Living in Chicago, couples have everything at their fingertips. Great restaurants, lively bars, museums, activities – you name it. But you and your partner might get sick of the “go, go, go” with people at every turn and rail sound at every main drive. So, incase you want to try something different for the day, why not try these romantic getaways near Chicago and turn the weekend into a quick road trip? Spend some time away from the scramble of the city and experience the best of what the Midwest has to offer. Of course, state parks are always a great choice too.
Possibly the most scenic town in Illinois, Galena is full of buildings dating back to the 19th century. This picturesque destination is perfect for the couple wanting to step away from the skyscrapers and admire the history of our great state. Elevate your date night with fine dining at Goldmoor Inn, savor some American classics at Durty Gurts, or explore the local joints from block to block. Meanwhile, Galena has four vineyards, a distillery, and a handful of breweries for couples looking to sip away their stress.
Naperville has soon become one of our favorite romantic getaways near Chicago with its gorgeous historic buildings and unique attractions, and, of course, the newly opened Jojo’s ShakeBAR. Artsy couples can check out the latest exhibitions at Naperville Art League or explore the many museums across the town. Meanwhile, nature lovers would surely enjoy a hike at the Morton Arboretum, or Cantigny Park is good in all seasons. As for things to eat and drink, you’ll realize it takes days to fully explore what Naperville has to offer. But, to make your planning easier, we recommend Lazy Dog, Latern, and our trusted Old Town Pour House! Plus, Naperville has an Ale Fest each year that absolutely cannot be missed if you or your partner love beer.
Many think Aurora is just another college town. So wrong. First of all, Aurora University itself has a brilliant gallery space, a rooftop garden, and a mini labyrinth to explore. A stroll across aurora is also perfect for architecture lovers, especially with the Balaji Temple and William Tanner House right around the corner. For beer lovers, check out Two Brother’s Roundhouse and grab a cold growler filled with your favorite brew. And finally, in case you’re a science nerd, did you know the famous (infamous!?) Fermilab is in North Aurora?
Just around the bend of Lake Michigan is Holland, MI. This quaint town, only two and a half hours away, is the perfect place for you and your honey to take some time away from the noisy city. At the beginning of May each year, you’ll find the Holland Tulip Festival. Colorful and unique, the Tulip Festival each Spring is the perfect way to spend some time outside when the weather begins to change.
If you’re looking for some spots to hang out and indulge in some of the local favorites, New Holland is also full of great restaurants and bars. New Holland Brewing is a brewery and distillery featuring seasonal specialties along with their year-long favorites. Butch’s Dry Dock is a wondeful spot for a romatic date night. Bite into a perfectly cooked steak or savor a traditional ratatouille (you know you’ve been wanting to try it!).
In the heart of Kohler, you’ll find the luxurious American Club Hotel. This five-star, five-diamond hotel has literally everything you and your partner could need for a romantic weekend getaway. Whether you want to relax at the spa, hit the links, or lose yourself in mouthwatering foods, the American Club will keep you entertained as you feel your worries glide off your shoulders. This city is also only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the city, which is the perfect distance to put some space between yourself and the city but also not feel like you’re going to be stuck in the car forever.
If you’re looking to get a little outdoorsy on your trip, river fishing, hiking, pheasant hunting, and weekend wellness trips are also available through the hotel. To stay active, partake in a yoga class, have a dip in the pool, or test your skills as the next Serena Williams on the tennis court.
If you live in Chicago, there’s a 1 in 1 chance you’ve had a weekend trip to Lake Geneva. But, what you might know as a decently-close boating town also has some great offerings for couples who want to stay lakeside on their weekend away. For a great meal with an even better view, check out Pier 290 for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and enjoy the sounds of the water as you sip on a Spotted Cow.
In downtown Lake Geneva, you’ll find yourselves surrounded by shops to saunter through, exploring the best of what the town offers. For a treat to top off your night, try out Scoops Ice Cream for a classic ice cream parlor feel before heading to Champs Sports Bar to take a shot (literally) at beating your partner in basketball and enjoying a cold drink.
Living in Illinois, there’s likely one state that you try your hardest not to venture too far into: Indiana. That mindset is sure to change as you and your partner spend more time in Michigan City. Despite the name, Michigan City is about an hour from Chicago in Indiana, and is a beautiful spot to spend some time near the water with your feet in the sand. Walk hand in hand with your partner down the pier and hangout near the notable lighthouse, listening to the waves crash.
For a little history lesson, take a tour at the exquisite Barker Mansion to explore one of the most well-known spots in town. Being close to the water might also have you craving fresh seafood, so be sure to plan a dinner out at Bridges, where an entire section of the menu is dedicated to fresh fish, including a salmon burger, fish tacos, and grilled shrimp skewers.
Featured Image: Naperville Ale Fest