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4 Best Michigan Day Trips From Chicago To Escape the Windy City

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This put up is all concerning the 4 greatest Michigan day journeys From Chicago.

Escape the Windy Metropolis this summer season and discover one in all these Michigan day journeys from Chicago.

Whether or not you’re in search of out of doors adventures, an opportunity to walk a small city avenue, or immersive historic museums, steal our itinerary for a full-day getaway close to Chicago.

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1. South Haven

One of many shorter day trips from Chicago, a go to to the Lake Michigan seashore city of South Haven is a fast two-hour drive alongside the shoreline with ample alternative for exploring this walkable historic city’s many points of interest and actions – excellent for a day journey near house.

Catch a Wave & Soak Up the Solar

South Haven is greatest identified for its sandy seashores on Lake Michigan, making them a must-add to any summer season day journey. South Haven boasts seven public seashores, however we advocate visiting the quieter Oak Road Seashore for a less-crowded expertise. This can be a excellent spot to take pleasure in kayaking on Lake Michigan.

Take pleasure in Lunch at Phoenix Road on Broadway

Whereas there are lots of South Haven eating places, we advocate grabbing a mid-morning or early-afternoon chunk from Phoenix Road on Broadway. This cafe is open every day (examine for seasonal hours) for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, and it serves a few of our favourite entrees: B.(E.)L.T.s, apple pecan salads, Reuben sandwiches, and extra!

Experience the (Former) Rails on the Kal-Haven Path

After a morning on the seashore, it’s time to be adventurous! Seize your bike in the event you introduced it alongside (or hire one from an area clothes shop – we advocate Rock ‘n’ Highway Cycle), and hit the Kal-Haven Path for a couple of dozen miles. This former railway as soon as linked South Haven’s lumber business to the metropolis of Kalamazoo, and it’s now a state park with a historical past of its personal.

Not a fan of biking? No worries. As a multi-use path, Kal-Haven Path is likely one of the greatest strolling and climbing trails within the space, too!

Sneak in a Candy Deal with at Sherman’s Dairy Bar

After you’ve pedaled your hearts out, goal your wheels for Sherman’s Dairy Bar for a refreshing candy deal with. No journey to South Haven is full with out an ice cream cone or one other frozen dessert from Sherman’s. For a real Michigan expertise, we advocate indulging in a scoop or two of Superman ice cream!

Discover Maritime Historical past on the Michigan Maritime Museum

For those who’re in search of an indoor exercise in your day journey from Chicago, don’t miss exploring the Michigan Maritime Museum. This historic museum in Michigan will take you into the heritage of sailing on the Nice Lakes and consists of hands-on reveals to immersive historic onboard experiences for everybody to find and luxuriate in.

Savor Supper at Clementine’s

Take pleasure in a leisurely night meal earlier than you head again into the town on the finish of the day. A South Haven establishment since 1981, Clementine’s has an informal ambiance and serves home-cooked entrees crafted with high quality substances. Our favourite menu objects embrace Roscoe Ribeye, Tin Pan Walleye, Clem’s O-Ring Burger, and Thai Rooster Linguine.

2. Kalamazoo

  • Driving Time: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes

Among the best perks a couple of day journey from Chicago to Kalamazoo, Michigan, is that you simply don’t want a car! Simply bounce on the Amtrack commuter prepare for a two-hour experience into the guts of downtown Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo’s downtown affords all of the vitality of an enormous metropolis with out sacrificing the fantastic thing about a small city. Everybody will discover something to enjoy in Kalamazoo, from the tasty craft beer to the entertaining occasions on the native historical past museum.

Join with Historical past

Only a few blocks from the Kalamazoo Amtrak station, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum has science and historical past reveals that may seize the imaginations of each member of your touring get together. Or, in the event you’d slightly spend the morning outside, take a self-guided strolling tour of Historic Downtown Kalamazoo with Lynn Houghton and Richard Piet.

Drink, Store, and Stroll Downtown

Kalamazoo’s Downtown Social District has a Central Commons Refreshment Space the place you should buy a beverage from a taking part institution and sip it whereas exploring and purchasing downtown. A few of our favourite shops in Downtown Kalamazoo embrace Kzoo within the Mitten, Nice Lakes Thrift Co., and The Spirit of Kalamazoo.

Linger Over Lunch on the Crow’s Nest

Open day-after-day besides Tuesday, the Crow’s Nest is a quaint, second-story restaurant with aptitude that serves three meals every day. We’re large followers of The Rooster’s Soften, Captain Kokey’s Membership, and the Kzoo Stir Fry on its mouth-watering menu. 

Attain for the Skies on the Air Zoo

The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum in Kalamazoo appeals to guests of all ages and is thought to be one in all Kalamazoo’s greatest day journey amusements. With interactive reveals targeted on science, area, aviation, and flight, the museum has greater than 100 plane and area artifacts on show.

Dine In or Carry Out Dinner from Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

The unique location of Bell’s Brewery, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, is a must-visit restaurant throughout your day journey from Chicago. Pattern one of many 20+ Bell’s beers on faucet whilst you wait to your meal. Pull up a seat on the bar or seize your grub to go and picnic at Mayors Riverfront Park.

3. Holland

  • Driving Time: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes

Whereas it is likely to be greatest identified for its Dutch roots and tradition, there is so much more to do in Holland than simply attending its annual Tulip Time Pageant. This Lake Michigan seashore city is stuffed with actions and points of interest, making it among the finest day journey concepts whenever you’re seeking to escape the Windy Metropolis.

Hike the Dunes

One among our favourite issues about Michigan is its many state parks, and Holland State Park is likely one of the greatest. The Holland Dune Path is a shocking out-and-back hike that provides breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, Large Pink, and Lake Macatawa from the highest of Mount Pisgah.

Professional Tip: Return simply earlier than nightfall to catch one of the vital spectacular sunsets over Lake Michigan!

Eat Breakfast Any Time

As odd because it might sound to eat breakfast in the course of the day, that’s exactly what we advocate when visiting Holland, Michigan. Holland’s iconic Windmill Restaurant is a vacation spot in and of itself, and also you gained’t wish to miss ordering its well-known Windmill Hashbrown Omelette whenever you cease in for a mid-day meal!

Dive into Dutch Tradition

A day journey from Chicago to Holland gained’t assist you to expertise all of the Dutch tradition right here, however you need to have loads of time to attempt on a pair of picket footwear on the De Klomp Wood Shoe and Delft Manufacturing facility, discover a working windmill at Windmill Island Gardens, or stroll by way of an interactive historical past lesson at Nelis’ Dutch Village.

Embrace Your Pirate Aspect

You won’t take into consideration pirates when you consider Holland, however a go to to Holland isn’t full and not using a go to to Captain Sundae and Pirates Touchdown Mini Golf. Problem your mateys to a spherical of 18 holes and rejoice with a Salty Canine or Mint Munity sundae.

Dine In & Drink Up

Established by two native Michiganders in 1996, New Holland Brewing Firm is likely one of the greatest locations for dinner and drinks in Holland. Cease in at its family-friendly downtown location for dinner and drinks earlier than you hit the street and head back to Chicago – simply make sure you imbibe responsibly and designate a driver!

4. Grand Rapids

Simply three hours from downtown Chicago (relying on site visitors and building) and solely 25 miles from Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids is a day journey vacation spot price exploring. An early morning commute out of the town will go away you with greater than sufficient time to pattern among the greatest things to do in Grand Rapids this summer season.

Go to John Ball Zoo

A favourite Michigan zoo, John Ball Zoo, is one in all our favourite household enjoyable issues to do within the metropolis. With loads of shaded pathways, energetic animals, and particular occasions scheduled all through the summer season, you may simply probe for a half day or extra.

Discover Downtown Grand Rapids

After spending the morning on the zoo, discover your strategy to Downtown Grand Rapids for a chunk to eat at one of many native eating places, Brick and Porter. After your meal, stroll alongside the Grand River and uncover why Grand Rapids known as “River Metropolis.”

Stroll Via Historical past on the Grand Rapids Public Museum

Whereas downtown having fun with the river views, cease on the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a stroll by way of the town’s previous. This multi-level historical past museum is partaking and informative, making it a really perfect vacation spot for all ages. Children (and youngsters at coronary heart) gained’t wish to miss using the carousel that overlooks the Grand River.

Catch a Sport at LMCU Ballpark

A summer season day journey from Chicago to Grand Rapids isn’t full with out having fun with America’s Pastime at LMCU Ballpark. Catching a West Michigan Whitecaps minor league baseball recreation is a good way to finish your day in Grand Rapids earlier than you head again to the Windy Metropolis.

Expertise Different Grand Rapids Sights

In fact, you possibly can’t absolutely expertise cities like Grand Rapids in simply in the future. You’ll wish to plan one other day journey or an prolonged keep to take a look at different Grand Rapids points of interest just like the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the Blandford Nature Heart, and, after all, the town’s many breweries (in spite of everything, it’s not referred to as Beer Metropolis USA for nothing!).

Extra Michigan Day Journeys from Chicago to Discover

These greatest locations from the Chicago space are simply the tip of the iceberg for potential adventures whenever you wish to escape the Windy Metropolis for a day. Whether or not you wish to take pleasure in out of doors actions, a small-town purchasing expertise, or a soothing getaway, Michigan has no scarcity of street journey locations to discover, only a quick journey away from house.

With pure wonders like waterfalls and scenic views to shoreline classics like lighthouses and pristine seashores, Michigan is the right vacation spot to unwind with its many hidden gems and nice day journey getaway concepts!

This text initially appeared on Savoteur

Writer bio: Ashley Pichea is the Content material Supervisor for AwesomeMitten.com – a web site devoted to serving to individuals fall extra in love with Michigan by way of its in-depth journey guides and deep dives on hidden gem locations throughout the state. When she’s not geeking out over web optimization, you’ll discover her exploring the Midwest together with her husband and 5 youngsters.


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