I’m looking out my window on this cloudless morning as rays of bright sunshine dance and ripple over the motionless blue lake. The only sound I hear is birds chirping as they flutter from branch to branch above. Open space and rolling hills dominate the landscape as far as the eye can see, interspersed only by the occasional hand-written sign denoting a shop selling antiques from the side of the road. I am so overtaken by the serenity of the moment that I forget where I am for a minute. And then I remember: I’m in Lake Geneva, a quintessential Midwestern vacation paradise.
When most travelers start to contemplate a weekend getaway, the Midwest may not be the first region that springs to mind. But instead of another trip to Las Vegas or New York City, plotting your next weekend excursion to America’s heartland brings its own set of rewards. From quiet lakeside retreats to overlooked historic small towns, it’s time to chart a new flight path to discover why you should explore more of your own backyard with these weekend getaways from Chicago.