The Best Day Trips from Chicago

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Best day trips from Chicago

List of the best day trips from Chicago. You’ve seen the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), eaten a burger at P.J. Clarke’s and ridden the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Now it’s time to explore the best day trip locations around Chicago. From Chicagoland to Wisconsin to Michigan, you can shop, eat, play or get close to nature with these top Chicago day trips.

Although Chicago is a major metropolitan area, did you know that you can find natural beauty just outside the city? The greater Chicagoland area contains thousands of acres of protected forest area, but for a real treat, a day trip to Starved Rock State Park might be in order. Hiking trails of all difficulties take visitors to canyons, picturesque vistas, waterfalls and more, but a range of activities are available nearby, including horseback riding, kayaking, cross-country skiing and camping.

And if exploring nature isn’t exciting enough, there’s always a Chicago day trip to Six Flags Great America. Located in Gurnee, not too far from the mega Gurnee Mills mall, the theme park is a destination for Chicagoans and tourists thanks to its thrill rides, entertainment and water park. The adventurous might take a ride on Goliath, which hits speeds of 72 miles per hour.

Read this list to find the greatest day trips from Chicago, including those in the state of Illinois and in neighboring states. With so many good, easy, and cheap Chicago trips to choose from, the most difficult part will be choosing just one.
Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Ranked by
  • Warren Dunes State Park
    24 votes

    Warren Dunes State Park

    Michigan, USA
  • Starved Rock State Park
    25 votes

    Starved Rock State Park

    Illinois, USA
  • Galena
    14 votes
    Illinois, USA
  • Milwaukee
    26 votes
    Wisconsin, USA
  • Madison
    23 votes
    Wisconsin, USA
  • Lake Geneva
    16 votes
    Wisconsin, USA