What makes the best road trips from Chicago is the distance to the destination, attractions, accessibility, and food and hotel options. Whether you are traveling with children, a group of adults, or a significant other, there are many places to make memories that last a lifetime.
To choose your road trip destination, you could throw a dart at a map. If you are a terrible dart thrower, we are here to help. These are sone of RV best road trips from Chicago to ten of the most popular locations ranked by distance:
- Gurnee, Illinois – Six Flags
- Indiana Dunes, Indiana
- Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
- Oglesby, Illinois – Starved Rock State Park
- Saugatuck, Michigan
- Galena, Illinois
- Door County, Wisconsin
- Traverse City, Michigan
- Shawnee National Forest, Illinois
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Final Thoughts
Gurnee, Illinois – Six Flags
(Approximately 40 miles or 1 hr. drive)
Thrill-seeking families rave about Six Flags Great America. While the tickets to the park and purchases inside are expensive, it is a memory-making road trip like no other. The attractions like the Superman roller coaster and Tornado water raft tunnel are endless.
This location incorporates the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Food inside the park is pricey. However, the location is close to Chicago, so you won’t need to pay for a hotel.
Indiana Dunes, Indiana
(Approximately 40 miles or 1 hr. drive)
Budget-conscious travelers flock to this stunning outdoor destination for its affordability and beauty. If you love playing in the sand, swimming in the lake, or napping with the breeze in your hair, this location is for you. When you are ready to stretch your legs, there are easy hiking and cycling trails.
This location strives to provide handicap access throughout the park. Beach wheelchairs are available at the lifeguard station at West Beach. At Lake View, the picnic areas and overlooks are handicap accessible.
There are hundreds of restaurants at this location offering almost any type of cuisine to satisfy your hunger. The site is close to Chicago, so you won’t need to pay for a hotel.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
(Approximately 80 miles or 1.5 hr. drive)
Active outdoor visitors and laid-back tourists alike swoon over this road trip destination. It offers hot air balloon rides, ziplining, beaches, and trails. It provides pontoon boats, kayaks, and wave runners for rent. If you want to relax, there are calmer attractions in town and places to kick back by the lake.
This location offers ADA accessibility and features such as an exercise facility, guest rooms, parking, entrances, swimming pool, transportation, and alarms.
Lake Geneva has dozens of eating establishments offering many types of cuisine. The location is close to Chicago, so you won’t need to pay for a hotel.
Oglesby, Illinois – Starved Rock State Park
(Approximately 95 miles or 1.5 hr. drive)
Outdoor enthusiasts adore this destination for its cycling, camping, and hiking adventures. It offers attractions like waterfalls, a winding river with stunning cliffs, and incredible natural rock formations. This location is a geologist’s dream come true.
The lodge incorporates the requirements of the ADA. However, accessibility to the nature trails presents challenging obstacles.
The Veranda at Starved Rock Lodge offers Americana cuisine. The nearby towns of Utica, Peru, LaSalle, and Oglesby have many restaurants to satisfy whatever you crave. The location is close to Chicago, so you won’t need to pay for a hotel.
(Approximately 140 miles or 2.5 hr. drive)
Saugatuck is another outdoor lover’s adventure destination, but so much more. Gorgeous Oval Beach offers kayak and sailboat rentals, paddleboat rides, and dunes where you can frolic. On the other hand, the art scene here is astounding. With dozens of galleries and shops, you can spend a day just wandering through the downtown district. If you visit during the town’s seasonal events, you might find yourself enjoying a craft beer, harvest dinner, or getting lost in a corn maze.
This location offers handicap accessibility on some of its beaches with beach wheelchairs and ramps.
This location provides numerous restaurants serving Americana, Thai, French, and Italian gastronomic experiences. The area is relatively close to Chicago, so you may not want to pay for a hotel. If you do, there are options to suit any budget.
(Approximately 165 miles or 3 hr. drive)
History buffs and power walkers enjoy this road trip location because of its famous Historic District and cobblestone streets. Galena also offers rafting trips on the great Mississippi River, a ski resort at Chestnut Mountain, and hiking trails for on-the-move visitors. One of the most popular laid-back attractions is viewing the brilliant colors of autumn leaves.
This location offers handicap accessibility to many of its businesses. Also, Hartig Drug Store provides wheelchair rentals.
From high-rated pizzerias to Mexican, Italian, and Japanese culinary choices, this location offers plenty of restaurant experiences. The site is reasonably close to Chicago, so you may not want to pay for a hotel. There are options for any reasonable budget if you choose to stay.
Door County, Wisconsin
(Approximately 245 miles or 4 hr. drive)
Known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” Door County includes several small towns on a peninsula extending into Lake Michigan. With a multitude of public beaches and state parks, there are attractions for everyone. The most popular activities are viewing fall colors, exploring open spaces, and visiting roadside farm stands and farmers’ markets.
This location incorporates the requirements of the ADA and offers numerous handicap accessibility opportunities on the beaches and in the parks.
The cuisine scene at this destination boasts more than wine bars. It also offers farm-to-table dining with Swedish, Americana, and Wisconsin culinary experiences. The average hotel cost runs $100 – $260 per night.
Traverse City, Michigan
(Approximately 320 miles or 5 hr. drive)
Without a doubt, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a must-see when visiting Traverse City. It offers miles of fantastic coastline, dunes, forests, and towering bluffs. An added attraction to this destination is its proximity to highway M-22, which winds along the coast, boasting one of America’s “most scenic drives.” You won’t want to miss out on this extraordinary adventure in the fall.
This location incorporates the requirements of the ADA and offers numerous handicap accessibility opportunities. Sand wheelchairs are available.
Traverse City has dining options, from pizzerias and breweries to fine dining and bar bites. The average hotel cost runs $90 – $250 per night.
Shawnee National Forest, Illinois
(Approximately 350 miles or 5.5 hr. drive)
Outdoor folks and wine tasters declare this as one of their best road trips from Chicago because of its enchanting natural beauty and numerous award-winning wineries. The Garden of the Gods Wilderness is the perfect quiet getaway to meditate and self-heal, while the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail leads you over the countryside to explore 11 unique wineries.
This location offers limited handicap accessibility on some nature trails.
Whether you are hungry for Cajun flavor, whole organic foods, or barbeque, you will find what you crave here. The average hotel cost runs $60 – $170 per night.
(Approximately 475 miles or 7 hr. drive)
Music City is one of the hottest road trip destinations from anywhere in the nation. It offers attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, historic music studios and museums, bus tours, bars, and nightlife with live music like the Wildhorse Saloon, and the Nashville’s Children’s Theater.
This location offers handicap accessibility at many of its businesses and numerous accessibility opportunities throughout the city.
The sky is the limit when it comes to Nashville’s dining options. Anything you want, you will find here. The average hotel cost runs $70 – $300 per night.
Chicago is a great city but for those who want to experience something outside the city limits these 10 roads trip from Chicago are excellent weekend trips, you’ll enjoy. If you like this article I also wrote about the best walkie-talkies for road trips.