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Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

United Kingdom
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Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

I'm going to be in Chicago for a 10 day holiday in September but can anyone recommend somewhere that would be a good place to visit for a day trip out of the city?

Is Milwaukee worth a visit?

I also quite like the idea of going somewhere non-city like so maybe somewhere more country like if that's possible.

We won't have a car so it'll have to be on public transport.

Any ideas most welcome.

Thanks

Karen

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

Milwaukee is worth a visit if you are interested in seeing the new Art Museum, otherwise the center of there downtown is a TJMaxx.

Illinois
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2. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

There's much more to see/do in Milwaukee - http://www.milwaukee.org/

Catlin, Illinois
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3. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

Hi karenbowie,

The good thing is that Chicago is the passenger rail hub of the American Mid-West. www.amtrak.com

Once you leave the city, you will be in the farm lands of Illinois. When you are here the farmers should be in their fields harvesting their crops.

The bad thing is that public transportation does not exist out side of cities in this part of America outside of a few busses.

If you are intrested in American history, I would recommend Springfield, IL. You have the new Lincoln Presidential Museum and Lincoln's home to name a few. More information here: http://www.visit-springfieldillinois.com/

I understand that driving on the wrong side of the road is troublesome idea. You might want to consider taking a train out of Chicago and renting a car in a smaller town. Then you would not have to drive in Chicago and you would be able to visit some of the hidden gems in our country side.

Enjoy your trip!

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

Thanks for your advice and ideas.

I will definitely look into going to Springfield as it does mention that in a book I've got. I think if I try and incorporate that with a day trip to Milwaukee too then at least I can sample some other nearby areas.

The thought of driving through Chicago does scare me a bit so maybe it would be better to rent a car outside the city - I will look into that too. May take a bit of getting used to, being on the other side of the road AND the driving wheel on the right too!

Also while I'm over there I'd like to go to either a baseball or American football game, how easy is it to get tickets once I'm there? The Chicago Bears tickets seem quite expensive on the internet. Can you buy them on the day?

Thanks

Karen

Rensselaer, Indiana
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5. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

"Once you leave the city, you will be in the farm lands of Illinois. When you are here the farmers should be in their fields harvesting their crops."

With all due respect to the previous poster, that's not really the case anymore. You have many miles of suburban sprawl around Chicago in all directions (except east), which is why you don't see many suggestions here for a quick day trip with a country-like atmosphere.

I'll offer up three (one a 2-fer) for day trips using public transportation and then one using a rental car where you could go a couple of places:

1) The Chicago Botanic Garden, which is not in Chicago, but in Glencoe. You can take Metra to get there and back from the Ogilvie Transporation Center in Chicago. www.chicagobotanic.org

2) The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park. These are two separate parks, one national and one state. See www.nps.gov/indu for information as well as a map of the area. You can get to both via the South Bend and South Shore Railroad (aka the "South Shore", see www.NICTD.com for timetable and fares), which you can pick up at the Millennium Station at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph in downtown Chicago. HINT: They don't call it the Dune Park station for nothing. But if you check the above website for the Indiana Dunes National Park, you can see the areas within a 2 mile walk of 4 of the different South Shore stations.

3) Another option is taking the South Shore out to the South Bend stop. The end terminus is the South Bend Regional Airport, where you could rent a car. This way, you wouldn't have to drive in the congestion of Chicago traffic - just South Bend traffic, which is considerably less. NOTE: Not all of the trains go that far, so you have to be careful in your planning.

Once you pick up the car there, you could drive to either:

a) The area of the Amish communities in Northern Indiana (i.e., Nappanee - they have their Apple Festival on Sept. 18-21, Shipshewana - which has a large flea market on certain dates and several festivals, Middlebury, etc. Take a look at the map and you can see where these towns are in relation to South Bend.

b) The "Harbor Country" of SW Michigan and up to as far as perhaps Saugatuck/Douglas. The "Harbor Country" area is comprised of six smaller towns situated along the southwestern shoreline of Lake Michigan up to the Saugatuck/Douglas area is about another 1.5 hours drive north of that. Fennville is about 10 minutes inland from Saugatuck/Douglas. See www.harborcountry.org and www.saugatuck.com.

The last three areas have many orchards, wineries, smaller boutique shops, art galleries, B&Bs, restaurants and so forth.

Here is an article in which you might have interest: chicagotribune.com/travel/…918701.story. However, I'd like to mention Crane's Pie Pantry as a nice luncheon spot, and since they have apple orchards and make their cider, it's a plus in the fall. See www.cranespiepantry.com.

Hope these give you some ideas.

P.S. South Bend, IN is where Notre Dame University is located, if you wanted to combine a trip there with one of the above, you could possibly do it as well. When you read the South Shore's website, you'll see where they mention how to get to a ND football game via shuttle.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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6. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

Oops! Sorry, on that link for the Chicago Tribune story, you'll have to add "www." before the rest of the URL. I guess I didn't copy all of it before posting it here.

United Kingdom
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7. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

Wow that's great! I'm going to have to print all that out as I'll never remember all that but it sounds like I could do that.

Not having been there before I really think I need to get a map of Illinois so I can get my bearings as to where everything is, at the moment I haven't a clue.

I'll bookmark those websites and see how it all works.

Thanks very much for your ideas.

Karen :)

Rensselaer, Indiana
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8. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

You are very welcome, Karen.

Just a small correction on my above post. "Harbor Country" is in the southwestern corner of Michigan but along the southeast shoreline of Lake Michigan. My apologies for not seeing that earlier.

9. Re: Can anyone recommend a day tripper out of Chicago?

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