6 Road Trips to Take This Spring
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It’s only spring, and you’re already running out of PTO days. Don’t panic. These destinations are all within driving distance from Chicago, and they won’t land you in a cornfield. They might not be beach vacations, but they’re the breaths of fresh air you need. Buckle up: Here are six road trips you should plan this spring.
It’s not a trip to the Netherlands. But in the small Michigan town, about 150 miles outside Chicago, you can score an authentic pair of wooden shoes. Honoring the heritage of its early settlers, the city offers tours of the De Klomp Wooden Shoe Factory. And in May, you can stop and smell all the flowers at the Tulip Time Festival.
Travel Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
New Glarus, Wisconsin
It’s not just the name of a beer. It’s actually a Swiss-inspired town that seems plucked from the pages of a storybook. About 150 miles northwest of Chicago, the hilly place is dotted with chalets and cow statues (yup). Get a dose of local history by touring the 1890s cheese factory. And yes, you can visit the brewery.
Travel Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Even if you’re not exactly up for a game at the Big House, you could easily fill a weekend with things to do in this gorgeous college town. Get your nature fix with a walk through the Arb, wet your appetite at Frita Batidos and please the supernatural spirits by keeping an eye out for one of the tiny “fairy doors” hidden on buildings and trees.
Travel Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Skip the claustrophobic ride in the Arch and head straight to the kitschy-cool Moonrise Hotel. Some of the rooms have ceilings that glow with stars when the lights are off. (There’s also a kind of amazing, rainbow-light staircase.) The surrounding Delmar Loop neighborhood is filled with cute shops and restaurants, but you must check out the live music--and the vintage toy collection--at Blueberry Hill.
Travel Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
If a rustic getaway is what you want, then Elkhorn’s Camp Wandawega is what you need. A cabin stay at Wandawega reminds us that sometimes it's a luxury to get away from it all. Oh, and there’s even a treehouse. Typically, the camp is rented out for private events, but single accommodations do become available from time to time. Get over your fear of spiders--doesn’t a weekend of canoeing, hiking and firing up s’mores sound nice?
Travel Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Head 80 miles northeast of Chicago and enter the land of Victorian mansions. If you want to stay in one, book a room at the Maxwell Mansion. (Its Apothecary Bar makes a damn delicious vanilla Manhattan.) On Sunday, hit the Champagne brunch at Baker House, where all guests wear opulent hats. Don’t worry; they’ll lend you one.
Travel Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes