Camping Gems - Places to Eat in Chicago
Mobil five-star rated restaurants
Alinea (1723 North Halsted)
Greek Islands (200 South Halsted St)
Cozy and Comfortable
Cafe Bolero (2252 N. Western Ave)
Pasta Bowl (2434 N Clark St)
Potbelly Sandwich Words (520 N Michigan Ave)
Johnnie's Beef (7500 W North Ave, Elmwood Park)
Bittersweet (1114 W Belmont Ave)
Red Hen Bakery (1623 N Milwaukee Ave)
Camping Gems - Illinois
Considered by many to have the best fishing in the state, the Fox chain offers beauty, serenity, and an abundance of fish. Head there for the largemouth bass or to enjoy canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing.
Pere Marquette State Park
Watch for bald eagles, set your rod for a day of fishing, or head to the trail at this glorious park. With 8,000 acres of wilderness, this park has plenty of room for horseback riding and boating.
Naper Settlement Museum Village
Peek back into 19th century Chicago at the museum village with its 25 historic residences, businesses, and public buildings from the 1830s to 1900s. Costumed guides will help you make your trip back in time, along with craft demonstrators. (523 S Webster St, Naperville, IL, summer 1:30-4:30 p.m., 630-420-6010)
Little Grand Canyon Trail
Test your leg muscles with a hike down the Little Grand Canyon -- and up the other side where you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Mississippi River and distant hills. Wear sturdy shoes for this hike!
See Frank Lloyd Wright's first works by visiting the Dana-Thomas House, a Prairie-style home, that still has its original furniture, art glass doors, windows, and light fixtures. (301 East Lawrence, 217-782-6776, Wednesday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Last tour begins at 4:00 p.m.)
Piney Creek Ravine State Natural Area
Check out the largest body of prehistoric rock art in Illinois as you hike around the 198-acre area natural area. Piney Creek has impressive rock walls and a dramatic canyon ecosystem.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Enjoy exhibits like the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, City Science, Ameritech Environmental Central, the Wilderness Walk, and the Children's Gallery. (430 North Cannon Dr, 773-755-5100)
Camping Gems - Things to Do in Illinois
Hike or bike along the Illinois and Michigan Canal.
Get to know President Lincoln with a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historical Site in Springfield.
Take a romantic steamboat ride in Peoria.
Fish for largemouth bass on the Fox Chain o' Lakes
Step back in time at Aurora's Blackberry Farm and Historical Village, a living-history museum. Don't miss the black smithing demonstrations!
Go hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming in Lake Michigan at the Lake Front Park in Zion, just north of Chicago.
Climb the rock staircase into the Little Grand Canyon and see dramatic slickrock chutes, rocky canyon walls, and a lush forest.
Get to know Illinois' past at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield.
Hike through 8,000 acres of forests and hills with a riverside view at Pere Marquette State Park
Climb Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois, and see as far as Iowa and Wisconsin
Camping Gems - Places to Go in Illinois
Springfield - the Land of Lincoln
Take a history tour by visiting the Lincoln Home at 8th and Jackson in Springfield. As you tour this simple home where the Lincoln's lived for 17 years (1844-1861), keep in mind that this is the only home President Lincoln ever owned. Next you can head to the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (6th and Adams, 217-785-7289). Lincoln worked here with his partners from 1843 until he became President. (Tickets available on a first come, first serve basis, at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center, 426 South 7th Street, 217-492-4150)
Illinois and Michigan Canal
Completed in 1848, the Illinois & Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River watershed along a longstanding Indian portage route. The 97-mile canal extended from the Chicago River near Lake Michigan to the Illinois River at Peru, Illinois. The towpath trail along the canal is a State park that runs through a rural and wooded landscape linking a number of towns laid out by the original canal commission.
Art Institute of Chicago
Here you will find the Galleries of Ancient Art, the Galleries of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Art, the Galleries of Modern Art (1900-1950), and the Thorne Miniature Rooms. They also feature an internationally recognized collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. (111 S Michigan Ave, 312-443-3535)
Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, Springfield
As you stroll their 1 mile nature trail, you'll discover a historic 1857 house, a woodland area, and a restored prairie right in the heart of downtown. (2315 Clear Lake Ave, 217-544-5781)
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Tracing the courses of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail stretches through 11 states. The Trail winds over mountains, along rivers, through plains and high deserts, and extends to the wave-lapped Pacific coast.
Washington Park Botanical Gardens, Springfield
Here you'll find a domed conservatory bursting with tropical foliage, formal rose gardens, perennial gardens, and scent and texture gardens. While you are in Washington Park, you'll want to stop by the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon to see lovely gardens, a reflective pool, and the 3rd largest bell tower in the world. (1740 W Fayette Ave 217-753-6228)
Adler Planetarium, Chicago
Enjoy an astronomy and space exploration museum, ride the "Stairway to the Stars" special-effects escalator up to the Sky Theater, and then watch one of the sky shows that will whisk you by planets, moons, stars, and distant galaxies. If you want to plan your visit so you attend the 8:00 p.m. Friday night Sky Show you can even get a live telescope view of outer space from the Adler observatory. (1300 S Lake Shore Drive, 312-922-7827)