The Best Day Trips You Can Take in Illinois

The Best Day Trips You Can Take in Illinois

The Best Day Trips You Can Take in Illinois

Illinois has so much to offer, from world-renowned museums to beautiful natural landscapes. If you’re a local or just passing through, there are some amazing day trips you can take that will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best day trips you can take in Illinois. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, historic landmarks, or cultural experiences, Illinois has something for you.

Starved Rock State Park

If you’re a fan of outdoor adventure, Starved Rock State Park is a must-visit destination. Located in Utica, Illinois, Starved Rock boasts over 13 miles of hiking trails, 18 canyons, and breathtaking waterfalls.

In the winter, visitors can even enjoy cross-country skiing, ice climbing, and snowshoeing. Plus, with plenty of picnic areas, a lodge, and a visitor center, Starved Rock is perfect for a day trip with friends or family.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Take a trip back in time with a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois. This site offers tours of Abraham Lincoln’s home, where he lived with his family from 1844 until he was elected president in 1861.

The site also features a visitor center with exhibits on Lincoln and his family, as well as the history of Springfield. It’s a great place to learn about Illinois’ rich cultural heritage while enjoying a leisurely day trip.

Illinois Beach State Park

For a more relaxing day trip, why not visit Illinois Beach State Park? This 4,160-acre park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Zion, Illinois. With its miles of sandy beaches, it’s the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying nature. 

The park also features hiking trails, picnic areas, and a nature center, making it a great spot for a family outing. With its gorgeous views and rich wildlife, Illinois Beach State Park is sure to be an unforgettable day trip. 

And for those who enjoy the relaxing effects of marijuana, you don’t have to worry about breaking any laws. Public consumption is strictly prohibited, but once you finish your trip, you can unwind with some legal marijuana from the comfort of your own home. To find out if you qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program, visit Veriheal.

Illinois Railway Museum 

If you’re a fan of trains and history, then the Illinois Railway Museum is the place to be. Located in Union, Illinois, this museum is home to over 225 pieces of rolling stock from around the world. Visitors can take rides on vintage train cars or explore over 20 acres of outdoor exhibits. 

The museum also hosts numerous special events throughout the year, including a Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine and the annual Halloween-themed festival. So if you’re looking for something different to do on your day trip, consider checking out the Illinois Railway Museum.


If you’re looking for a quaint and charming Midwestern town, Galena is the perfect day trip destination. Located in the Northwestern part of the state, Galena is known for its beautiful rolling hills, rich history and well-preserved 19th-century architecture.

Visitors can take a walking tour of the town, enjoy local shops and restaurants, and appreciate the stunning views. It’s a great place to relax, take pictures, and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy outside world.


No list of Illinois day trips would be complete without mentioning Chicago. This world-class city has something for everyone, from the stunning skyline, to a variety of decadent cuisine, to miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

Take in the view from the top of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), explore the Art Institute of Chicago, or catch a game at Wrigley Field. With endless dining, entertainment, and cultural opportunities, Chicago is a destination unto itself.


Illinois truly has something for everyone, from natural beauty to cultural experiences. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, consider taking one of these day trips to expand your horizons and experience all that Illinois has to offer. From Galena to Chicago, every destination offers its own unique flavor and charm. So, plan your trip today and take advantage of the countless amazing day trip opportunities in Illinois!

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