As a Chicago apartment resident, you know summer is a great time of year to be in the Windy City. Unsurprisingly, the season of fun and sun is also the best time to enjoy much of the rest of the Midwest.
If you’re looking to break from the hustle and bustle of the city for a weekend spent sunbathing on the beach or playing tourist in a nearby town, here are some excellent weekend getaways to consider.
A three-hour drive from downtown Chicago, Galena has a distinct and irresistible historic charm. Its impeccable Main Street may be the city’s greatest attraction, but it is rivaled by many others. River cruises, hiking, and tracing Ulysses S. Grant’s footprint on the town are all popular activities for visitors.
If an escape from the big city life is what you’re looking for, Galena is the perfect place. Even though it has only 3,500 permanent residents, it’s the largest city in Jo Daviess Country. As a result, there is plenty of open space in and around historic city. Galena’s location on the Mississippi River, coupled with the rolling hills that dot and surround the city, make it a great place for outdoor adventures.
Lake Geneva, Wis.
Lake Geneva was the lakeside retreat of choice for the 19th-century Chicago gentry. The Wrigleys, Schwinns, and Maytags all constructed expansive summer homes on its shores, and hundreds of families have since followed in their footsteps. When the weather is nice, the best ways to enjoy Geneva are by indulging in water sports and walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path. When the rain mucks up your plans for a beach day or too much summer sun leaves you craving some climate-controlled air, the antique and boutique shopping scenes are bustling enough to keep you entertained indoors all day. All of this splendor is just an hour and a half from AMLI Evanston and about two hours from Chicago depending on the traffic.
If the warm weather causes Chicago to come undone during the summer, Milwaukee takes the summer-is-here-so-let’s-play phenomenon to another level. Almost everyone you encounter at this time of year is friendly and laid-back, and with good reason. The summer festival lineup is jam-packed with family-friendly, fun-friendly, and pet-friendly events, and Milwaukee’s relatively concentrated downtown area makes accessing everything a breeze. Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, is at the center of it all.
If you’re seeking a change in lakeside scenery or a break from the Chicago summer festivals you know so well, pop up to Milwaukee for a weekend (or just a day!) this summer. The drive from AMLI River North takes just over an hour and a half.
New Buffalo, Mich.
If your ideal weekend getaway involves ridiculously good burgers and lots of beach time, there is a vacation home waiting for you in New Buffalo. Just a 75-minute drive from AMLI 900 and other Chicago South Loop apartments, New Buffalo is also a manageable single-day escape. The beach is one of the nicest on Lake Michigan’s southern shore, and the burgers at Redamak’s Tavern have been drawing repeat customers since it first opened 40 years ago. If you’re looking to make a fun pit stop along the way, a stop-off at Indiana Dunes State Park outside of Chesterton can break up the journey from Chicago to New Buffalo nicely.
An hour north of New Buffalo lies the small town of Saugatuck, home to the expansive stretch of Lake Michigan shore known as Oval Beach. Consistently ranked one of the top beaches in the Midwest, Oval Beach and Saugatuck are a weekend getaway destination every self-proclaimed Chicago beach bum should visit at least once. Saugatuck is just over a two hour drive from AMLI Lofts.
Is Galena, Milwaukee, or Lake Geneva calling your name? Pull out your calendar, circle a weekend, and start planning your next weekend getaway. Chicago is an awesome place to live, but we all need and deserve a getaway from time to time.
What are your regional travel and vacation plans for the summer?
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