Fall Road-Tripping Ideas Close to Home

(StatePoint) Fall marks changing leaf colors, cooler weather, and shorter days -- and it’s a great season for a road trip close to home. Road-tripping regionally can be a particularly interesting way for Illinoisans to go on journeys to pursue passions or just to relax, without traveling too far away.

From scenic trails to sophisticated inns to a cold brew and a bite at a microbrewery, here are some great ideas for your next road-trip.

An Artistic Destination


Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel is a place for travelers with open minds, a curious nature, and a desire to question. The name of the hotel is a nod to the patron saint of artists, and the artistic venue is a perfect destination to explore Milwaukee’s vibrant and growing cultural scene this fall season. Complete with theatre, dance, music and more, travelers can experience new exhibitions and pop-up performances throughout the hotel. Whether it’s seeing a show in the hotel’s Arc Theatre, perusing the hotel’s three art galleries, taking a “Champagne Art Tour” with the hotel curator, or unwinding with a Veuve Clicquot in Giggly, Milwaukee’s only champagne bar, Saint Kate is your stage for an artistic and inspiring experience.

Classic Inn and Microbrewery in Springfield


The Inn at 835 in Springfield offers a timeless atmosphere that appeals to those hoping for a quiet getaway, sans kids and responsibilities. The sophisticated, classic design of the hotel is combined with all contemporary necessities, including wifi, so that you can choose how connected you wish to be during your stay.

Obed & Isaac’s, meanwhile, offers a dining experience fit for the whole family. Their microbrewery, located next to the restaurant, produces quality craft beer year-round. The restaurant and brewery feature a family-friendly atmosphere, and the complementary nearby dog-run means you can relax while your pet has free rein. Obed & Isaac’s sits one block west of Abraham Lincoln's Home and boasts a great view of the State Capitol.

Explore Elgin Area


The Elgin area offers many features to explore: the area boasts two nationally recognized golf courses; historical building tours are open year-round for architect buffs; and the Fox River Trails provide exploration for both kayakers and bikers. Along the bike trail, cyclers have access to the Grand Victoria Casino, the area’s local breweries, and the entirety of downtown Elgin. There, visitors have the chance to explore Elgin’s fine dining and entertainment venues. The forest preserves provide a place of natural reflection, while the museums offer an indoor escape to other times. The fall season also brings many events, including the Art Harvest and the Nightmare on Chicago Street. Fan of rock music? Check out the RocHaus to finish your visit.

Port Washington


The historic city of Port Washington, bordering Lake Michigan, offers an abundance of activities for the whole family. Look to the pier’s lighthouse for an art-deco inspiration. The Port Exploreum guides visitors through the city’s maritime past, while the marina offers fishing areas. The nineteenth-century buildings and the annual ghost hunts will transport you to another time period. For foodies, the city boasts local eateries, including a fish market, gourmet popcorn, winery, brewery, and more. The Interurban Trail is also located nearby, providing a 30-mile trail to view the fall colors, and the lakeside parks provide access to migratory flyways. Staying the weekend? Check out the beer garden, located next to a playground so the entire family can be entertained.

Visit Milwaukee


Fall is so much fun in Milwaukee! Along with stunning fall colors, Milwaukee’s theater scene, specialty beer releases, and the city’s biggest arts event, the Milwaukee Film Festival (October 17-31), are not to be missed. Fall color traditionally peaks during October, and there’s plenty of opportunities to admire bright reds, oranges, and yellows along the lakefront or in Milwaukee’s sprawling county parks. At night, Milwaukee comes alive with incredible theater productions, ranging from locally-produced plays to national touring shows like “Hamilton.” New this year, don’t miss the hyper-local release of Syndicate Series #1, a collaboration Sticke Alte beer that will be debuted at the Great American Beer Festival and served exclusively in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood. Prosit to fall in Milwaukee!

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