City guides

Cheap weekend trips from Chicago

Unleash your inner thrifty traveler in the U.S!

May 19, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
An aerial view of the Chicago skyline.

The gist: From the serene beauty of Starved Rock State Park to the charming streets of Galena, the tranquil vibes of Door County, and the sandy shores of Saugatuck, there's an affordable escape tailored just for you. 

Are you tired of the daily grind, but your wallet is feeling a little light? Well, then it's time to pack your bags, leave the concrete jungle behind, and embark on a weekend getaway that won't break the bank. From scenic landscapes to charming small towns, there are plenty of affordable options just a stone's throw away from the Windy City. Let's dive into some fantastic destinations for your next cheap weekend trip out of Chicago!

Embrace Nature's Serenity in Starved Rock State Park

Ready for a passionate rendezvous with Mother Nature? Look no further than Starved Rock State Park, located just 90 miles southwest of Chicago. This natural wonderland boasts breathtaking canyons, cascading waterfalls, and over 13 miles of hiking trails that'll leave you in awe. Lace up those hiking boots, unleash your inner explorer, and get ready to soak up the empowering energy of the great outdoors without breaking the bank!

Traverse Quaint Streets in Galena

If you crave a charming and casual getaway, Galena is your perfect match. Nestled in the picturesque hills of northwest Illinois, this historic town is a mere three-hour drive from Chicago. Stroll through the enchanting streets lined with 19th-century architecture, explore boutique shops, and indulge in local cuisine. Don't forget to visit the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, because who said history can't be fun?

Unwind in Tranquil Door County

For a truly rejuvenating escape, head north to Door County, Wisconsin, where relaxation is the name of the game. Whether you're sipping a local wine by the waterfront, biking along scenic trails, or soaking in the sunset at one of the area's many lighthouses, you'll feel the stress melt away. So, let your worries sail away on the lake breeze and let the positive vibes of Door County empower you to embrace the weekend fully!

Explore Michigan's Underrated Gem: Saugatuck

Are you in the mood for a beachside adventure, but the Caribbean is out of reach? Saugatuck, Michigan, has got your back! Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago, this hidden gem boasts sandy shores, dune rides, and vibrant art galleries. Grab your sunblock, channel your inner beach bum, and prepare for a weekend of pure, unadulterated fun without draining your bank account!

It's time to reclaim your weekends and embrace the adventures that await beyond the city limits! Don't let a tight budget dampen your spirit—pack your bags, and embark on a journey filled with fun moments, exciting explorations, and a healthy dose of fun. The world outside Chicago is waiting for you—go and conquer it, one affordable weekend trip at a time!

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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