Escape the City: 6 Best Family Road Trips from Chicago

City life can sometimes feel exhausting, with endless stretches of high-rise buildings and packed lanes. Fortunately, this world has the best of everything for everyone. If you want to get away from the rush and bustle of city life, get some fresh air, and enjoy some peace and quiet, driving from Chicago is your best chance. Within a few hours’ drive, there’s a lot you can explore and experience from Chicago. To simplify your planning process, we have compiled the 6 best family road trips from Chicago for your next vacation.

Door County, Wisconsin

Door County curvy road in Autumn with colorful leaves via Getty Images

Just a few hours north of Chicago, Door County, Wisconsin, is the perfect destination for a family road trip. With miles of shoreline, quaint towns, and plenty of outdoor activities, this area offers something for everyone. Take a scenic drive along the coast and stop at one of the many state parks for a hike or picnic. You can also take a ferry to Washington Island and explore its beaches and lighthouses.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan via Getty Images

If you’re looking for a unique family road trip from Chicago, consider Mackinac Island, Michigan. This island in Lake Huron is only accessible by ferry and has no cars, making it a charming and peaceful escape. You and your family can explore the island by bike or horse-drawn carriage, visit the historic Fort Mackinac, or relax on the beach.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva in Wisconsin via Getty Images

Located just over an hour from Chicago, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is a popular destination for a fun family road trip from Chicago. This charming town offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, boating, and hiking. You can also take a scenic boat tour of the lake or visit one of the many local attractions, such as the Geneva Lake Museum or the Yerkes Observatory.

Springfield, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb, located within Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois via Getty Images

For a fun and educational family road trip, consider visiting Springfield, Illinois. This city is home to many historic sites, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Old State Capitol, and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. You can also visit the Henson Robinson Zoo or bike along the Sangamon River Trail.

The Great River Road, Illinois

The Bike Ride – Fall Along the Mississippi – Great River Road via Getty Images

If you’re looking for a scenic family road trip from Chicago, consider driving along the Great River Road in Illinois. This route follows the Mississippi River and offers breathtaking views of the water and surrounding bluffs. You can stop at historic towns, state parks, and wildlife areas along the way. Don’t forget to visit the charming town of Galena and its many local shops and restaurants.

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

A rocky stream in Starved Rock State Park via Getty Images

Starved Rock State Park is a must-visit if you’re looking for a beautiful natural destination in Illinois. Nestled just 90 miles southwest of Chicago, lies a breathtaking park boasting awe-inspiring canyons, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque Illinois River vistas. You and your family can hike one of the many trails, go fishing or boating in the river, or relax in the peaceful surroundings. Don’t forget to visit the Starved Rock Lodge for a cozy meal or overnight stay. With its natural beauty and outdoor activities, Starved Rock State Park is a perfect addition to any family road trip itinerary.

In conclusion, these 6 best family road trips from Chicago offer something for everyone. From scenic drives to outdoor activities, you and your family can create unforgettable memories together. So pack up the car, hit the road, and prepare for an adventure!

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