5 Great Reasons to Road Trip to Chicago

Vacation in Your Backyard!

By Kelly Pawlak

Traveling looks different this summer, but that doesn't mean your vacation plans are canceled. With one of the nation’s best cities located in the midwest, the summer vacation you weren’t expecting is just a short drive away. 

If you’re still debating where to vacation this summer, let’s take a step back. You can fly out to the coast, but keep in mind you will have to go through airport security lines, pay the many fees that come with flying and probably rent a car once you get to your destination. Sounds… exhausting. Maybe you are considering driving 10-20 hours to a coastal beach or to the mountains, but why put hundreds of miles on your car? After several quiet months, The Windy City is ready for you to come enjoy its many free attractions, wide variety of dining options and beautiful Lake Michigan and Chicago River views. Nothing beats summer time in Chicago. If you don’t believe me yet, here’s 5 reasons to plan a road trip to Chicago. 

1. Avoid long days in cars or planes

Skip the airport. Skip wasting days spent in the car. Head out to Chicago in the morning and arrive around lunch time, or head out later in the day and arrive before the sun goes down. There’s no need to take a week off of work when headed to Chicago, just take a day off and enjoy a long weekend, or go for it and take the week off! Whether you are looking to go away for a long weekend or for an entire week, Chicago has plenty to do to fill your time.

So, you’ve made your decision. You’re headed to Chicago! Or maybe you aren’t convinced yet. I bet you will be once you find out all that there is to do here, and not to mention all of the free things there are to do. 

2. Free parks

Starting with Chicago sights you can’t miss— Millennium Park. Chicago’s iconic bean is open to visitors again, but there is so much more to Millennium Park than the bean. Its beautiful gardens and artwork make for the perfect start to a day in Chicago. After checking out Millennium Park, take a short walk over to Maggie Daley Park. The park has fun for the whole family including a mini golf course and roller skating rink. There’s even more parks to explore like Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Humboldt Park and so many more.

3. Waterfront activities

Ready for more fun in the Chicago sun? Head down to the Riverwalk and check out its many outdoor restaurants and bars. Enjoy a drink right on the river as boats and kayaks cruise by. If you want to get out on the water, boat tours are back! There’s nothing like a day out on the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. With several different boat cruises offered on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan plus kayak tours, you can get your fill of waterfront fun without going all the way to the ocean. 

4. Food, food and more food

After a long day of outdoor activities, you’re going to be hungry. Dining options in Chicago are endless. Classic deep dish pizza, steak and seafood, Mexican food, Asian fusion… You name it we’ve got it! It can almost be overwhelming to decide where you’re eating, but luckily you are going to have a couple of days or more to try a wide variety of food and dining venues. If you want to get the most out of Chicago’s summer weather and lake breeze, make sure you have a meal or two (or three) at one of Chicago’s many rooftop or patio restaurants and bars.

5. Fun for small groups, friends, and family

Whether you are going away for a weekend with friends or a week with your kids, Chicago has fun to offer for everyone! Unique bars and breweries make for an unforgettable weekend with friends, and Chicago’s parks and outdoor adventures make for an exciting weekend with kids! Maybe you’re looking for a personal getaway; Chicago is the perfect destination for that too!

Your summer vacation in Chicago awaits! Start planning today and hop in the car! We can’t wait to see you!