There’s always something to do in Chicago, but sometimes, you just got to get away. You don’t have to travel far to visit some new places that make for a relaxing and fulfilling escape. Get out of town for the day, then come home to your own apartment in time for bed. Here are our recommendations for the best day trips to take from Chicago this fall.
Outdoor enthusiasts, this one is for you. The quiet town of Oglesby is located only 45 minutes outside of Chicago, but it’s a world away from the Windy City. You’ll find a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities including horseback riding, river rafting, and hiking as well as canoeing and camping. There’s plenty of options no matter what you’re into, making it one of the most popular day trips to take from Chicago. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without traveling too far, Oglesby is for you.
Starved Rock State Park
If you head to Oglesby, don’t miss Starved Rock State Park. Situated on the Illinois River just an hour and a half from Chicago, this park offers spectacular views of stunning waterfalls and steep canyons with a surprisingly rugged terrain that differs from the typical Illinois landscape. Come here, relax, and experience the soothing effects of nature—it’s the perfect little escape from city life.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens; located in Rockford, Illinois; boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Illinois. The Gardens feature 12 acres of winding paths, waterfalls, koi ponds, and more. It’s a tranquil paradise that’s only one hour and 45 minutes from Chicago. If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, don’t skip this.
Located just two and a half hours from Chicago, Holland is a picturesque town filled with quaint charm. Its commonly photographed Big Red Lighthouse is only one of its many draws—the town features sandy white beaches, delicious dining options, and great shopping. One of the best times to visit Holland is in May for their annual Tulip Time Festival, when the colorful flowers are in full bloom.