When the weather turns this nice, the last thing you want to do is be stuck inside. So why stay inside? Get outside and do something truly epic this summer. Here are 15 ideas to get you started.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois does have some fantastic beaches, and one of the best beaches is a stretch in Illinois Beach State Park. In all, there are 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline for you to explore.
2. Cache River Natural Area
You absolutely have to check out the swamps of southern Illinois. They are filled with bald cypress trees, some of which are over 1,000 years old.
3. Cave in Rock
Cave in Rock is a large cave off of the Ohio River. Its mouth is 55 feet across. You can climb all around and explore where pirates and bootleggers once took refuge.
4. Starved Rock State Park
It is no wonder that Starved Rock State Park is the most-visited state park in Illinois. Canyons, waterfalls, and awesome views of the river make this a place you need to get to at least once this summer.
5. Garden of the Gods
Isn't it amazing to think about the fact that these bluffs have been offering these amazing views for over 300 million years? Truly, you won't believe this is really Illinois.
6. Chicago Botanic Garden
Whether you are crazy about plants are are so-so, you will be wowed. In all, there are 26 display gardens. This garden is a whopping 385 acres.
7. Espy Motocross & ATV Park
This is the most extreme idea on our list, but you can totally rock out with an ATV if a dirt bike is too extreme for you. What is more awesome than taking this vehicle for a spin on a beautiful dirt park?
8. Segway Tour
Everyone has to ride a segway at least once. The tour at Absolutely Chicago offers you an amazing view of the city.
9. Horseback Riding
Isn't it about time you got on a horse? There is nothing like the feeling of being on a horse and exploring the outdoors. We recommend Timber Trails for an awesome, personalized experience.
10. Fishing Charter
Sure, you can fish on your own, but a fishing charter makes you experience so much cooler. Confusion Lake Michigan Fishing Charter is our choice because you can catch some real whoppers and have a ball.
11. Hot Air Balloon Ride
What better way is there to see Illinois than in a birds eye view? Yes, we are talking about hot air balloons. Galena offers some of the best hot air balloon tours in the state.
12. Canopy Walk
Ever wish to walk atop the treetops? You can get an epic experience at Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, where you can both zipline and walk across bridges way up in the sky. This is an excellent way to enjoy Shawnee National Forest!
13. Lincoln Park Zoo
Getting outside is all about seeing animals. Except, in this case, the animals are exotic and, thankfully for you, are in cages. The best part about this zoo? It's absolutely free.
Become a seafarer. There are loads of places in Illinois to do it, including Chicago, but we also recommend Carlyle Lake. Smooth sailing!
15. Urban Kayaking
You might have been kayaking, but what about kayaking down the Chicago River, with skyscrapers to your left and right?