Exploring the Natural Wonders: The Best Hiking Destinations Near Chicago”
Chicago, known for its towering skyscrapers and bustling city life, may not immediately come to mind as a hiking haven. However, hidden within the outskirts of the Windy City are several remarkable natural areas offering breathtaking trails and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast looking for a refreshing escape from the urban landscape, these nearby hiking destinations will surprise you with their scenic beauty and diverse terrain. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to embark on unforgettable journeys in the best hiking spots near Chicago.
The Best Hiking Destinations Near Chicago Starved Rock State Park:
Located approximately 90 miles southwest of Chicago, Starved Rock State Park is a gem waiting to be explored. This natural wonderland boasts 13 miles of well-maintained trails winding through dense forests, towering canyons, and cascading waterfalls. The park’s namesake, Starved Rock, offers panoramic views of the Illinois River and a glimpse into the region’s fascinating geological history. Don’t miss the popular hikes to French Canyon, Wildcat Canyon, and LaSalle Canyon, each presenting unique landscapes and photo opportunities. With its abundant wildlife, breathtaking vistas, and rich history. Starved Rock State Park provides an immersive hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.
Indiana Dunes National Park:
Just a short drive east of Chicago, Indiana Dunes National Park stretches along Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline, offering an unparalleled combination of sand dunes, forests, wetlands, and prairies. The park boasts over 50 miles of trails, including the stunningly scenic West Beach Trail and the ruggedly beautiful Cowles Bog Trail. Hikers can explore diverse ecosystems, encounter rare bird species, and even climb the towering sand dunes that give the park its unique character. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the beach or a challenging hike through the woods, Indiana Dunes National Park promises a captivating outdoor experience within reach of the city.
The Best Hiking Destinations Near Chicago Matthiessen State Park:
Nestled about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, Matthiessen State Park is a lesser-known but equally spectacular hiking destination. This hidden gem offers a picturesque landscape characterized by stunning canyons, sparkling waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Hikers can choose from a variety of trails, such as the popular Dells Canyon Trail and the challenging River Trail, each showcasing the park’s natural beauty. Don’t forget to explore the park’s iconic features, including the stunningly colorful Matthiessen Lake and the enchanting Lake Falls. Matthiessen State Park provides a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, immersing visitors in the serenity of nature.
The Best Hiking Destinations Near Chicago Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve:
For those seeking a hiking adventure closer to the city. Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve offers a tranquil oasis just 20 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. With its 11 miles of well-marked trails, this preserve provides a peaceful retreat with scenic woodlands, rolling hills, and the captivating Rocky Glen Waterfall. Hikers can enjoy a variety of trail options, including the popular Waterfall Glen Trail. Which encircles the entire preserve, allowing visitors to explore its diverse landscapes and spot local wildlife. Whether you’re looking for a quick hike or a longer excursion. Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve offers a rejuvenating experience for nature lovers without venturing too far from Chicago’s urban core.
Kankakee River State Park:
Located about 60 miles south of Chicago, Kankakee River State Park beckons hikers with its pristine river, dense forests, and tranquil meadows. The park offers over 20 miles of trails, including the scenic River Road Trail, which winds along the Kankakee River. The challenging Rock Creek Trail, known for its rugged terrain and picturesque views. Hikers can also enjoy camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting opportunities in this expansive natural area. Kankakee River State Park provides a serene escape from the city, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and discover the hidden treasures of the region.
While Chicago is famous for its urban attractions. The surrounding areas are home to remarkable hiking destinations waiting to be explored. From the awe-inspiring canyons of Starved Rock State Park to the picturesque sand dunes of Indiana Dunes National Park. These nearby natural wonders offer diverse landscapes, stunning vistas, and unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a break from city life. The best hiking spots near Chicago provide a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate your soul. So, grab your backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a memorable outdoor journey just a stone’s throw away from the Windy City.
Girls trip! These are the most beautiful cities for a city trip in the fall
Autumn is a great season to visit beautiful cities. The cities are beautifully decorated, there are brown leaves everywhere and you really get into the fall vibe . Are you going on holiday with your girlfriends? These cities are the most beautiful in the fall for a great city trip!
Prague is a city that you must see at least once. It is an incredibly beautiful city, perfect for a romantic holiday or a city break in the fall. The center is bursting with ancient streets and special hotels. For example, visit a boutique, designer or an ancient hotel. During the day you can enjoy culture or shopping, while in the evening you can discover the Czech nightlife.
Paris; the city of love. Maarre, also great fun with your besties, though! Paris is one of those cities that you can visit a hundred times, in every season, and it will always be fun. Drinking wine, eating baguettes, visiting the Eiffel Tower or walking along the Seine: it’s all possible. The perfect city to visit in the fall, so!
Besides Paris, Antwerp is also always a good option. You are not on the road for long, but it really gives you a holiday feeling. Visit the tastiest restaurants and stay in the finest hotels. In addition, there is plenty of culture to discover through the beautiful city center. More than enough to do in our neighboring country!
London is a very big city where there are always fun activities to do. At this time of year, the city is filled with beautiful Christmas lights and is guaranteed to put you in the Christmas mood. Get lost in the huge Harrods department store, take a tour in a classic English bus or visit Big Ben and discover the lively nightlife at night. The perfect city for a city trip!
5. New York
Do you dare to discover a city further from home? Then New York is the option for you and your besties! This is also a huge city where you can get lost for hours. For example, visit the world-famous Times Square or take a walk through Central Park. The city is lit up with the most beautiful Christmas lights at this time of year. To visit New York you have to save a little more money, but it is completely worth it!
You should definitely visit these 5 secret Greek islands
Enjoying a holiday with the girls, wonderful! Greece is the perfect country for that: you have sun, sea, beach, culture and delicious food! But at some point you have seen the islands such as Mykonos, Crete and Rhodes. That is why we have looked up 5 beautiful Greek islands for you that you have not yet seen anyway!
Greek islands you want to visit for your next vacation
Greece of course has a lot of islands, some of which are not even inhabited or discovered. So it will take you a little more effort to get there, but it’s worth it anyway! No annoying tourists photo bombing your photos ;).
The tiny island of Kastellorizo is perfect for your Instagram feed. Despite being such a small island, there is more than enough to see. The one town that is located there is super fun to discover. With the cute, pastel-colored houses, narrow streets and wonderful restaurants, there is plenty to do! To get there you first have to fly to Rhodes, and from there you take the boat to Kastellorizo.
Like Kastellorizio, Symi is located near the Turkish coast. In addition to the super cute houses, Symi also has a beautiful harbor that you can walk along. In addition, the island is super quiet, so you will not encounter many others. So you can sunbathe undisturbed on the beach, without playing children throwing sand all over your towel!
Folegandros is close to Santorini, but it is much quieter. So if you like the vibes you encounter in Santorini, but you think it’s just a bit too touristy, Folegandros is perfect! Plus, the places to stay are much cheaper. What else do you want?
Ithaca might be the perfect island for a relaxing holiday: the island is full of Greek culture, but it is not a popular holiday destination. We don’t understand why! The weather is great, there are beautiful beaches and you can eat delicious food! Oh, and there are very few tourists, so it is nice and quiet.
This one is slightly more famous than the others in the list, but it certainly belongs in it. Advantage number one: you can get there by car! The island is associated with the central area of Greece by a scaffold. So you can book a complete holiday in Lefkas, or go on holiday to Preveza, and discover Lefkas for a day. There are wonderful sandy beaches where you can sunbathe with the girls, perfect!
Tips to book the cheapest holiday ever
Finally we can go on vacation again! Now that more and more countries are on yellow or even green, it’s time to book a holiday. Before you know it, we’ll be sitting with our bottoms in the sand and a cocktail in our hand. But almost as much fun is perhaps the anticipation of a holiday. We tell you how to book a holiday as cheaply as possible, so that you have extra shopping money at the destination itself .
1. Opt for less touristy places
Although we quickly choose tourist attractions or the capital of a country, you will not score the cheapest holidays ever in these places. So don’t go shopping in Barcelona, but choose Valencia. Eating pizza in Rome? They also have them in Bologna. There are a lot of nice, less touristy, cities that are a lot cheaper.
2. On which day do you book the cheapest holiday?
Of course you prefer to record the trip immediately, but we still advise you to (perhaps) wait a little longer. Is it Saturday? Then wait another day, because Sundays and Tuesdays are the cheapest to book your holiday. This sometimes saves up to 15% compared to other days of the week. Wow!
3. Which day is the smartest to book?
Another handy trick for girls who are on time and travel by plane. Preferably book 140 days in advance. When you book a flight early, airlines have certainty and less risk, which is why seats are a lot cheaper.
4. Go for a last minute
Do you think the prices are all just a bit too high? Simply be patient and sit tight briefly. Tour operators often sell travel for a fraction of the price just before departure, because they are afraid not to sell it otherwise.
5. Skip the high season
During the school holidays, prices skyrocket when it comes to accommodations and airline tickets. Are you not bound by a school holiday or have you taken exams this year? Then you are free early and you can go to very cool destinations for next to nothing.
6. Compare the transport options
Sometimes there are different options to get to a certain destination. Consider, for example, London. Are you going by plane, train or perhaps by boat? There are many options, so check quickly which is the cheapest during your holiday.
7. Skip (unnecessary) insurance
Many travel organizations offer a whole range of insurance policies when you complete your booking. Many insurance policies are unnecessary or you may have taken out before. So always check whether you actually need the insurance before you take out all of them. Saves you a lot of euros that you can spend during your holiday.
8. Swap houses with someone else
Do you have little budget this year, but do you want to go on holiday? Then swap houses with a friend or family member. Do you still have that holiday feeling, but for much less money.
9. Skip large holiday operators
Take a look at the offer of smaller travel organizations and become your own tour guide. Book your own hotel and choose your own flight, so you get exactly what you want.
To book a vacation? On this day it is cheapest
We all know how expensive flying is, so every little bit we can save goes a long way. Are you going to book a holiday soon? Then booking your flight on this day is the cheapest!
Book a holiday cheaply
Unfortunately, booking a holiday is often not that cheap. But there are a number of tips and tricks on how to make this a lot more affordable! Did you know that the moment you book your tickets is crucial for this? Skyscanner has analyzed millions of bookings over the period of a year. And what turned out? The best time to buy your tickets is 24 weeks – almost six months – in advance. It also appears that booking your flight on a Saturday is often the cheapest option.
Varies by destination and month
Of course it is important to keep in mind that these prices differ per destination and month. In any case, everything is more expensive in high season. In addition, it also differs from which airport you depart and where you arrive. From Amsterdam to Lisbon in August? Then it is best to book your tickets on Wednesday. But in Rotterdam that is precisely on Sundays! Also from Barcelona to Eindhoven is different again; then it is best to book on Tuesday.
Fortunately, there is an incredibly handy tool to make these confusing facts a little easier. Skyscanner has a Savings Generator . It’s super easy: all you have to do is fill in where you’re leaving from, when you’re leaving and where you’re going. The Savings Generator then calculates the best time to book. Don’t just think about how many weeks in advance, but also on which weekday booking is cheapest. They also show how much you save with this. And this can amount to hundreds of euros. It’s really bizarre how much you save with it. So, do you still want to book a cheap holiday?
Do you suffer from fear of flying? This TikTok hack can help you with that!
You probably clicked on this article because you suffer from a fear of flying. Are you going on holiday by plane this year? It’s time to get over your fears. And you can do that very easily with this new TikTok hack!
Afraid of the plane? Uncalled for!
Fear of flying is also called aviophobia. You may be afraid of heights, or you may be afraid of having an accident. People who suffer from fear of flying often experience the following complaints: hyperventilation, extra sweating, abdominal pain, nausea. In the worst cases you can also get memory problems or a lot of stress.
Most people are especially afraid of the possible turbulence. The aircraft can then move back and forth during the flight. This is caused by a change in the airflow due to a change in temperature or wind direction. So it can be a bit of a shock if your plane suddenly goes up and down, but it’s completely normal. And it happens often.
Tip for people with a fear of flying
Someone on TikTok is now sharing a handy tip for people with a fear of flying. Anna Paul takes out a wad of paper and a bowl of pudding. She says the following about it: “Imagine that this pudding is the sky you are flying through. And this piece of paper is the plane.” Then she presses the wad into the pudding and shakes the container back and forth. And guess what? The wad of paper just stays in place! It keeps flying because pressure comes from below and from the sides. So if you feel turbulence, remember this tip,” says the TikTokker.
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