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Get Out of Town with These 5 Chicago Day Trips

Chicago is a great city with plenty to do, but sometimes it’s nice to get away and see something new. We’ve uncovered some amazing attractions and things to do that are just a short drive away! The next time you’re craving a change of scenery, these Chicago day trips might be just what you need.

Galena, Illinois

A three-hour drive is all it takes to get to Galena, one of the best small towns in America. Walk the cobblestone streets and admire historic mansions on rolling hills. If you’re looking to enjoyo the great outdoors, try a rafting trip along the Mississippi River, a bluff hike overlooking the river, or go skiing at the nearby Chestnut Mountain ski resort. This is one of the best destinations for fall Chicago day trips because the leaves are so beautiful, especially on the historic Stagecoach Trail and in nearby Apple River Canyon State Park.

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Visit the most popular state park in Illinois for one of your next Chicago day trips! Drive 90 minutes southwest of the city to Starved Rock State Park, where you can explore 18 glacier-carved canyons and hike 13 miles of trails. If you’re looking for a guided tour and other group activities, Starved Rock Lodge offers trolley tours, river cruises, hiking adventures, and much more. Stay the night in one of their charming log cabins or lodge rooms and wake up to waterfalls and amazing bluff views!

Lemont, Illinois

If you’re looking for an adventurous Chicago-area day trip for a group, The Forge: Lemont Quarries is the perfect destination. This adventure park spans over 300 acres in Lemont and offers a wide variety of fun activities for all ages. Multiple rope courses, ziplining, climbing walls, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, ice skating in the winter, and adventurous dining options will keep you on your toes all day long. Make sure to make reservations in advance!

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva has everything you could want on a day trip, and it’s only a 90-minute drive from Chicago. Take to the water with boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding, and go sight-seeing at the historical sites. Get an aerial view of the beautiful terrain with a hot air balloon ride. You can also walk the entire length of the lake shore to avoid the crowds and get in some exercise. Treat yourself after a long, active day with a delicious meal and refreshing drink at one of the many restaurants and cafes in town.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The city of Milwaukee, also called the “City of Festivals”, lies just 90 minutes north of Chicago. As its nickname suggests, the city hosts over two dozen annual celebrations including Summerfest, the world’s biggest music fest. There’s so much to do here that you might want to take several Chicago day trips to keep exploring the city! Tour the historical breweries and microbreweries born of the city’s German brewing heritage, or have a meal at one of the many brewpubs serving farm-to-table food and craft beers. Be sure to stop by the Harley-Davidson Museum if you’re a fan of the iconic motorcycles that came into being here in 1901.


We hope you have a wonderful time exploring these nearby destinations! Have you taken any of these Chicago day trips? If you’re looking for short-term corporate housing or a home-away-from-home in Chicago, we’d love to hear from you and take you on a tour of our community. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at 312-787-8080.

Hope to see you soon!