Chicago is a great starting point for road trips, as it’s centrally located and offers easy access to various destinations. Here are some of the best road trips you can take from Chicago:
1. Great Lakes Circle Tour: Embark on a scenic journey around the Great Lakes, starting from Chicago. Drive along the shores of Lake Michigan, visit charming towns like Traverse City and Mackinac Island in Michigan, explore the stunning Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and continue to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, before returning to Chicago via Wisconsin.
2. Route 66: Follow the iconic Route 66, which starts in Chicago and stretches all the way to Los Angeles. Along the way, you’ll pass through numerous states and experience the classic Americana charm of small towns, roadside attractions, and nostalgic diners.
3. Door County, Wisconsin: Head north from Chicago to Door County, a picturesque peninsula on Lake Michigan. Enjoy the beautiful shoreline, visit lighthouses, indulge in cherry picking, and explore charming towns like Ephraim and Fish Creek.
4. Indiana Dunes National Park: Just an hour’s drive from Chicago, Indiana Dunes National Park offers stunning beaches, sand dunes, hiking trails, and bird-watching opportunities. Spend a day exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems and enjoy the lakefront scenery.
5. Mississippi River Road Trip: Follow the course of the mighty Mississippi River from Chicago. Drive south through Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, and discover historic river towns like Galena, Dubuque, and Hannibal, the hometown of Mark Twain.
6. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: Located about 80 miles northwest of Chicago, Lake Geneva is a popular resort town known for its beautiful lake, charming downtown area, and outdoor activities like boating, golfing, and hiking.
7. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Venture north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and explore its natural wonders. Visit the stunning Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, hike in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and see the iconic Mackinac Bridge.
8. The Amish Country: Drive to Shipshewana in Northern Indiana, known for its Amish community and rich cultural heritage. Explore Amish farms, enjoy homemade food and crafts, and experience a slower pace of life.
Remember to plan your road trips according to the seasons and weather conditions, and make sure to check for any travel restrictions or closures in the areas you plan to visit.