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Top Travel Destinations Near Chicago
Illinois is a state with a lot to offer visitors; from the city of Chicago to beautiful National Parks, there is no shortage of places to visit and things to do. Are you tired of seeing the same parts of Illinois during your travels? Perhaps it’s time to take a road trip to find new travel destinations near the Chicago Midway International Airport.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A visit south of Chicago wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Brookfield Zoo. Home to dolphins, penguins, wombats, big cats, and over 400 other species, you can easily spend an entire day wandering through the 216 acres that make up this excellent zoo. Not traveling with children? No problem--the Brookfield Zoo is made to accommodate all ages.
Participate in an animal encounter to come face-to-face with adorable penguins, and be sure to take in the dolphin show at the first ever dolphinarium built at an inland zoo. A walk through the zoo is like a trip around the world without ever leaving the Chicago area, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Old Joliet Prison
1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432
Operating from 1858 until 2002, the Old Joliet Prison (formerly known as the Joliet Correctional Center) was once home to some of the most notorious murderers and criminals of their time, including the likes of John Wayne Gacy. While the interior of the prison is not accessible to the public, you can visit the grounds to get a pretty good feel of what life was like in this penitentiary.
Used a number of times as the backdrop in film, this facility was featured in the movie, Blues Brothers, and the television series, Prison Break. In 2009, the parking lot of the prison was converted into a beautiful park, making it the perfect place to have a picnic after you’ve sufficiently creeped yourself out exploring the prison area.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
30239 S. State Route 53, Wilmington, IL 60481
Off of Route 66, you’ll find the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, land that’s recently been restored to be a suitable home to herds of bison and other wildlife that inhabit this beautiful area. With a visitor center, educational exhibits, and a variety of tours available, you can easily learn all about this part of Illinois and the importance of preserving this area.
Stop over for a few hours, or spend an entire afternoon exploring the area. Hike one of the quiet trails, enjoy the vibrant wildflowers filling the prairie, and try to time it just right to be there for sunrise or sunset—you won’t be sorry.
Midway Car Rental
A trip through the Midway Airport wouldn’t be complete without a stopover at one of these great sights south of Chicago. Rent a car in Chicago and hit the road to adventure. Avis often has special offers available, as well as long-term car rentals, so be sure to take advantage of them while booking your rental car. Now what are you waiting for? Hit the road and enjoy the scenery!