Chicago is a vibrant city with so many things to do – you’d be hard-pressed to succumb to boredom, no matter how hard you try! However, sometimes you just have to get out of town, head for the hills, go jump in a lake, get a change of scenery.

Luckily, there are plenty of things to do that are within an easy driving distance of Chicago and Lake Carroll, meaning that you will never run out of ideas for how to spend your downtime.

Here are our top 10 Chicago weekend getaways:

  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Only a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago, Lake Geneva seems like it’s a whole other world once you arrive. Relax at waterfront restaurants and bars, hike the shoreline, and explore the arboretum at nearby Lake Delavan.

  • Sawyer, Michigan

Located about an hour and a half east of Chicago, Sawyer is famous for craft breweries and distilleries. When you’re ready to sweat off the hangover, check out Warren Dunes State Park where you can catch some sun or climb those stunning white sand dunes to your heart’s content.

  • Indiana Dunes

Speaking of dunes, Indiana Dunes is another stretch of gorgeous white sand on the shores of Lake Michigan. Cycle or hike 50 miles of trails and marvel at the majestic beauty of the sand dunes.

  • Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

Like Shakespeare? Love the theater? If so, you will never have a more interesting experience than you will at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington-Normal. The 19th-century architecture, farm-to-table restaurants, museums, and vibrant live music scene are just a bonus.

  • Amish Country

A couple of hours east of Chicago in Indiana, the old coexists with the new and modern. Experience life as it was and shall ever be while you sample homemade pies and discover delightful and timeless Amish-made crafts.

  • Crystal Lake

Just over an hour away from Chicago to the northwest you’ll find Crystal Lake. You can drive or take the Metra from downtown Chicago to enjoy shopping, beaches, a boardwalk, great cycling and hiking trails, and amazing restaurants.

  • Fox River Valley

An hour west of the loop, you’ll find historical architecture, high-end accommodation, live theater, shopping, and a local winery, all with the picturesque Fox River running right through the middle of it.

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Beer, beer, and more beer … plus, plenty of live music, art, and food festivals to keep you going. Tour the Pabst Mansion, the Harley Davidson Museum, or catch a Brewer’s game.

  • Woodstock, Illinois

The historic town of Woodstock is home to unique shops, art galleries, and an eclectic array of bars, restaurants, and live music venues. Enjoy the Midwest Mozart Festival, summer outdoor concerts, and performances at the gothic Opera House throughout the year. It also has the distinction of being the location for the popular Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day.

  • Apple River Canyon State Park

The woods along the Apple River are famous for their fall colors. With bluffs to hike, fossils to discover, and some of the area’s best fishing, it’s an outdoorsman’s wonderland right in our own backyard.

These are just some of the great weekend getaways you can enjoy with just a short drive from Chicago. Lake Carroll is closely situated to most of these fabulous attractions, making it easy to enjoy some of the region’s most exciting and delicious destinations.