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Fuel

Andrew / June 8, 2007 12:50 AM

Suggested by Kelly, who says, "I finally just bought a car and am excited to hit the road this summer. To get out of the city and enjoy being in nature. As a born-and-raised near suburbs/city kid, i have very little notion of where to go.
So: suggestions for good camping/hiking/canoeing/etc. suitable for a weekend/day trip?"

American Player / June 8, 2007 7:06 AM

Go see a play in the theater in the woods:

https://www.playinthewoods.org

It's in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

mike / June 8, 2007 7:58 AM

St. Joseph, Mich., is a nice little town on the lake in the southwest corner of the state. It hasn't been as overrun with Chicagoans like some of the other cities nearby. And it has some great beach.

missmolly / June 8, 2007 8:10 AM

madison, wi!!

matt / June 8, 2007 8:57 AM

If you're in to camping/nature... Devils Lake State Park in Barraboo, WI is absolutely awesome.

Mountain biking trails, hiking, general nature-y stuff to do...

It's about an hour past Madison on 94.

mike-ts / June 8, 2007 9:02 AM

Ideas for Wandering Indiana...

For a whole weekend away:

Indiana Dunes, at the north terminus of Indiana Route 49 north of Chesterton. If you camp, they just revamped the whole camping area a couple of years ago. I loathe camping, but if any campers on this site have used the place since it was redone, please chime in with how it was for you. I've just heard good things, and cannot speak from experience.

For an afternoon/day of fun:

If you've never been to an ole fashioned country fair, check out Porter county's in July, or Lake County's in August.

And remember Pierogi Fest in Whiting. Gary Railcats games are fun.

Eric / June 8, 2007 9:02 AM

Madison IS great. Plenty of outdoorsy stuff--hiking, cycling, climbing (at Devil's Lake)--and lots of good restaurants.

The UP of Michigan is a stretch for a weekend being an eight hour drive, but it's great up there. Porcupine Mtn, Copper Harbor. You'd wanna at least make it a three-day weekend.

Door County Wisconsin appeals to some. Haven't been there since I was a kid.

NSH / June 8, 2007 9:22 AM

Lynchburg TN home of Jack Daniels

Emerson Dameron / June 8, 2007 9:22 AM

Indiana! Fireworks!

tina / June 8, 2007 9:32 AM

i'm heading out to saugatuck, michigan, tonight for a girls weekend of spa treatments, shopping, general enjoyment, etc. they have a great beach too.

carrie / June 8, 2007 9:52 AM

I second Devil's Lake and the Indiana Dunes.

Also, Galena is pretty fun to visit. Make sure to stop at the lookout tower and climb to the top. It kind of comes up quickly when you're driving so if you miss it, just stop on the way back home.


Pedro / June 8, 2007 9:54 AM

Ikea. Its like Sweden, only Schaumburgish.

skafiend / June 8, 2007 10:28 AM

Milwaukee. Haven't been up in a while but a few years back it was a weekend getaway a couple times a year. Kind cool, kinda corny. The Germantown area, the beer factory tours, plus a lot of new "hip" sections of town with bars and clubs and stores. A cool new museum and a great lakefront. It's better to go when Summerfest isn't going on. Time Out Chicago magazine has a whole issue on Milwaukee out right now, and I reluctantly admit they did a good job of covdring it. And if you drive, you can stop by the Mars Cheese Castle on the way back. Get the apple pie baked in a brown paper bag. DAMN, its good.

Spook / June 8, 2007 10:29 AM

There is this new dive bar
that I discovered. It has a cold beer sign outside, I'm not sure what the address is but its two blocks south of the 14th district police station. I'm gonna enjoy it before too many other people "discover" it. Land Ho!

jj / June 8, 2007 10:40 AM

Lake Geneva is a nice girls roadtrip or romantic getaway. Most of the outdoor stuff is all water-related, so if you like boats its a a nice quick getaway. They have the best ice cream and fudge there.

Milwaukee is also great. The art museum is excellent, and the brewery tours are fun too. There's a different ethnic/cultural festival going on every weekend too.

taJ / June 8, 2007 11:15 AM

short drive-
-Matthiessen State Park- a little better than overrun starved rock
-ditto devil's lake
-nachusa
-heard kettle morraine is prety good camping

abit further drive-
-little grand canyon
-garden of the gods(southern il)

BEAN / June 8, 2007 11:46 AM

Where is 'little grand canyon'?

My wife & I like to hug the shoreline of Michigan and stop to camp when we get tired. We generally avoid the closer beaches. St. Jo is OK, but there are better, more unspoiled places if you check around close to there.

TaJ / June 8, 2007 11:51 AM

litttle grand canyon is near carbondale...southern il

boring drive to get there but
souther il has some wineries as well and some elevation!

TaJ / June 8, 2007 11:51 AM

litttle grand canyon is near carbondale...southern il

boring drive to get there but
southern il has some wineries as well and some elevation!

Bill V / June 8, 2007 12:57 PM

I've always liked Saugatuck and South Haven, MI. Don't forget the ice cream at Sherman's!

taJ / June 8, 2007 2:20 PM

-great ice cream in Saugatuck
-also door county WI, peninsula park and bird sanctuary on the other side of peninsula.
cherries, smoked salmon, cheese...ummmm

holden / June 8, 2007 2:22 PM

Warren Dunes State Park, just across the border into MI. It is a short drive from the city and it a great camping getaway.

skafiend / June 8, 2007 2:52 PM

Oh, almost forgot. After the beer factory tours you get free beer. I think after the Miller one you get to sample about five different beers they make. So that's another reason to go...

Wendy / June 8, 2007 2:52 PM

Two words: Dickeyville Grotto.

Jagmenace / June 8, 2007 3:41 PM

OH! The Dickeyville Grotto! It's just a hair away from Balltown! (We used to say that over and over when I was college. Didn't think I would ever have the opportunity to say it again. Thanks Wendy! )

You should also ride the funicular while in Dubuque. It's not Monmartre, but you could pretend, since Dubuque was founded by a French Canadian.

printdude / June 8, 2007 3:53 PM

If you are a fan of roller coasters, like I am, then how could you go wrong with a 4 1/2 hour trip to Cedar Point?
17 Roller Coasters and a Water Park. Cheap-o Hotels near by.

Much Fun.

Enjoy the Ride!

Jagmenace / June 8, 2007 4:01 PM

Balltown is a real town in Iowa, btw, and is home to Iowa's oldest restaurant. I think if you like meat, you will like it.

The Chicago--> Galena-->Dubuque-->Madison Loop is a fun road trip for a long weekend, although I agree that the Madison/Devil's Lake is worth an entire weekend or more.

fluffy / June 8, 2007 4:20 PM

i saw a girl walking a chicken the other day.

skafiend / June 8, 2007 4:28 PM

i saw a girl walking a chicken the other day.

Isn't that a euphemism for some sort of sexual position?

p / June 8, 2007 7:09 PM

morris, IL- R Place truck stop for The Ethel Burger. Do it!

Plano, IL- Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House. Good quick day trip.

Gary, IN- roy boy's tattoo shoppe. they have crocodiles and tigers walking around and a gym in the basement. birthplace of the jacksons and depression.

michigan city, IN- The Butt Hutt. Free sample cigarettes. matchbooks that say Butt Hutt.

Iowa City, IA- Iowa 80 truckstop. Best selection of furious wizard and domestic animal print tshirts i've ever seen.

harvey, IL- the cowboy. you can see young entrepreneurs "make it rain" for Serious.

There is also an old movie theatre somewhere in nw indiana that shows current flicks but with an intermission- during which they serve complimentary cake in the lobby!!!

south bend, IN- walk around notre dame campus and get your catholic on. highly recommended.

I will roadtrip for stellar fried chicken. Suggestions please?

bryan / June 8, 2007 7:47 PM

Going to the gay bar gay bar gay bar. I'll spend all your money at the gay bar!!!

bryan / June 8, 2007 7:47 PM

Going to the gay bar gay bar gay bar. I'll spend all your money at the gay bar!!!

Sue / June 9, 2007 12:16 AM

Galena!

Rent, "Field of Dreams", and you'll see the town. It's like walking into your childhood, a small town of yesteryear with great antiques and shops, good food and wine. Beautiful surroundings, hilly, green and charming. Eagle Ridge resort has something for everyone. 3 hours max if the traffic is ok.

maardvark / June 9, 2007 10:21 AM

Nobody's suggested anything terribly deep into Indiana, and that's a shame, since you don't have to drive as far there as you do into S. Ill. before things get interesting. So here's some Indiana ideas that take yu out of The Region.

--Turkey Run State Park, which is in Parke County (about a half-hour north-northeast of Terre Haute, on the west central side of the state)--gorgeous rock formations and ravines (gorgeous gorges!) great for hiking. Also, the CCC and WPA built the Indiana state park system, so there's a 1930's-era inn in the park--you can actually spend the night in a hotel instead of a tent if you wish.

--Also, Parke County in general has zillions of covered bridges. And then there's the nearby Shades State Park, about ten miles up the road from Turkey Run, same song second verse but without the inn and with fewer crowds.

--Bloomington. What college towns should be like. (And I say this as a native of West Lafayette...)

--Brown County. Just east of Bloomington, and you're in Indiana's hill country. It gets hillier and even more beautiful further south, but Brown County State Park is the most accessible of the rugged part of the state. Nashville, at the heart of Brown County, is allegedly quaint and therefore loaded with appalling giftstores. See it in the summer, because in the autumn when the leaves turn the crowds have to be seen to be believed.

--Columbus. Continuing our loop through Indiana, this is one county east of Brown. Cummins Engine, the city's largest employer, set up an architecture fund years ago, whereby they'd pay the architect's fee for any public building provided they hired a famous architect. Result: Columbus has an astonishing quantity of great modern architecture. They give walking tours or you can pick up a self-guided map.

--At this point, given modern Hoosier speeding habits you're about a half-hour south of Indianapolis on I-65. Indy is maybe worth its own weekend (it's not quite as boring as it first appears), so go home and save it for another time. It's three hours from Chicago.

JasonB / June 9, 2007 11:02 AM

Sturgeon Bay/Door County, Wisonsin.

Patrick / June 9, 2007 11:41 AM

I went camping last weekend in Kettle Moraine South in WI. It's only 90 minutes-2hrs north, has actual forests and hills, and is cheap and beautiful. Hiking, too, although it was raining too hard for me hike.

Winediva / June 9, 2007 3:21 PM

American Club in Kohler Wisconsin. Amazing spa, golf, restaurants, and fun gawking at the kohler design center. All rooms have fancy showers and tubs. Great for girls spa weekend or major nookie trist. Decent weekend and mid week specials available online.

jt / June 9, 2007 5:00 PM

how about a weekend/short camping trip for those of us with dogs? every year for the 4th of july, i have to leave the city for the woods, since my pup cannot handle the fireworks no matter how i try to help her. the above posts are a good place for me to start, but do you all know of any little traveled sure things out there?

paul / June 10, 2007 11:24 PM

Devil's Lake and the Indiana Dunes are great places to visit and hike around in, but horrible places to camp. Crowded with partiers and kids, it's like pitching a tent in a city park on a weekend.

I second Brown Co. IN, but try Hoosier National Forest for camping, instead of the County Park. National Forests have very few rules for camping, so if you like secluded and primitive camping you can easily find a good spot. Same thing goes for the National Forests in WI and MI.

For canoeing try the Wisconsin River near Spring Green. bobsriverside.com will set you up and you can even camp on a sandbar during your trip.

catherine / June 11, 2007 9:42 AM

I just got back from a pretty good one: spent the night in Madison and the next day taking a four-hour tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's estate, Taliesen. The area (southwest Wisconsin) couldn't have been more beautiful, and the tour was an architecture geek's dream. I'd recommend trying to stay in one of the small towns nearby - Mineral Point looked like it had some great small B&Bs that were relatively low on the kitsch factor (my rule: any website that uses flowered wallpaper is OUT)....

paul / June 11, 2007 10:28 AM

Mineral Point (mineralpoint.com)is great. Not overrun, interesting history, a couple of great little musuems (about early railroad and mining in the area) and antiques, galleries and crafts without kitsch.

There's a few intersting B&Bs in historic buildings, but my choice was the Brewery Creek Inn, above a decent little Brew Pub. No flowered wallpaper there, my room had hand-hewn stone walls.

tijega / June 26, 2007 6:16 PM

I will roadtrip for stellar fried chicken. Suggestions please?

In Ladd, IL there is a place called Rips. May be the best fried chicken I have ever had. You can order the fried crunchies as a side dish, and they don't give silverware unless you ask for it. Prepare to wait awhile to get a seat.

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