5 Short Family Road Trips From Chicago to Help Fight Gas Prices


It may seem like there is never a shortage of things to do in Chicago, but if you’re looking for a change of scenery, the Windy City is a terrific starting point for various exciting adventures on the road. With gas prices spiking, you might want to plan a trip that involves a shorter drive from Chicago — and fortunately, there is plenty to see and do within a short distance.

Whether you want to visit historical sites or enjoy a nice picnic in one of the city’s beautiful parks, consider the following five destination locations for a gas-friendly, family road trip.

South Bend, Indiana

Distance from Chicago: 1.5 to 2 hours

The city of South Bend has a great deal to offer; from walking along the St. Joseph River to hitting the rapids on East Race Waterway, there is never a shortage of options for you and your family to enjoy. If you’re a Notre Dame fan, consider visiting the campus and checking out the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Love cars? Don’t miss out on the Studebaker National Museum, where you can learn all about automotive history.

Starved Rock State Park

Distance from Chicago: 2 hours

Just 100 miles southwest of Chicago, take a day trip down to Starved Rock State Park, where you can enjoy nature, scenic waterfalls, and colorful fields of wildflowers in the springtime. With up to 13 miles of hiking, 18 canyons, and free entry, this option is great for families and couples looking to unwind for the day. Any lover of the outdoors should journey to Starved Rock to experience the wonderful hiking and camping opportunities. Despite its popularity in the summer, you can visit the park in the winter for cross-country skiing.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Distance from Chicago: 1 hour, 30 to 45 minutes

An urban getaway filled with culture and outdoor activities, Milwaukee offers several exciting attractions for the family without the hassle of big tourist crowds. Explore Lakefront Brewery, where you can experience a fun guided tour. Another great option to discover is North Point Lighthouse or the Harley-Davidson Museum, where you can find delicious food at Motor, the museum’s onsite restraint. Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum or walk along the lakefront just outside. If you’re looking for a fun physical activity to do in nature, rent a kayak and paddle down the Milwaukee River.  

Shawnee National Forest

Distance from Chicago: 5.5 to 6 hours

Covering a large portion of Illinois’s southern tip, Shawnee National Forest is the longest road trip on the list but well worth the drive. Take a much-deserved break from the rat race by planning a camping trip where you can experience a spectacular range of landscapes or take full advantage of moderate hikes. Explore local favorites like the Garden of the God, where you’ll see unique rock formations. Shawnee Hills Wine Trail is a terrific option for adults looking to tour the vineyards and wineries in the area. Take a trip to Inspiration Point, where you can bask in panoramic views over the forest, prairie, and Mississippi River.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Distance from Chicago:  2.5 to 3 hours

As the second-largest city in Michigan, there are a wide variety of activities to enjoy in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids Public Museum offers several wonderful exhibits that showcase the history of the area. At the Art Museum, you can find a diverse and growing collection of photographs, sculptures, and paintings created by contemporary Michigan artists. Wander through Downtown Market, where you’ll discover an impressive selection of restaurants and dining experiences. Restaurants like the Grove and Terra are famous for their seasonal menu changes and for serving locally sourced ingredients. Check out Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park and Fish Ladder Park, where you will find colorful installations and can experience scenic views.

When you hit the road with your family and are headed towards your vacation destination, the last thing you expect is to be involved in an accident. A car crash can be a distressing event that may leave you or your loved ones with severe injuries and extensive costs for medical treatment. If you were involved in an accident with a negligent or reckless driver, don’t let your opportunity for compensation pass you by. Contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible after a motor vehicle crash. One of our lawyers will ensure that you meet all-important filing deadlines and protect your best interests by safeguarding your rights throughout the process. Taking the following steps after a car crash can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Chicago

Understanding what steps to take in the aftermath of a car accident is incredibly important. It could mean the difference between receiving the compensation you require to recover and paying for mounting medical costs out of pocket. If you were involved in a car accident in Chicago, consider taking the following steps.

  • Contact the authorities: Don’t leave the scene of the crash until you have called 911, be sure to ask for emergency services if anyone was injured. The investigating officer will create a crash accident report that will contain valuable information about the crash. Obtaining a copy of the police report will serve as a crucial piece of evidence in your case.
  • Exchange information: Ask for contact information from the other driver or drivers involved in the accident, including their names and phone number. Take pictures of their driver’s license, license plate, and insurance information. Be sure to take down any information from witnesses, including their names and phone numbers. Witness testimony can serve as an essential component in a car accident claim by providing supporting evidence.
  • Photograph the accident scene: Photograph damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Take pictures of all visible injuries and document how they heal over time. You should also record how your injuries have affected your everyday life and any symptoms or complications you experience. Keep all records pertaining to the accident and your injuries in a safe place; this will help your car accident attorney build the strongest case possible and prevent you from being denied the compensation you need to recover.
  • Seek medical care: Even if you feel fine after an accident or have only sustained minor injuries, seeing a doctor should be a priority. Schedule a medical evaluation with your primary care provider after an accident to determine if you’ve suffered an injury. In some cases, injuries that result from a car accident like whiplash or a concussion may be delayed. Obtaining medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident is crucial to ensuring that you are not only treated for your injuries but can prove that the injuries happened due to the accident.
  • Contact a Chicago car accident lawyer: Proving a statement to the insurance company that can be used against you later could make it more challenging to get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries after a car accident. Before speaking to any auto insurance carrier, consider reaching out to an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you protect your legal right to compensation.

At Malman Law, our lawyers have seen firsthand the toll a car accident can take on you and your loved ones, which is why we’re passionate about defending the rights of victims who have been injured in auto crashes. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We will discuss your case and walk you through the next steps of the claims process.