Fall is a great time to get away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago and explore some of the many charming towns and natural attractions that the Midwest has to offer. Here are five of our favorite places to visit within driving distance of the Windy City.
1. New Glarus, Wisconsin
This Swiss-themed village in southern Wisconsin is the perfect place to enjoy some Alpine scenery without having to travel too far from home. New Glarus is known for its quaint shops and cafes, as well as its breweries, wineries, and distilleries. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby for those who want to get outdoors and enjoy the fall foliage.
2. Starved Rock State Park, Illinois
Just a short drive from Chicago, Starved Rock State Park is one of the most popular places to see fall foliage in Illinois. The park features more than 13 miles of hiking trails, as well as waterfalls, canyons, and sandstone cliffs. There are also a number of lodges and cabins available for those who want to stay overnight.
3. Galena, Illinois
This historic town in northwestern Illinois is a great place to enjoy the changing leaves while strolling down Main Street or taking a scenic drive on the Galena River Road. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, as well as several museums and historic homes.
4. Door County, Wisconsin
Door County is a popular tourist destination in northeastern Wisconsin, and for good reason. The county is home to five state parks, as well as numerous beaches, golf courses, and museums. The fall colors are especially stunning along the shores of Lake Michigan.
5. Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park is located just an hour east of Chicago and features more than 15 miles of lake shoreline along Lake Michigan. The park also has more than 50 miles of hiking trails, making it a great place to get some exercise while enjoying the autumn scenery.
Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy the fall foliage or just wanting to get away from the city for a weekend, these five places are all great options. So pack your bags and hit the road—you’re sure to find something that you’ll love!