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Chicago is an exciting, dynamic place, and while there's plenty to explore within the city itself, there's also much to experience beyond its borders. Here are a few recommended spots for the perfect weekend getaway from Chicago.
Weekend breaks in Illinois
Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park is just a two-hour drive away from Chicago. Visitors can explore the area's canyons and waterfalls, keeping an eye out for the area's wildlife, which includes deer, otters and eagles. Depending on the season, different kinds of activities are available, including cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and canoeing.
Galena is three hours west of Chicago. Located in the countryside of Illinois, this quaint town is popular with residents of Chicago looking for a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are plenty of interesting historical sites to explore, or visitors can simply enjoy some time in the outdoors.
Springfield is the capital of Illinois and is three and a half hours away from Chicago by road. Notably, Springfield is the birthplace of one of the most famous US citizens, Abraham Lincoln. The main attractions are the historic and government sites such as Lincoln’s home and tomb, the Illinois State Capitol and the Dana-Thomas House.
Weekend breaks in Wisconsin
Milwaukee is just one to two hours' drive north of Chicago. It has been strongly influenced by the old-world European style and one can still feel it in the city atmosphere. Milwaukee is mainly known for its breweries but has a lot of other interesting attributes such as parks, lakes, fantastic restaurants, and the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Wisconsin Dells is roughly three hours away from Chicago and is an ideal getaway for families. Newcomers can experience plenty of fun and sun at the city's 20 water parks. It's the perfect place to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, just before kids go back to school in September.
Are you an expat living in Chicago?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Chicago. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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