Windy City! Whether a regional or a tourist excited to check out past the horizon, our overview to the very best field trip from Chicago is your ticket to journey. We’ll reveal you exactly how to switch city roads for picturesque runs away, all within a day’s reach of Chicago. From lovely villages to natural marvels, prepare yourself to find the Midwest’s most extraordinary experiences. Pack your feeling of journey, and allow’s hit the trail – Chicago-design field trip wait for!

Table of Contents

Incredible Day Trips from Chicago1. Milwaukee, WI2. South Bend, IN3. Madison, WI4. Starved Rock State Park, IL5. Cedarburg, WI6. Illinois Beach State Park, IL7. Lake Geneva, WI8. Rockford, IL9. Indiana Dunes National Park, IN10. Lakeshore State Park, WI11. Monroe, WI12. St. Joseph, MI13. Channahon State Park, IL14. Oak Park, IL15. Grand Rapids, MI16. Windmill Island Gardens, MI17. Galena, IL18. Michigan City, IN19. Peoria, IL20. Six Flags Great America, IL21. Glacial Park Conservation Area

Incredible Day Trips from Chicago

Top Day Trips from Chicago

In this overview, we offer you concepts for the leading field trip from the 3rd most heavily populated city in the United States. Located on the coasts of Lake Michigan, numerous areas will certainly attract you far from the town hall. After discovering every one of the remarkable points to do in Chicago, from the Chicago River to historical spots, head to these great areas situated within simple reach of the city.

The city is preferably situated with simple border-crossing right into Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. It is likewise a terrific base for a field trip additionally southern right into main Illinois. You have 4 states within your reaches – so you need to take time for a field trip while checking out.

1. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee is a huge offer. This significant city lies on the coasts of western Lake Michigan in Wisconsin – simply a 1.5 hour train trip or drive north of Chicago. We’d recommend capturing the train ideally, as Milwaukee is best understood for its breweries. Taking assisted brewery excursions is among the finest points to do in Milwaukee. Aside from its alcohol, however, it is likewise home to the Holler House and Milwaukee Art Museum. Don’t neglect the Harley-Davidson Museum, which holds a lovely display screen of bikes and papers famous bicycle rider society. The Milwaukee Public Museum likewise has a massive European town.

If you desire a wonderful day out of Chicago, Milwaukee is suitable. It has a solid feeling of society and numerous specific niche pockets of rate of interest, like Harley-Davidson bikes and breweries. It is likewise a wind to get to by train or automobile.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Train, bus or train

Suggested Tour: A Group Tour to Discover Milwaukee

2. South Bend, IN

Day Trips from Chicago South Bend IL

South Bend has a various ambiance as a university city on the St. Joseph River. It is great if you are seeking an extra calm city experience. You can see the University of Notre Dame’s famous university, with its traditional gold-domed structure. There’s likewise a lot of neighborhood background that you can experience in the town hall, like automobile production from years passed at Studebaker National Museum and the local background at the History Museum.

South Bend is certainly slower-paced than quick-footed Chicago. However, it has great deals of tourist attractions also. Think of it as a relaxing and intellectual area to invest a day sightseeing and tour. It has great deals of enjoyable and trainee spins, like inexpensive bars and coffee places.

The city lies simply eastern of Chicago, beyond of Indiana Dunes National Park, and on the reduced eastern coast of Lake Michigan. It is finest gotten to by automobile, and we’d suggest visiting at the national forest en path.

Distance from Chicago: 2 to 3 hours How to arrive: Car or train

3. Madison, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Madison IL

Small Madison may not appear capital-worthy, yet it is in fact the funding city of Wisconsin, not the significant, stretching titan of Milwaukee. This smaller sized city has lovely design galore. You can rise near to the historical domed Wisconsin State Capitol and stroll the Capital City State Trail to tour various city tourist attractions. There’s a botanic yard experience, also, at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, plus a quirkier midtown location with bars and cafe. Madison is your finest option if you elegant a political sightseeing and tour outing from Chicago.

Madison is likewise perfectly situated beside 2 significant lakes – Lake Mendota and Lake Waubesa. Summer leaves a lot of chances for water sporting activities and warm waterside treking tracks. Follow this strolling trip to see the city’s design consisting of the State Capitol, Der Rathskaller, Bascomb Hill, and Memorial Union.

Distance from Chicago: 2 to 4 hours How to arrive: By automobile or shuttle

4. Starved Rock State Park, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Starved Rock State Park IL

Starved Rock State Park is among one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Illinois. The park remains on the financial institutions of the Illinois River and holds a collection of sandstone canyons in the middle of lovely woodlands. The canyons were originally reduced with antarctic meltwater, and you can check out the landscapes utilizing a network of plainly significant wood boardwalks. Starved Rock State Park likewise has lots of waterfalls, which obtain remarkably effective in wetter months.

Nature fans will certainly love now journey option. Not just is the all-natural landscapes remarkable, yet you can likewise identify wild animals like white-tailed deer and hairless eagles. Starved Rock State Park covers over 2,600 acres and has 13 miles of tracks, with 18 canyons to appreciate. It lies inland from Chicago and Lake Michigan.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Car

5. Cedarburg, WI

Cedarburg has significant beauty. It has old-school-style residences and is regularly contrasted to a film collection. The community was started in the 1840s by a mix of primarily Irish and German inhabitants and is currently taken into consideration a suburban area of Milwaukee. Cedarburg has numerous adorable and visual points to do, with the perk of brewery and vineyard excursions. You can stroll the wineries and trip developing spaces or head to special tourist attractions like the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fine Arts. Cedarburg is a genuine treasure and beats to its very own drum, making it a remarkable outing from Chicago.

This Wisconsin community lies simply north of Milwaukee’s town hall. It is finest gotten to from Chicago by automobile, and you can constantly integrate a stop-off in Milwaukee’s town hall – vehicle parking in the borders and travelling in.

Distance from Chicago: 2 hours How to arrive: By automobile

6. Illinois Beach State Park, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Illinois Beach State Park IL

If you desire coastlines, Illinois Beach State Park is the area to be on a Chicago outing. The park covers over 4,000 acres, with a lovely coast course and network of treking tracks. It is a dreamland for a coastline day along the coasts of Lake Michigan. However, Illinois Beach State Park is similarly greater than simply a coastline location.

It has camping sites and play grounds, plus shower blocks and a nature facility. Illinois Beach State Park is someplace to invest a whole day. Start with a walk and see the nature facility prior to heading to Isherwood Beach, and also camping over night if your routine enables it.

The park is fairly near to Chicago, taking much less than an hour to get to by automobile. It’s a terrific outing if you have a cozy day or fancy a coastline journey. Or it is the ideal journey if you elegant camping an evening to separate your traditional city break.

Distance from Chicago: 1 hour How to arrive: By automobile

7. Lake Geneva, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Lake Geneva WI

Lake Geneva is a lovely hotel city along the financial institutions of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin, northwest of Chicago. As a tiny city out of the leading public transportation lines, it is finest gotten to by automobile.

Once you show up, you are welcomed by Gilded Age manors with significant design and a breathtaking Shore Path that snakes around the city’s area of Geneva Lake. Historically, Lake Geneva was utilized as a bolt-hole for wealthy Chicago locals, and taking a look at the city’s bordering all-natural appeal, it’s simple to see why.

Admire Victorian background and Gilded Age design, and see the Lake Geneva coastlines. Big Foot Beach State Park has dazzling coastlines, particularly for a careless mid-day. Lake Geneva is a lovely outing location to relax prior to taking another look at Chicago’s disorderly sightseeing and tour scene.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: By automobile

8. Rockford, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Rockford IL

Rockford is a significant city situated on the financial institutions of the Mississippi River, offering it the label’ River City’. Rockford is likewise called the ‘Forest City’ due to its background of tree felling, woodlands, and furniture-making sectors. It is a shapeshifter with a lengthy background and a noticeable area in Illinois’ culture. Nowadays, however, it is a suitable outing prospect and has plenty of prominent tourist attractions and historical areas. You can come by the koi-filled fish ponds at Anderson Japanese Gardens, unwind in many public parks, or head to the Rockford Art Museum. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens is likewise dazzling.

Rockford lies in north Illinois, right under the Wisconsin boundary. We’d suggest incorporating it with a journey to Madison, situated approximately an hour over the city. It is a terrific stop-off factor for those driving to the Wisconsin funding.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: By automobile

9. Indiana Dunes National Park, IN

Day Trips from Chicago Indiana Dunes National Park IN

Forget state parks if you like all-natural appeal – purpose large with Indiana Dunes National Park. This magnificent park is much more than simply dune and covers 15 miles of lovely coastline ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Indiana Dunes National Park is likewise a location for bird enjoying and treking. The national forest lies on the southerly end of Lake Michigan. It is a lovely place to see to accept the lake’s appeal. An entry ticket expenses around $20, and you can invest the entire day discovering the park.

Indiana Dunes National Park lies simply southeast of Chicago and is preferably incorporated with brows through to South Bend or field trip right into Michigan or Indiana.

Distance from Chicago: 50 mins How to arrive: By automobile

10. Lakeshore State Park, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Lakeshore State Park WI

Everyone enjoys a city park. This magnificent park rests simply off Milwaukee’s coast. Still, we will certainly include it as a standalone destination because it warrants a see by itself benefit. Lakeshore State Park is finest discovered walking by strolling the Hank Aaron State Trail. You can delight in city horizon sights and large views over Lake Michigan. And if you are seeking a charming outing from Chicago, head to Lakeshore State Park at sundown with a barbecue.

The state park is clearly well incorporated with a see to Milwaukee. This little island state park is a lovely place near the city. It is found off the Historic Third Ward and available by a pedestrianized bridge linking it to the landmass.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: By automobile

11. Monroe, WI

Monroe is quite trendy. The wacky city is called the Swiss cheese funding. It has a large background of milk farming that has actually offered it a huge cheese credibility. You can see to take food excursions – extremely advised – and attempt neighborhood items and generate. You need to see the National Historic Cheese Making Center Museum and the Chalet Cheese Cooperative. There’s likewise lovely design and historical areas, like the Green County Courthouse, finished in 1891. The Monroe Historic Square remains in the city’s facility, bordered by stores and visual landscapes.

Monroe is a little city contrasted to several of Chicago’s bordering titans. It is approximately situated midway in between Madison and Rockford. It is certainly best accessed by automobile.

Distance from Chicago: 2 hours How to arrive: By automobile

12. St. Joseph, MI

Day Trips from Chicago St Joseph MI

St Joseph is a breathtaking seaside city in southwest Michigan and a suitable outing if you intend to venture right into MI on a day journey from Chicago. It rests along the coast of Lake Michigan with lovely tourist attractions like Silver Beach County Park and Lions Park Beach. Silver Beach is especially adorable to see, with a 1910 slide carousel and recovered structure that bring a remarkable, vintage-style visual to the city. A traditional red and white lighthouse is near the city’s North Pier.

St Joseph is a lovely option if you desire among those conventional seaside field trip. It is just a brief drive from Chicago, although that you’ll be venturing via Indiana and going across the Michigan boundary. Hooray for Lake Michigan’s close network people states. It is great to integrate with Indiana Dunes National Park and Michigan City.

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours How to arrive: By Car

13. Channahon State Park, IL

Day Trips from Channahon State Park IL

Channahon State Park is an outright must. The state park remains on several of one of the most historical Illinois canals, real estate a recovered lock tender’s home for additional historic worth. You can delight in a network of treking tracks with waterfalls, birds, and historical towpaths to break pictures of. Distance isn’t a concern when checking out inland Illinois; Channahon State Park is much less than an hour’s drive from main Chicago. It is a terrific outing if you desire marginal traveling time and an understanding right into Illinois’ canal background.

You can arrange assisted excursions around Channahon State Park, consisting of canoe journeys. The state park is an assigned component of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor. It is commonly hailed as an important part of the state’s background. It is a nature-given theme park.

Distance from Chicago: 50 mins How to arrive: By automobile

14. Oak Park, IL

Day Trips from chicago Oak Park IL

Oak Park is a lovely town in the suburban areas of Chicago. It actually loads a strike past quite design for such a tiny location. Visitors can delight in tourist attractions like the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Ernest Hemingway’s Boyhood Home, the National Historic Landmark of Mills Park and the Oak Park River Forest Museum. Oak Park is a quickfire option of galleries in a little location, available from main Chicago utilizing public transportation. What’s not to enjoy? It is the ideal option if you desire journeys from Chicago done quickly.

It is so useful to get on a train and be among lots of galleries. Additionally, its Unity Temple was lately assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2019. Despite all its existing tourist attractions and offerings, Oak Park is quite up and being available in regards to site visitor acknowledgment and worth for tourist.

Distance from Chicago: 15 to 20 mins How to arrive: By train

Suggested Tour: Private Frank Lloyd Wright Tour from Chicago

15. Grand Rapids, MI

Day Trips from chicago Grand Rapids MI

Grand Rapids is an additional significant city – assume high-rises and a lovely waterfront setup with significant bridges. Grand Rapids has a lot of society, with galleries like the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum. It likewise has a great, secure, and walkable midtown area, that includes the Grand Rapids Art Museum, a destination and effort that highlights neighborhood musicians.

We like to capture a shuttle bus to Grand Rapids, as it has a remarkable brewery background. In certain, it is understood for New Holland Brewing, and you can take assisted sampling excursions at the neighborhood breweries that are still running. Otherwise, driving is quicker, and you can visit at places like Indiana Sand Dunes National Park, St Joseph, and South Bend. You hug the reduced coastline of Lake Michigan, which is a lengthy yet really picturesque drive. Ideally, revolve vehicle drivers and have a couple of various quits en path.

Distance from Chicago: 3 to 5 hours How to arrive: By automobile in simply under 3 hours or by shuttle bus in under 4 Suggested Tour: Grand Rapids Ghost Tour

16. Windmill Island Gardens, MI

Day Trips from chicago Windmill Island Gardens MI

Chicago may be called ‘Windy City,’ yet take a look at Windmill Island Gardens. This seasonal park includes a 250-year-old windmill in an ode to the city’s Dutch impact. You can take self-guided excursions of the park, appreciate the windmill, and satisfy overviews in conventional Dutch outfits. There’s likewise a tulip yard, which is magnificent in springtime.

This is among the leading field trip from Chicago if you desire Dutch heritage, and it is also situated beyond a city called Holland. Windmill Island Gardens lies in Michigan, so you’ll be driving the south coastline of Lake Michigan, puncturing north Indiana and throughout the Michigan boundary. When it involves checking out Michigan, range can be a worry. Is it a lengthy day of driving? Yes. But it is extremely picturesque and a terrific method to integrate a number of tourist attractions. If you have a couple of vehicle drivers, you won’t have any type of problem as you can simply revolve driving time.

Distance from Chicago: 2.5 hours How to arrive: By automobile

17. Galena, IL

Day Trips from chicago Galena IL

Galena is an outright treasure of an enchanting village, resting on the financial institutions of the Galena River with lots of Civil War background. The community was home to the Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, and his previous home is a State Historic Site. Of training course, Ulysses S. Grant later on came to be a US head of state, so his tale is commemorated. Galena is a terrific area to see if you have an interest in national politics and background. Its community facility is reasonably walkable and has plenty of tales and picturesque 19th-century design.

Galena is appropriate in the leading left edge of Illinois, on the boundary of Iowa and Wisconsin. It is a remarkable add-on from Rockford or Starved Rock State Park, around 1.5 hours away by automobile.

18. Michigan City, IN

Day Trips from chicago Michigan City IN

Michigan City is simply an hour away and is dazzling, available outing product. If you desire a very easy journey from Chicago, Michigan City is it. Fancy a drive? You can drive there in an hour, passing Indiana Dunes National Park. Fancy a train trip? You can check out or snooze and get to the city in much less than 2 hours. There’s great deals of lakeside society and background, with several lighthouses to appreciate and the charming Washington Park Beach.

There’s likewise duration background at the Barker Mansion, which showcases English-motivated design and home furnishings in a 19th-century manor. Admire the background, have a coastline day, or delight in urban buying at electrical outlet shops. Michigan City supplies tons and, at least, is a modification of scene.

You can quickly see Michigan City; appropriate day-long journeys are short on traveling time and high up on tourist attractions. And that summarizes this lakeside city.

Distance from Chicago: 1 to 2 hours How to arrive: 1 hour by automobile or 2 hours by train

19. Peoria, IL

Day Trips from chicago Peoria IL

Peoria is a lovely city in Illinois. It was largely developed as a port city and trading facility many thanks to its placement on the Illinois River. It lies a lot additionally inland in main Illinois. It is simply an hour approximately additional main than Starved Rock State Park – hello there, prospective mixed outing.

Peoria has lovely waterfront parks, consisting of Peoria Riverfront Park and Liberty Park. There’s likewise the Riverfront Museum and Peoria Historical Society. It is a wonderful area to simply stroll and check out walking. And the comparison in between frantic Chicago and calm Peoria is large, making it a beneficial outing.

The city lies southwest of Chicago and is finest accessed by automobile. This method, you can likewise visit at Starved Rock State Park heading.

Distance from Chicago: 2.5 hours How to arrive: By automobile

20. Six Flags Great America, IL

Day Trips from chicago Six Flags Great America IL

What concerning a day at a theme park? Six Flags Great America is a chain of theme park spread throughout the United States. And there is one on the borders of Chicago, developing the very best outing for fun-loving visitors. The park has theme park experiences, rollercoasters, and overall enjoyable amusement. You can obtain adrenaline on experiences like Sky Striker or the American Eagle. Alternatively, attempt the calm, family-friendly experiences like the Big Easy Balloons or Cubasco tea mugs.

Everyone enjoys an enjoyable day out. And Six Flags Great America is the ideal outing to avoid sightseeing and tour and run away the city to delight in some top quality ‘fun’ time. It is the dreamland to allow your hair down and has an outstanding series of experiences, making it ideal for grownups and youngsters. Six Flags Great America lies north of Chicago, simply under the Wisconsin boundary. Get your tickets beforehand right here.

Distance from Chicago: 1 to 2 hours How to arrive: 1 hour by automobile or 2 hours by train after that bus

21. Glacial Park Conservation Area

Day Trips from chicago Glacial Park Conservation Area

Finally, there’s the lovely Glacial Park Conservation Area. This 3,400-acre book is a spectacular mix of marshes and savanna, with antarctic kames and sufficient picturesque canoeing or angling chances. It is among one of the most photogenic areas to experience all-natural appeal on a day journey from Chicago. You can check out Glacial Park walking or by water or tremble points up and publication a horseback riding trip. The park has a grand overall of 8 miles of shared-use tracks, and you’ll certainly intend to bring a video camera.

Glacial Park Conservation Area opens up from dawn till sundown all the time. It is suitable if you intend to change from the basic suv park experience to a little bit of sturdy, remote nature.

Distance from Chicago: 1 hour and 20 mins How to arrive: By automobile

There’s a lot to experience on field trip from Chicago – whether that’s Dutch heritage, abundant background pertaining to the Civil War, or riding theme park experiences at Six Flags America. You can accept sectarian beauty at Oglesby, all-natural appeal and natural doubt Indiana Dunes National Park, or craft beer at a regional brewery. Chicago’s area right beside 3 various other state boundaries implies you have great deals of variety when selecting field trip. And the ever-presence of lovely Lake Michigan implies a consistent battery of water sporting activities and coastlines. Hopefully, you contend the very least 5 or 6 outing selections.

Are you seeking even more ideas? Why not take a look at our overviews on the finest points to do in Wisconsin and the very best areas to see in Michigan? We’ve likewise obtained notes on the very best, most special points to do in Northern Michigan especially, so inspect that out if you have time to include a number of days throughout of your Chicago journey. If you have much longer, why not take a 2-3 day adventure from Chicago? It is a fantastic launch pad to find even more of the experiences in the states around Lake Michigan. Chicago’s area is without a doubt its winning top quality, and you need to make use of it when preparing field trip and tours.

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