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USA

Chicago is located in the Midwest plains which means that outside of Chicago there is not a lot to see for the weekend unless you drive at least 4-5 hours to neighboring states.

A good resource to discover the area around Chicago is the book from Bonnie Miller Rubin and Marcy Mason, Quick Escapes Chicago. 26 Weekend Gateways In and Around the Windy City, The Globe Pequot Press, Guldford, Connecticut.

Illinois

Starved Rock State Park

It will take you around two hours of driving in traffic to get to Starved Rock State Park, which is located 95 miles southwest of Chicago. You can leave Chicago after work around 5 pm and arrive for dinner at 7 pm. It can also make a nice daylong excursion.

Starved Rock State Park http://www.starvedrockstatepark.org/

How to go there from downtown Chicago:

  1. Head north on S. Morgan St toward W. Cermak Rd (0.1 mile)
  2. Turn right at W. Cermak Rd( 59 feet)
  3. Slight left at S. Canalport Ave (0.3 mile)
  4. Turn right onto the ramp to I-55 S (0.1 mile)
  5. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for I-55 S and merge onto I-55 S (42.1 miles)
  6. Take exit 250B to merge onto I-80 W toward Iowa (35.9 miles)
  7. Take exit 90 toward Columbus St/IL-23 S (0.2 mile)
  8. Turn left at Columbus St/IL-23 S (1.8 miles)
  9. Slight left at IL-23 S/IL-71 W/La Salle St. Continue to follow IL-23 S/IL-71 W (0.9 mile)
  10. Turn right at Courtney St (0.4 mile)
  11. Continue onto Hitt St/IL-71 W. Continue to follow IL-71 W.

What to see at Starved Rock State Park:

The name of the Park is due to a war between two Indians tribes. One of them sought refuge atop the rock and was surrounded by their enemies. They starved to death.

The main attraction of the park is the famous rock, a 125-pound sandstone. There are also waterfalls to see and trails that are very easily accessible for young children. Depending on the season you are visiting, different kinds of activities are available: cross-country ski, horseback riding, and canoeing.

Springfield

It will take you around three hours and a half of driving. Springfield is located 200 miles southwest of Chicago.

City of Springfield, Illinois: http://www.springfield.il.us/

How to go there from downtown Chicago:

  1. Head north on S. Morga…

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