Get Out of the Garage: Best Weekend Road Trips from Chicagoland

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There are times when we all need to have a break from the trials and tribulations of day to day life. However, finding the time to actually take a break and head off on vacation can be difficult. Not only do many people have to worry about work and try to get time off but there are also the kids and their schooling to think about. This is why many singles, couples, and families decide to opt for regular weekend trips from Chicagoland so that they get to enjoy a break without having to go to great lengths to get time off.


The great news is that when it comes to weekend getaways from Chicagoland, there are many places that you can head to. No matter what sort of break you are looking for, you will find plenty of options that are within easy reach by road. You can therefore look forward to having a relaxing or exciting break over the weekend and head back feeling refreshed and ready to get back to everyday life.


Some of the top places to head to outside Chicago


Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation, fun and adventure, or excitement and thrills, you will not be short of options when it comes to finding a place to head to for the weekend from Chicago. So, let’s take a look at some of the popular destinations and what you can expect when you visit them:

Geneva, Illinois:


This charming town is located 44 miles west from Chicago and is on the Fox River. It is only around one hour from Chicago by road. If you enjoy great scenery, relaxing atmosphere, and a chilled out ambiance, this could be the ideal place for you. There are plenty of outdoor establishments where you can enjoy dining al fresco or sip on a refreshing drink as you take in the beautiful waterfront scenery. This is a great option if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a short while.


Lake Geneva, Wisconsin:

When you visit this destination, you will have everything you need for the perfect weekend. This includes rich history, outdoor recreational activities, natural beauty, and the chance to leave the stresses of the city far behind. The good news is that it is only about an hour and a half away by road and lies 83 miles northwest of Chicagoland. From friendly bars and places to dine through to lakeside areas where you can kick back and relax, you will be delighted when you come here for your weekend break.

Ottawa, Illinois:

If you enjoy delving into the past and exploring history when you visit another destination, this could be a great option for you. Ottawa lies 90 miles southwest of Chicago and it takes around an hour and a half to get there by road. Once there, you can look forward to exploring the rich history of the area as well as taking in the natural beauty of the rivers. In addition, you can also pay a visit to Starved Rock State Park where you can take in majestic waterfalls and surrounding beauty. You will be thrilled by the stunning scenery at the park and it provides the perfect escape for your weekend trip.

Saugatuck, Michigan:

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Sometimes, you may feel like getting away from it all with a weekend at the beach. If so, this is an excellent choice of destination for your weekend getaway. Home to Oval Beach, you can look forward to soaking up some sunshine, kicking back on the beach, and having some fun. You can take part in a range of water activities too, which is ideal if you want to combine relaxation and recreation. This destination is located 141 miles northeast of Chicagoland and takes around two and a quarter hours to reach by road.

Galena, Illinois:

While it is only a three hour drive away from Chicagoland, when you visit this charming town you will feel like you have stepped back in time. The town is located 170 miles west of Chicago and when you visit you can enjoy exploring as you walk along the historic cobbled streets. There are plenty of historical places of interest to explore while you are here.  Another bonus is that there are also plenty of recreational opportunities including rafting, hiking, and even skiing at the nearby resort. This makes for a really diverse weekend vacation experience that caters for those that want relaxation as

New Glarus, Wisconsin:

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With its charming Swiss feel, complete with Swiss chalets, you can expect a wonderfully unique and relaxing weekend vacation experience when you head to this destination. It is located just over 150 miles northwest from Chicagoland and it takes around three hours to get there by road. This is a great option if you really want to get away from it all and leave the noise of the big city behind for a couple of days. You can even try out the local beer, which is only available in Wisconsin. There is even the local brewery located here, which makes it a great place for those that love to sample and experience new beers.

These are just some of the wonderful destinations you can head to when you are looking to the perfect weekend getaway from Chicago. Each of them boasts unique charm, character, and attractions – all you need to do is determine which of these places is going to be the perfect option for you.


Choosing the perfect getaway for your weekend


When you’ve spent all week working hard, you need to spend some time working out the perfect getaway destination for your weekend. Of course, you need to take time into consideration. Some places can be reached in an hour or so while others take far longer. However, if you don’t mind setting off early and getting back late on your return date, there is no reason why you cannot go a little further afield.


Another thing to think about is the type of weekend getaway experience you are looking for, as everyone has their own preferences and ideas when it comes to trips away. Some people are keen to soak up natural beauty, others want to explore history and culture, and some simply want to chill out and do nothing but relax for the entire weekend. Perhaps you are looking for a romantic place to go to with your partner for the weekend or maybe you are keen to enjoy some outdoor adventures. Whatever type of experience you want, you are certain to find the perfect location within easy reach of Chicagoland.


One more thing you may want to consider when it comes to sorting out where to go for your weekend road trip is your budget. Obviously, the places that are further afield will require more gas in the tank, which means more expense. In addition, some places may be more expensive when it comes to things such as accommodation and attractions than others. This will also impact on your budget so you should make sure you do your research before you make your final decision.


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