It’s summer and that means it’s time to explore grand destinations both near and far.
The Chicago Reader this week highlights several Midwest treks worth taking in the next few months in their special “2016 Road Trips” issue. These include a bicycling trek through Indiana’s serene Amish country, and Hoosier comedy clubs sure to make you laugh out loud; a look at the reboot of the iconic Gobbler supper club in Wisconsin (sans the supper); a visit to the Illinois state capitol and all things Abraham Lincoln thereabouts; a visit to Superman’s “official home” in Metropolis, Illinois; an overview of minor league baseball seasons far from Wrigley Field and The Cell.
Here are several other suggestions for a Midwest getaway this summer:
A great day-trip or extended stay that’s just over 90 minutes or so from Chicago can be found at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, a 1,300-acre, nestled-in-the-woods escape from the daily grind. Located just minutes away from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the resort has plenty of summer activities for grown-ups and kids. Once the site of the Lake Geneva Playboy club, the lavish resort boasts a 22-acre man-made lake, 355 guest rooms and suites, two PGA-caliber golf courses, a ski hill, world-class dining and a spa/fitness center. Your getaway is tailor-made to fit your needs. Select from family stay packages, golf packages, ski packages (for those winter escapes), hiking trails, a Grand Kids Program (with daily children’s activities) and the adjacent Timber Ridge Lodge & Water Park featuring a 30,000-square-foot indoor water park and a 20,000-square-foot outdoor water area are some of what awaits.
Another summer getaway can be found within Lake Huron in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is of course, Mackinac Island, a 3.8-square-mile summer colony designated a National Historic Landmark. Accessible by ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace, the destination is instantly familiar because of its iconic, Victorian-style Grand Hotel (built in 1887 and made even more famous thanks to the film “Somewhere In Time”), the island (80 percent of which is a designated state park) is also known for its ban on cars, which means it’s horse-and-buggy, electric scooters or more than 1,000 bicycles for rent. Activities include water sports, saddle horses, walking and carriage tours, numerous museums, the historic Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, fine dining, shopping and a most relaxing way to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. Keep in mind the summer months fill up quickly (more than a million visitors make it their vacation destination each summer); there are numerous small hotels and cottage inns in addition to the Grand Hotel. The hotels, quaint seaside Mackinaw City area and other points on the island offer world-class dining. And no visit to the island is complete without shopping for some world-renowned Mackinac Island fudge, available in numerous flavors and varieties and available at shops throughout the island.