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Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

Bristol
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Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

Hi there, I am often in Chicago on business and so have seen much of the city (which is fabulous), so I was thinking on my next trip of going to see somewhere else in the US. Can anyone recommend somewhere for two people to visit that we can fly to within 2 hours of Chicago. It would be just for the weekend and we are happy to look at any type of place, I've been to New York, Nashville and Memphis, all three of which I've loved.

Many thanks

Illinois
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1. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

St. Louis, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Charlotte, Denver, Toronto.

The list is endless. united.com/CMS/…UAL_NA_Map_2013_04_01.pdf

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

There are lots of places you can go!

From Chicago Midway airport you can go to:

Akron, OH, Albany NY, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Bronson, MO, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY, Charlotte, NC, Cincinatti, OH, Cleveland, OH, Des Moines, IA, Detroit, MI, Kansas City, MO, Louisville, KY, Manistee, MI, Minneapolis, MN, Omaha, NE, Philidelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Raleigh, NC, Rochester, NY, Spartanburg, SC, St. Louis, MO, Tulsa, OK and Washington DC.

From Chicago O'Hare:

Allentown, PA, Asheville, NC, Atlantic City, NJ, Bloomington, IL, Cedar Rapids, IA, Appleton, WI,

Champaign, IL, Charlottesville, VA, Chattanooga, TN, Columbia, SC, Dayton, OH, Decatur, IL, Dubuque, IA,

Duluth, MN, Eau Claire, WI, Evansville, IN, Fargo, ND, Fayetteville, AR, Flint, MI (Not the safest place to go), Fort Wayne, IN, Grand Rapids, MI, Green Bay, WI, Kalamazoo, MI, Knoxville, TN, La Crosse, WI, Lansing, MI, Lexington, KY, Lincoln, NE, Little Rock, AR, Madison, WI, Manhattan, KS, Marquette, MI, Milwaukee, WI, Moline, IL, Muskegon, MI, Myrtle Beach, SC, Paducah, KY, Peoria, IL, Richmond, VA, Roanoke, VA, Saginaw, MI (Not the safest either), Sioux City, IA, Sioux Falls, SD, South Bend, IN, Springfield, MO, Syracuse, NY, Toledo, OH, Traverse City, MI, Waterloo, IA, Watertown, NY, Wausau, WI, Witchita, KS, Wilkes-Barre, PA plus many of the places you can fly to from Midway.

Hope this helps, and have a great trip!

Edited: 13 May 2013, 13:52
Chicago Suburbs
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3. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

Take Amtrak to Milwaukee, especially on a summer festival weekend.

pgo
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4. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

New Orleans, Toronto and Boston would be at the top of my list.

Bristol
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5. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

Thanks all, we will be there weekend of 3rd August, if there is anywhere in particular that you think would be fun. The endless list makes it difficult to choose as I don't know a lot about the places involved.

Thanks

Chicago's North...
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6. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

do you absolutely hafta fly?????

if you hire a car, i can think of many great places within a 2-3 hour drive....

if that's an option, let us know....

or to build on the AMTRAK idea above, rather go to st joseph, michigan. great beachtown to spend a beautiful summer weekend....

stjoetoday.com

beachtowns.org

harborcountry.org

if you must fly, my top choices would be:

jackson hole (yellowstone/teton national parks)

montreal (never been, but would love to go--on my bucket list)

denver (rocky mtn national park)

niagara falls

Edited: 13 May 2013, 16:02
pgo
Chicago
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7. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

August weather is far more tolerable in northern cities. Scratch New Orleans in August - but strongly consider it in spring or fall. While Jackson Hole (Teton Nat'l Park) is a great place to visit, it's not suitable for a typical weekend schedule. It's a 3:15 hour flight, there are few non-stop flights, and August vacations are very popular. You would be smart to book well in advance and allow 3-5 days.

Chicago
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8. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

Yes, for a weekend, whynot stay in the Midwest? I would drive to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It's about an hour and a half north of Chicago, but it is a lovely area to take a weekend away. Flying just sucks when you are going for just a weekend. Two hours is never two hours.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

As others have noted, you can fly to probably 2/3 of the country plus a good chunk of Canada in less than 2hrs from Chicago. However, you'll eat up a lot of the time getting to and waiting in airports.

I'd rent a car and drive somewhere nearby. If you're looking for a city, the best bets are St. Louis or Milwaukee. Milwaukee is 90 minutes, has a nice lakefront, lots of festivals, a nice art museum and a river walk. St. Louis is about 6 hours. You can easily do Milwaukee by train as well.

If you want countryside, I'd vote for harbor country, which is southwest Michigan, which someone above mentioned as well. That side of the lake is very scenic with lots of sand dunes and wineries and you can stay at different B&Bs along the way. You can drive as far up the lake as you have time or just go 2 hours to New Buffalo and stay there.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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10. Re: Places to go within 2hours of Chicago

IMHO, the far, far nicer places to visit are beyond that 2 hour restriction. If you are going to invest in a rental car, please do yourself a big favor and don't limit yourself to only this small perimeter.

For example, Galena, Illinois is about 4.5 hours driving (less if you start at O'Hare). This is a wonderful destination, if you are looking for a Midwestern small-town feel with historic charm, instead of a metropolitan area. The Mississippi River is very close at hand and you could spend some time driving the Great River Road. If you are interested in this option, you should know that Dubuque, Iowa is just across the Mississippi from Galena.

Indianapolis, being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, has a great, great deal to offer. It's about 3-3.5 hours driving time (depending on where you want to go in Indy - it being so spread out).

And, if you wanted some bucolic beauty just a little further south of Indianapolis, you are about 1 hour's drive from Bloomington, Indiana (home of Indiana University), Lake Monroe, Brown County State Park and the Hoosier National Forest. So you can have your fill of **big city** night entertainment and days spent beside a lake or in a forest.

Inasfar as destination points in Michigan, you would do much better if you expanded that driving time and went further northwards up to at least Saugatuck/Douglas (about 3 hours), maybe a little beyond. IMHO, you would have a much nicer selection of accommodations, more activities, and the restaurant offerings are much better. Of course, you need to understand that nighttime activities are not of the same caliber as those you find in major cities - low-key is the word.

If you are interested in going to any of the Michigan wineries, please do a little research ahead of time and choose wisely - and only go to those that use locally grown produce.

In these areas which are popular weekend getaways for metropolitan areas, the better accommodations usually have a two-night minimum requirement.