7 Affordable Weekend Getaways from Chicago
Get away from Chicago for a weekend of relaxing at a spa, a game of golf, boutique shopping and museums. Many nearby hotels, resorts and inns offer affordable room rates and seasonal packages.
Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, get pampered at a spa or go on a fun shopping trip, there is plenty to choose from within a few hours of Chicago.
Grand Geneva Resort
Grand Geneva Resort is conveniently located between Chicago and Milwaukee, offering a getaway filled with romance and adventure. The property has newly renovated guest rooms and suites, a golf course, fitness center and a spa. If you are planning a family trip, Moose Mountain Falls Waterpark offers 50,000 square feet of heated watersides, tubing on the lazy river, hot tubs and lounge chairs. Call ahead of time to purchase day passes which are based on availability and may be sold out on peak holiday weekends.
The Fitness Center offers classes such as cycling and yoga. Try your skills on the 35-foot climbing wall at the gym - if you've always wanted to try climbing, here is your chance. There is also a basketball court, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an indoor lap pool and locker rooms with sauna and steam rooms. After the workout, visit the wellness center for a relaxing massage. There are 36 holes of championship golf, featuring The Brute and The Highlands courses. The Brute offers one of the most challenging layouts in the Midwest. The Highlands is a Scottish style course. Other activities include lake cruises, tours of the historic downtown and shopping. Choose from three main restaurants serving a variety of dishes, including the Champagne Sunday Brunch. In the winter The Mountain Top offers downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. VacationIdea.com Tips: Look for weekend specials which start at $80 per person (800-558-3417, website.
The American Club, Kohler from $109
The American Club, Kohler is a luxury resort with two accommodation options: The American Club and the more affordable Inn on Woodlake. About two and a half hours from Chicago, this beautiful resort offers great outdoor activities in the summer, and pools and spa relaxation in the winter. Look for couples, family and golf packages, including golf academy especially for women, golf specials, and more.
The Kohler Waters Spa is a destination for the senses, featuring a glass enclosed rooftop deck with a whirlpool, fireplace and lounge. Try the newly renovated couples suite for a relaxing side-by-side massage and other treatments. Yoga on the Lake is a premier yoga studio offering 20 classes a week taught by teachers who hold Yoga Alliance and specialty certifications and have expertise in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Meditation, Restorative and other types.
Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes from $129
Located 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes offers 225 acres of fun, including scenic golf, indoor and outdoor pools, and luxurious treatments. Many dining choices are available, whether you want a romantic dinner for two or a family restaurant. Nightly rates at the Hilton start at $129, including free internet access. The resort often offers special packages for families.
Dunes Walk Inn: Explore Indiana Dunes from $125
Dunes Walk Inn is a charming restored 1881 mansion on the Lake Michigan coastline. Explore Indiana Dunes (about 50 miles from Chicago) and stay at this family friendly inn which sleeps 19 guests. Ask about the "Dining in the Dunes" package at the Dunes Walk Inn which gives you a 15% discount at two local restaurants.
Mansion Hill Inn from $250
Located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, Mansion Hill Inn is a historic getaway with luxurious guest rooms featuring Frette linens, high-definition flat screen televisions, rain fall showers, and Aveda bath products. If you are planning a romantic getaway, ask for one of the suites with whirlpool baths, in-room gas fireplaces, and access to balconies or verandas with a view. Take advantage of the Pre-Arrival Concierge to customize your stay at the Mansion Hill Inn (www.mansionhillinn.com).
Deluxe Spa Package at the Washington House Inn from $250
Washington House Inn in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, 110 miles north of Chicago, offers stylish accommodations, complimentary, afternoon complimentary wine and cheese social hour and free high speed internet access. Explore Cedarburg's Main Street with more than 70 boutiques, shops selling sweets, and restaurants. The town has several museums: the General Store Museum, Kuhefuss House Museum and the new Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts.
Try the Deluxe Package at Washington House Inn with rates from $250. The package includes: Overnight lodging in any room, Evening social hour in our Gathering room, featuring local wines and cheeses, $100 Spa service certificate at one of the local spas; and Deluxe continental breakfast in the Gathering Room or room service to your room.
Grand Traverse Resort
Located on 1,400 acres on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is a popular spot for families. There are four 18 hole golf courses, including The Bear designed by Jack Nicklaus, The Wolverine by Gary Player, and Spruce Run by William Newcomb. For those who wish to improve their game, the Jim McLean Golf School can help golfers of any level get even better. There is a 100,000 square foot spa complex which features treatment space, workout facilities and a tennis center. Arrive early for your treatment to enjoy the sauna, two indoor swimming pools, four whirlpools and the relaxation room. Play tennis, work out and take a yoga class to improve your fitness.
The resort offers three accommodation choices: condominiums, rooms in the hotel or the seventeen-story Tower with views of Lake Michigan. The 236 condos, located either on the fairways or the beachfront, all have a furnished dining area, kitchenette, a living room with a queen-size sofa sleeper, and a bedroom with a queen-size bed. The condos are great for families. Rooms in both the Tower and in the hotel have elevated views of the lake and are centrally located near the restaurant, the spa, and the Tower Gallery of Shops.
Guests can select from three restaurants, the Trillium Restaurant and Lounge located on the 16th and 17th floors of the Tower, the more casual Sweetwater Café, and the Grille at the resort's clubhouse. Summer is the best time to go because the warm weather enables guests to try out all of the resorts activities. However, the spring and fall months are less crowded. The resort is within reasonable driving distance from Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Lansing (800-236-1577, website).
More Quick Weekend Trips from Chicago
A popular tourist destination year-round, Lake Geneva offers fun weekend activities which range from swimming to stargazing. The beautiful glacier lake features amazing sunsets, perfect for couples planning a romantic celebration.
Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers a unique perspective from the water and includes a historic tour of the area. You can also go on a romantic sunset cruise or a jazz dinner cruise. If you prefer to explore on your own, rent a kayak from Fontana Paddle Company.
BudgetTravel calls Saugatuck one of "The Coolest Small Towns in America", famous for its galleries, restaurants and a slower pace of life. Saugatuck Center for the Arts supports established and emerging artists with unique art exhibits and music events.
Accommodation options in Saugatuck include hotels, resorts, vacation rentals and charming inns. Check into the BaySide Inn which offers romantic rooms with views of the Saugatuck Harbor.
Milwaukee is an easy day trip from Chicago - take the Amtrak train which is more relaxing than driving and you won't have to worry about parking when you get there. The train ride takes an hour and a half. If you decide to spend the night, there are several reasonably priced accommodations in town.
About three hours from Chicago, Galena features historic mansions, wineries and several great spas. Top places to stay in Galena include Chestnut Mountain Resort, Goldmoor Inn and Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa.
Activities in the area include an alpine slide, Mississippi cruises, Segway tours, mini golf and biking. In the winter, there is skiing, snowboarding and kids’ programs.
Indianapolis is famous for its sports events, White River State Park, museums and an open-air music venue. Downtown has more than 25 hotels, offering accommodations options that range from affordable to upscale. Regardless of your taste in food, you will be able to find something that fits your palate at over 300 restaurants.