Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day Trips from Chicago

Day Trips from Chicago: getaway ideas for the local traveler
Elisa Drake

This guidebook features 25 trips within a few hours drive of Chicago. Each trip is illustrated with a full page regional map and includes directions and suggestions on where to go, where to shop, where to stay, and where to eat. The trips are grouped by geography: north (mostly Wisconsin), northeast (Michigan), east (Indiana & Michigan), southeast (Indiana), south (mostly Illinois), and west (Illinois & Iowa). While all of the destinations are within a day's drive of Kalamazoo, I've selected a few from Michigan and Northern Indiana.

Day Trips near Kalamazoo

1. Beachy Keen
South Haven
"The first inkling of South Haven as a resort town came in the 1880s when Jewish families from Chicago began landing there for summer stays. It exploded over the next 80 years, at its height boasting more than 200 resorts. But along came the Depression, which sent that number spiraling down to about 45 during the 1960s. Now, a tighter tourist community offers quaint stays at bed-and-breakfasts and lakefront cottages."
DeGrandchamp Farms U-Pick
Kal-Haven Trail
Michigan Maritime Museum
South Pier Lighthouse
Cafe Julia $-$$
Clementine's $$
Sherman's Dairy Bar $
Tellos Italian Bistro $$

2. Calm, Cool & Art Collectors
"It's no secret that Saugatuck-Douglas is one of Chicago's favorite driving destinations...and now that Budget Traveler magazine declared it in 2010 as the "Coolest Small Party Town in America," you really need to go see it for yourself."
Chain Ferry
Oval Beach
Red Barn Theater
Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum
Art galleries
Star of Saugatuck boat cruise
Belvedere Restaurant $$$
Everyday People Cafe $$-$$$
Phil's Bar & Grille $$
Restaurant Toulouse $$$
Uncommon Grounds $
Crane's Pie Pantry $ Fennville
Salt of the Earth $ Fennville

3. Windmills and Winsome Shores
Holland & Grand Haven
"Both cities have water at their hearts, with protected sand dunes and soft sandy beaches lending loads of recreation and natural beauty. Holland is famous for its Dutch flavor in its food, festivals, flowers, fancy footwork of the klompen dancers, and, of course, its grand 12-story-high DwZwaan windmill. In Grand Haven a recently refurbished boardwalk puts a brighter spotlight on Lake Michigan and the Grand River."

Holland Museum
Holland State Park
Nelis' Dutch Village
Veldheer's Tulip Gardens
Windmill Island
CityVu Bistro $-$$
New Holland Brewing Company $-$$
Pereddies Restaurant $$
The Piper $$
Windmill Restaurant $

Grand Haven
Grand Haven State park
Musical Fountain
Rosy Mound Natural Area
Tri-Cities Historical Museum
Harbor Trolley
Bil-mar Restaurant $$
Kirby House Grill Room $$$
Odd Side Ales $
Pronto Pup $

4. Take a Seat, Literally
Grand Rapids
"The public museum tells the story of the city's furniture glory days,while today its major contribution is in office furniture, with headquarters here for the $2.3 billion company Steelcase."
Frederik Meijer Gardens
Gerald Ford Museum
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum
John Ball Zoo
Robinette's Apple Haus
Urban Institute for Contemporary Art
Beltline Bar $
Bistro Bella Vita $$-$$$
Electric Cheetah $$
Founders Brewing Company $
Green Well $-$$

5. Brews, Zoos & More
Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, & Marshall
"Just off I-94 this trio of Michigan cities takes you from a zoo of airplanes to a zoo with a heart for endangered species, from a microbrewery that's 25 years old to another that boasts a 250-year-old tradition."

Air Zoo
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Parkwyn Village
Bell's Eccentric Cafe $
Food Dance Cafe $$
The Union Cabaret & Grill $$
Gilmore Car Museum Hickory Corners

Battle Creek
Arcadia Brewing Company
Binder Park Zoo
Heritage Mile Walking Tour
Clara's on the River $$
O.T.'s Up-n-Smoke BBQ $

American Museum of Magic
Honolulu House Museum
Cornwell's Turkeyville USA

6. Wine, Dine & Wind Down
Michigan City, New Buffalo, Three Oaks & Sawyer
"Harbor Country cities brim with quaint bed-and-breakfasts for comfy lodging after a rough day of wine tasting, dune hiking, and even a little card playing at the two casinos in the area."

Indiana Dunes
Art and Earth Trail

Michigan City, IN
Barker Museum
Blue Chip Casino
Great Lakes Museum of Military History
Lubeznik Center for the Arts
Old Lighthouse Museum
Washington Park Zoo
Lighthouse Place Outlet mall
Matey's Restaurant $$
Shoreline Brewery $$
Swingbelly's Restaurant $$

Harbour Country
Acorn Theater
Dinges' Farm
Four Winds Casino
Fruitful Vine Tours
New Buffalo Railroad Museum
Round Barn Winery
Warren Dunes State Park
Brewster's $$-$$$
Fitzgerald's Bistro $$$
Kite's Kitchen $-$$
Red Arrow Roadhouse $$
Redamak's $

7. Touchdown Here
South Bend, IN
"Famous for the University of Notre Dame and the school's beloved Fighting Irish football team (and the enthusiastic tailgating that goes with it), South Bend is also a cache of industrial history and national landmark homes-- from the 1895 Copshaholm mansion, now a museum, to the tangible markers and historic tales left by Studebaker and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, both of which provided substantial growth to this Indiana town from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries."
Center for History
College Football Hall of Fame
Potawatomi Zoo
South Bend Chocolate Company tour
Studebaker National Museum
University of Notre Dame
Fiddler's Hearth $$-$$$
Rocco's Restaurant $$
Sorin's $$$
Tippecanoe Place $$$
Yesterday's $$-$$$

8 Take Us Home, Country Roads
Elkhart, IN & Amish Country
"Black horse-drawn buggies clip-clop their wayalong rural byways; brilliant quilt designs patterned from thousands of flowers fill the farmland from srping through early fall; RV-ers roll through the area to pay homage to the place they were produced; and two prominent rivers converge in scenic vistas."

Elkhart, IN
Elkhart River Queen
Linton's Enchanted Gardens
Midwest Museum of American Art
New York Central Railway Museum
Ruthmere House Museum
RV Hall of Fame
Wellfield Botanic Gardens
DaVinci's Italian Family Restaurant $$
El Maguey Grill $-$$
Lucchese's Italian Restaurant $$
McCarthy's on the Riverwalk $$
Stirred $$$
Sweet Creams Soda Shop $

Amish Country
Amish Acres
Bonneyville Mill
Heritage Driving Tour
Das Dutchman Essenhaus $$
Mullet's Dining (by reservation only)$$

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the author

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