You Can Drive 25
Visiting a new area always has a level of excitement. Around every corner there are new things to see and do, great festivals to attend and attractions to visit. Even though the Chicago Southland has all of that in spades, we still thought it might be nice to point out a few things to make your trip a memorable one. With the ease of access to six major interstates, here the list of top 25 things to see and do, located just 25 minutes away from your stay in the Chicago Southland.
1. Bears Training Camp – Bear down to Bourbonnais for your up close and personal look at the Chicago Bears as they get ready for the season.
2. Route 66 – Everyone wants to get their kicks on Route 66 so why miss the chance to see where two historic highways intersect in Joliet with the Lincoln Highway and Route 66?
3. Chicagoland Speedway – Do you like NASCAR, loud noises and excitement? Come on, who doesn’t. Head to the Chicagoland Speedway for your look into the world of racing.
4. Shrine of Christ’s Passion – See the glorious story of Jesus Christ told through statues, readings and artifacts. Stepping onto the prayer trail takes you back 2000 years as you walk with Jesus during his crucifixion or sit with him at the last supper.
5. Pullman National Monument – Have you always wondered why we celebrate Labor Day? Wonder no further as you visit Pullman National Monument where one of the first labor strikes in America took place, which ultimately led to the federal government recognizing it as a national holiday.
6. Cloud Gate Park – Ah, the bean. A beloved landmark in the city of Chicago and a wonderful tourist trap. Visit Cloud Gate Park and see the bean as well as finding yourself within walking distance to Buckingham Fountain and Maggie Daley Park.
7. Speaking of Buckingham Fountain, see the most iconic and historic site in Chicago. The fountain runs from early April to late October and is considered one of the finest ornamental fountains in America.
8. Maggie Daley Park in Chicago is the perfect place to spend the day with family. Offering everything from a climbing wall to a picnic grove, Maggie Daley Parks offers something for everyone.
9. Have you always wanted the thrills of Vegas but with the quintessential Midwestern charm? Than look no further than the two casinos that border the Chicago Southland in Joliet, IL and Hammond, IN.
10. The Art Institute of Chicago offers the perfect mix of wonder, amazement and thoughts of “I could totally do that.” With collections ranging from the Renaissance to Modern Art and changing installations, the Art Institute offers something different every time you visit.
11. Navy Pier – With nearly 9 million visitors annually, why not add one more and see the Historic Navy Pier? With the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Midwest, wonderful arts and culture and an abundance of shopping, visiting Navy Pier seems like a no brainer.
12. White Sox Game at Guaranteed Rate Field – Take yourself out to a ball game at Guaranteed Rate Field and cheer on the Chicago White Sox as they fight through the American League Central Division on the path to the postseason.
13. Bears Game at Soldier Field – After visiting the Bears Training Camp it is quite understandable for falling in love with the Monsters of the Midway. Now go cheer them on at Soldier Field.
14. Lake Michigan – Everyone forgets that Illinois seems to have endless miles of beach front access. Visit Lake Michigan and see the crystal clear waters of one of the great lakes!
15. Museum Campus of Chicago – The Museum Campus of Chicago gives you access to the best historic artifacts and learning in the Midwest. Spend a day visiting the Natural History Museum to learn about life in ancient Egypt or visit the Museum of Science and Industry and see a captured German U-Boat from WWII.
16. 606 trail – If you are an outdoor enthusiast, we encourage you to check out the 606 trail in Chicago. The 2.7 mile trail feeds into the Southland Century, which is a 100 mile loop around the Chicago Southland.
17. The Big Marsh Bike Park offers extreme fun in a wonderful lakeside setting. Sitting on 278 acres, the Big Marsh Bike Park has everything from multi-purpose trails for biking, walking, running and a tot track for the youngest riders.
18. Skydeck Ledge at the Willis Tower – The Skydeck at Willis Tower will give you a fear of heights, if you already didn’t have one. Sitting 103 stories above the ground, take the pulse pounding first step onto a Plexiglas surface overlooking the city. You truly will feel like you are floating above all.
19. Millennium Reserve points of interest – The Millenium Reserve is a bi-state initiative that showcases the Calumet region’s historical, environmental and other highlights.
20. Broadway in Chicago – Lights, camera, action! Who doesn’t like to take in a great Broadway show every now and then? Chicago’s Broadway scene is alive and well with hit shows like the Blue Man Group and Hamilton. Treat yourself and take in a show.
21. County Line Orchard – Get down on the farm during the fall months and visit County Line Orchard in Portage, Indiana. With a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, gigantic corn maze and fun and games for the kids, County Line Orchard offers something for everyone!
22. Fair Oaks Farms – Have you always wondered where milk comes from, or how it’s captured? Step onto Fair Oaks Farms for a jaunt into the country life and learn more about dairy. All we ask is that you practice lactose-tolerance!
23. Indiana Dunes State Park – Large mounds of sand, crystal clear water from Lake Michigan and a state park, all rolled into one. The Indiana Dunes State Park is a must see when visiting the region.
24. Festivals are always a blast to attend. As luck would have it, here in the Chicago Southland, you won’t find yourself too far from the region’s best. Whether you attend the Taste of Chicago, Ottawa’s Two Rivers Wine Festival, the Strawberry Jazz Festival in Kankakee or grab a flare for all things Eastern European during the annual Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana, our region has it all.
25. Crown Point, Indiana – Take a step back in time when visiting Historic Crown Point. With a downtown district pulled from the late 1800s you won’t have to travel far to find some of the best food and shopping, Indiana has to offer.
Staying Just Beyond the City Limits doesn’t just give you affordable hotel accommodations and an abundance of interstate access, it gives you the opportunity to explore more of the Midwest.