ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fabulous Weekend Getaways from Chicago

Updated on May 30, 2016
melbel profile image

Melanie has been interested in cultures, languages, and travel since her youth. She loves adventures and continues to explore new places.

If you're looking to get away from Chicago for the weekend, there are a number of wonderful places to visit located just outside the city.

Whether you want to relax and work on your tan, browse through unique shops, rough it at a campsite, go wine tasting, or pick berries (or apples) in an orchard, the midwest is jam-packed with fun places to visit.

The following list contains some of midwest best vacation spots (each located only a few hours away from Chicago), and, of course, a number of fun activities in each area. Be careful, though! Chances are that once you spend a weekend at any of these places, you might never want to come back to the city!

Sailboats on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin
Sailboats on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin | Source

Harbor Country, Michigan (Wine Country)

The Harbor Country area of Michigan has a lot to offer Chicagoans. This area is particularly popular for its beautiful Lake Michigan coastline. While boating, swimming, laying out in the sun, and other beach activities are the main draw, Harbor Country is also known for its specialty shops and its fantastic restaurants.

Saint Joe and New Buffalo are two particularly popular towns. Each offers a beautiful harbor, great shopping, and awesome food. New Buffalo is home to Four Winds Casino which makes it a great places to visit year-round.

The area offers a quiet environment that allows you to get away from it all. A number of fruit orchards operate in the area. These are usually open during the Summer and end their season in the fall. Many orchards allow you to pick apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cherries, and pumpkins.

If you enjoy bicycling, the Apple Cider Century happen in late September. This ride will allow you to see the colorful leaves of the area's maple, beech, birch, ash, and oak trees.

The area is home to a large number of vineyards and wineries (Tabor Hill and St. Julien to name a few.) Wine tasting tours are a great way to explore southwest Michigan and get a fabulous bottle of wine on the cheap.

Madison, Wisconsin

With nearby Middleton ranking as the number one place to live in the United States, it's easy to guess that Madison is fantastic. Madison, Wisconsin is home to the University of Wisconsin, miles upon miles of bicycle trails, and, of course, the state's capital building.

The city is full of small specialty shops (especially near the campus.) Aside from the shops you'd expect in a college town, there are bicycle shops, beer supply stores, comic book shops, and more!

Madison is sandwiched between Lake Mendota and Monona which offer beautiful views and places to swim. Don't miss bicycling along the lakes! If you're not a cyclist, everything is in walking distance (and there are a number of parking garages if you're driving.)

The city hosts a fabulous outdoor market near the capital building (not to be missed) as well as a number of world class restaurants. Everything is in walking distance, so this is definitely a place to enjoy on foot!

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dune National Lakeshore is located just a hop, skip, and a jump from Harbor Country. Here you can climb Mount Baldy, one of the tallest sand dunes on Lake Michigan's south shore. Of course, once you get to the top, you'll want to run all the way down to the lake below. The beach at Mount Baldy is quiet, so it's an amazing place to swim or lay out in the sun.

Camping at the National Lakeshore is a popular activity. There are a number of campsites throughout Northwest Indiana where you can rough it while enjoying beautiful scenery.

National Lakeshore is especially known for its beautiful wetlands, where you can catch a glimpse of heron and other wildlife.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      I've always planned on going to the Indiana Dunes as a day-trip, but just have never gotten around to it. Thanks for reminding me.

    • andreaknightly profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Chicago is indeed a beautiful place. Wish someday, I could go there too.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I love Chicago and the state of Illinois. You listed some nice destinations. In addition to Indiana Dunes, there are few other State Parks in northern Illinois that are a pleasure to visit with a family.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love Chicago - I am close enough to hop on a train for 20 bucks to get there! I went not too long ago with the kids for their first train ride:0 It was fun!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great suggestions! The Indiana dunes is one of my all-time favorite places.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)