As Chicago’s chill winter winds start to turn warmer, most of us are eager to greet spring and find an outlet for our dormant wanderlust. Whether you want to escape into nature, explore a new city, rejuvenate at a resort, or try something new, these seven getaways near Chicago’s North Shore offer something for everyone!
Escape to Nature
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is on the Southern tip of Lake Michigan. Here you can enjoy sandy dunes, hikes through pine forests, and a view of the Chicago skyline. If you’re looking for less of a beach experience, try Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park, which was recently recommended by Travel + Leisure and voted the number one attraction in the state. With 13 miles of trails, fishing, boating, and sublime waterfalls that are especially active in the spring, Starved Rock State Park is the ideal way to refresh your spirits.
Explore a New City
If you’ve ever asked “what’s so special about Milwaukee?” you probably haven’t been there. Milwaukee is famous for its breweries and gorgeous cityscapes by the water. We recommend staying at The Knickerbocker on the Lake as you explore the city’s beer scene, art museums, and many other attractions. Another nearby city worth visiting is Rockford, IL. You might be surprised to find Rockford on our destination list, and that’s because it’s an up and coming city. This city has made incredible strides lately in revitalizing its downtown, incorporating new restaurants foodies love, and even adding special attractions like a Japanese garden. If you want to explore a new city, explore Rockford.
Rejuvenate at a Resort
Maybe your ideal vacation is a little more oriented toward catching up on some well-deserved R&R after the hustle and bustle of Chicago city life. In that case, we recommend Wisconsin’s Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Aside from the luxurious accommodations, you’ll have an opportunity to relax at an on-premise spa after a yoga class, try out two championship golf courses, enjoy delicious dining alongside scenic views, and more.
Taste Something New
One great way to try something new is to taste something new. If you haven’t experienced a fruit beer at New Glarus, WI’s hometown favorite, New Glarus Brewing, prepare your palette for a delightful beer education. A sip of the brewer’s favorite, raspberry tart, will forever give you a new standard for fruit beer, while buying a bottle of their limited edition thumbprint series will give you bragging rights with beer-lovers all over the Midwest.
If beer isn’t your thing, we recommend taking a trip to Traverse City’s wine country. Make a tour of Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Left Foot Charley, and Black Star Farms. As you tour and taste, don’t forget to collect your favorite bottles to replenish your cellar at home. With these tasty souvenirs in hand, you can share highlights of your vacation with grateful family and friends while bringing back favorite memories of your own!