As the month of May winds down, it’s time to look ahead to the summer months of June, July and August in Illinois. The weather will (hopefully) stay warm and the kids will be getting out of school, so it’s time to start planning those Illinois summer trips. Have a free day or weekend with nothing planned? Then the list below is for you.
We picked out 25 great summer getaways in Illinois. Whether you’ll have to travel across the state or just to the next town over, there’s something for everyone from nature hikes to concerts to baseball games. It’s all fun in the sun!
Note, not one of these activities is located within the city of Chicago (not even the Chicago Botanical Garden). We won’t deny there is a plethora of summer events and destinations in Chicago, but this list serves to introduce you to what the rest of the state of Illinois has to offer.
So get out there and explore the Land of Lincoln this summer, from the Shawnee National Forest to historic Galena and all the miles in between. But make sure you are prepared before you go. Check out these helpful apps, including one for camping in Illinois along with apps to help you stay up-to-date on the weather and traffic.
And now, without further ado, we present a list of the 25 top Illinois summer trips to make this year.
Hike at Starved Rock State Park
Catch a Kane County Cougars or Peoria Chiefs minor league baseball game
Get your hands covered in barbeque sauce at Ribfest in Naperville
- July 3-6, 2014
Catch a show at Ravinia
Eat fried foods at the Illinois State Fair in August, then the Sandwich Fair in September
- Illinois State Fair: Aug. 7-17, 2014
- Sandwich Fair: Sept. 3-7, 2014
Visit historic Galena in the northwest corner of the state
Paddle down the Fox River in the Mid-American Canoe and Kayak Race
- June 1, 2014
Check out the Cahokia Mounds in southern Illinois
Step back in time with a visit to New Salem
Embrace nature with a trip to the Shawnee National Forest
Get your kicks on the Route 66 Scenic Byway
Soar at Six Flags Great America
Spend time overlooking the Vermilion River at Matthiessen State Park
Get away from it all with a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe
Take the kids, or a date, to the Brookfield Zoo
“Big wheel keep on turning…” ride on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat
Rub the nose at Lincoln’s tomb
More nature, this time at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle
Arthur, Ill. – “the Heart of the Illinois Amish Country”
Rev the car enthusiast’s engine at the Volo Auto Museum
Cool off at Illinois’ largest water park, Raging Waves
Indulge in Swedish Days in Geneva
- June 17-22, 2014
Play 18 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, then check out the PGA’s John Deere Classic held there
- John Deere Classic: July 7-13, 2014
Caught World Cup fever? Remedy that with a Chicago Fire match at Toyota Park in Bridgeview
Play the ponies at the Arlington Million at Arlington Racetrack
- Arlington Million: Aug. 16, 2014
Get out there this summer, open up that map (or if you’re not old-fashioned, fire up that GPS) and explore Illinois.
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- Stop increased spending and permanent tax increase
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- Want to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of governing in Illinois? Use our Sound Off tool.