Did you ever dream you’d eat the best meal of your life in Cleveland? That city is just one of seven—all within a five-hour drive of Chicago—that have reinvented themselves around unexpected specialties,
from antiques to architecture. And with gas prices at a 12-year low, there’s no better time to hit the road.
By Zach Everson, Dana Getz, John Hardberger, Lisa Murtha, Gwen Ragno, Jeff Waraniak, and Lauren Williamson Illustrations by Charlotte Farmer