5 answers

Vacation Destination Within 5-6 Hours of Chicago

My husband and I would like to take our 18 month old on a vacation this summer. We are still too nervous to fly with him so I was wondering if you had a suggestion for a place within 6 hours of Chicago. We love Door County but wanted a place we have never been.

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It's probably on the far side of your travel limit, but the entire Traverse County/Sleeping Bear Dunes area of Michigan is gorgeous and it really feels much more of a getaway than it sounds because there are such lovely resort towns. Manistee is very pretty and close to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Traverse City and the Leelenau Peninsula, you will fall in love with. Last summer we rented a cottage in Boyne City (other side of Traverse, near Petoskey) - beautiful (warm!) swimming beaches on Lake Charlevoix, more fabulous, not-too-crowded state parks, and the rental prices in that area were really reasonable. Plus, there were several adorable towns with great food and antique stores within close driving distance of our cottage.

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I would say any of the beach towns over on the east side of Lake Michigan. St. Joe area is really nice - or Saugatuk, Douglas. It wouldn't be that long of a trip, especially if you use the skyway. Even Michigan City - they have a zoo, outlet malls, nice beach, there are a bunch of houses right across the street that are rented out.

I would suggest St. Louis. There are tons of activities and attractions for the toddler-young child age, and a lot of them are completely free. All of the museums and attractions in Forest Park (designed like Central Park in NY), including the the Zoo and the science museum, are free to all. The zoo is really a very nice zoo. There are also other things to explore and do, such as Grant's Farm, a zoo/petting zoo which is owned by the beer people, so you get a free beer (if you want). On the Illinois side of the river there is also the Cahokia mounds, if you are interested in hiking/archaeology.

I lived in St. Louis from 2001-2005 before moving to Beverly,a nd I still miss it for all the fun and free activities. If you do choose St. Louis and would like more information, just email me.


Try Traverse City Michigan or if you don't want to go that far Saugatuck (sp?) which is only about 3 hours. Great beaches, shops and food.

Wisconsin Dells.. they are plenty of resorts up there for kids, adults and family fun... I went with a friend to the Christmas Mountain Resort.. oh it was georgous.. this was for a weekend getaway back in September. I think this a type of timeshare resort but we drove around and there are plenty more.
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