Embarking on road trips from Chicago is an exciting way to discover the picturesque landscapes and charming towns that surround this vibrant city. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking adventure, there are numerous road trip options that will cater to your preferences.
In this detailed travel guide, we will take you through some of the best road trips from Chicago, providing travel details and essential tips to ensure a memorable and smooth journey. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to hit the open road to best road trips from Chicago!
Best Road Trips From Chicago
1: Lake Michigan Circle Tour
- Travel Details: It is one of the best road trips from Chicago, start your adventure by heading east along Lake Shore Drive to Indiana Dunes National Park. Continue north along the stunning Lake Michigan coastline, passing through scenic towns such as Michigan City, Saugatuck, and Traverse City. Make sure to take breaks to enjoy the sandy beaches, lighthouses, and breathtaking sunsets.
- Things to Keep in Mind: Pack sunscreen, beach essentials, and comfortable walking shoes. Carry a cooler with snacks and drinks for picnic stops along the way. Check for park admission and parking fees, and consider booking accommodations in advance during peak season.
2: Door County, Wisconsin
- Travel Details: Drive north across the Wisconsin border to reach the picturesque Door County. Explore charming waterfront villages, visit orchards and wineries, and indulge in fresh seafood. Be sure to visit Peninsula State Park for panoramic views of Lake Michigan and hike the scenic trails and believe us, it will be one of your best road trips from Chicago.
- Things to Keep in Mind: Check ferry schedules if you plan to visit Washington Island. Pack layers of clothing, as the weather can change quickly. Make dinner reservations in popular restaurants, especially during weekends and holidays.
3: Historic Route 66
- Travel Details: Embark on the iconic Route 66 journey, starting in Chicago and heading southwest towards St. Louis. It’s another one of the best road trips from Chicago. Discover nostalgic roadside attractions, classic diners, and vintage motels along the way. Visit landmarks like the Gateway Arch and the Meramec Caverns, and immerse yourself in the rich history of America’s Mother Road.
- Things to Keep in Mind: Research the best stretches of Route 66 to explore, as not all sections are equally well-preserved. Familiarize yourself with the classic Route 66 icons and plan your stops accordingly. Pack a camera to capture the nostalgia and unique sights along the route.
4: Starved Rock State Park
- Travel Details: Journey southwest towards Ottawa, Illinois, to reach the stunning Starved Rock State Park. Immerse yourself in nature as you hike through canyons, waterfalls, and lush forests. Enjoy breathtaking views from the park’s overlooks and explore the historical sites.
- Things to Keep in Mind: Pack sturdy hiking shoes and dress in layers for changing weather conditions. Carry a refillable water bottle and snacks for the trails. Check the park’s website for any closures or restrictions, especially during severe weather.
Embarking on road trips from Chicago opens up a world of exploration and adventure. Whether you choose to circumnavigate Lake Michigan, drive historic Route 66, discover Wisconsin’s charming Door County, or explore the beauty of Starved Rock State Park, each journey promises unique experiences and captivating scenery.
Remember to plan your itinerary, pack essentials, and remain flexible to make spontaneous discoveries along the way. So, fuel up your vehicle, create a killer playlist, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip from Chicago.
Best Podcasts for Road Trips: The Ultimate Playlist
Embarking on a road trip is an excellent opportunity to explore the world of podcasts. With a plethora of genres to choose from, including music, storytelling, comedy, and more, podcasts offer a wealth of entertainment and learning experiences during those long hours on the road.
In this article, we have also curated a diverse selection of the best podcasts for every taste, ensuring an unforgettable road trip experience. So get ready to plug in, tune out, and dive into the fascinating world of podcasts while on best road trips from Chicago.
Listen Link: Song Exploder
For music lovers, “Song Exploder” is an absolute gem. Hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway, this podcast allows artists to deconstruct their songs, providing insights into the creative process. With episodes featuring renowned musicians like Lorde, The National, and Fleetwood Mac, “Song Exploder” offers a unique and intimate look at the magic behind the music. Delve into captivating stories and learn about the making of some of your favorite tracks while on one of best road trips from Chicago.
Listen Link: The Daily
“The Daily” is a news podcast produced by The New York Times, offering in-depth reporting on current events and compelling stories that shape the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro, each episode provides analysis and interviews, ensuring you stay informed while on the go. From politics and culture to science and global affairs, “The Daily” keeps you engaged and up to date, making it a perfect companion for road trips.
Listen Link: Science Vs
If you’re curious about science, skepticism, and debunking myths, “Science Vs” is the podcast for you. Hosted by Wendy Zukerman, this show takes a deep dive into various topics, investigating claims and pitting them against scientific evidence. From exploring the truth about CBD to uncovering the reality behind detoxes, “Science Vs” presents a fun and educational journey through the world of science.
“Comedy Bang! Bang!”
Listen Link: Comedy Bang! Bang!
Laughter is a must during long road trips, and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” delivers it in spades. Hosted by Scott Aukerman, this podcast features hilarious conversations with comedians, actors, and musicians. With a blend of improv, character sketches, and witty banter, “Comedy Bang! Bang!” guarantees endless laughs as you cruise down the highway.
Listen Link: Serial
“Serial” is often credited with launching the true crime podcast genre into the mainstream. Each season focuses on a compelling, real-life story that unfolds week by week, keeping you hooked and eager for more. With its immersive storytelling, gripping narratives, and meticulous investigative journalism, “Serial” is an ideal choice to captivate and engage you during those long stretches of highway.
“Stuff You Should Know”
Listen Link: Stuff You Should Know
Hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, “Stuff You Should Know” covers a vast array of intriguing and educational topics. From the origins of everyday objects to deep dives into historical events, this podcast delivers well-researched information packaged in a conversational and entertaining format. With over 1,000 episodes, you’ll never run out of fascinating subjects to explore on your road trip.
Listen Link: The Moth
If you love storytelling, “The Moth” is a must-listen podcast. It features real people sharing their personal, captivating, and sometimes humorous stories on stage. From tales of triumph to moments of vulnerability, “The Moth” transports you into a world of diverse human experiences. These heartfelt and inspiring narratives are perfect for sparking meaningful conversations and reflection during your road trip.
Listen Link: Radiolab
“Radiolab” is a mind-bending podcast that combines science, philosophy, and compelling storytelling. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich explore fascinating topics, from the mysteries of the universe to unusual human experiences. With its immersive sound design, thought-provoking discussions, and captivating narratives, “Radiolab” will keep you intellectually stimulated as you journey down the road.
“How I Built This”
Listen Link: How I Built This
For aspiring entrepreneurs or those interested in the stories behind successful companies, “How I Built This” is a must-listen. Guy Raz interviews innovators, industry titans, and business moguls, delving into their journeys of starting and growing successful ventures. This podcast offers valuable insights, lessons, and inspiration to fuel your own entrepreneurial dreams during your road trip.
Road trips offer the perfect opportunity to expand your podcast library and embark on a journey of entertainment and discovery. With podcasts covering music, news, science, comedy, and history, there’s something for everyone. So, plug in your headphones, hit play, and enjoy the best podcasts in every genre, ensuring a memorable and engaging road trip experience.
The Best Cars for Road Trips
The choice of the right car can make all the difference while going on road trips from Chicago. Whether you’re seeking comfort, ample space, or impressive mileage, there’s a perfect fit for every road tripper out there. In this article, we will explore a selection of the best cars for road trips, highlighting their essential technical specifications while maintaining a human-friendly tone. Buckle up and get ready to discover the ideal vehicle to enhance your road trip adventures.
- Ford Explorer:
The Ford Explorer is a versatile SUV that offers comfort, ample cargo space, and a smooth ride. With its powerful engine options and excellent handling, it effortlessly tackles different terrains. Its spacious interior can accommodate up to seven passengers, making it an ideal choice for family or group road trips. Technical specifications include a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, available intelligent four-wheel drive, and advanced safety features to ensure a secure journey.
- Subaru Outback:
The Subaru Outback is renowned for its reliability, off-road capability, and spacious cabin. Equipped with Subaru’s legendary all-wheel drive system, it provides excellent stability and traction on varying road conditions. The Outback also boasts impressive fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride, making it an excellent choice for longer trips. Technical specifications include a 2.5-liter BOXER engine, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and ample cargo space for luggage and outdoor gear.
- Honda CR-V:
The Honda CR-V is a popular compact SUV loved for its practicality, fuel efficiency, and comfortable interior. With its spacious seating and versatile cargo area, the CR-V offers room for passengers and their belongings. It delivers a smooth and composed ride, making it perfect for both highway cruising and exploring country roads. Technical specifications feature a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, available Honda Sensing suite of safety features, and modern infotainment options.
- Toyota Camry:
For those who prefer a sedan for their road trips, the Toyota Camry is an excellent choice. With its refined interior, comfortable seats, and excellent fuel efficiency, the Camry provides a smooth and enjoyable ride. Its spacious cabin can comfortably accommodate passengers, while its trunk offers ample storage space. Technical specifications include a range of engine options, advanced safety features, and intuitive technology for connectivity and entertainment.
- Volkswagen Atlas:
The Volkswagen Atlas is a spacious and stylish midsize SUV designed to maximize comfort and convenience during road trips. With its generous seating capacity, multiple storage compartments, and advanced safety features, it ensures a secure and enjoyable journey. The Atlas also offers a smooth, quiet ride and impressive cargo space for luggage or outdoor equipment. Technical specifications include a variety of engine options, available 4MOTION all-wheel drive, and advanced driver assistance systems.
Choosing the right car for a road trip is crucial for ensuring a memorable and comfortable experience. The Ford Explorer, Subaru Outback, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Atlas are among the best cars available, offering a blend of performance, versatility, comfort, and safety features. Consider your needs, preferences, and the technical specifications mentioned to select the perfect vehicle that will enhance your road trip adventures. Safe travels!
Safe Travels, Have Fun!