Chicago is the biggest city in the state of Illinois. And as you would expect, a city this size doesn't lack for things to do. Whether it's marveling at the famous skyscrapers or dining in some of the best restaurants anywhere, Chicago won't leave you without something cool to do.
But once you've had enough of the city, you can head out on a road trip to explore more of this part of the country. It's not far to Green Bay, but the first stop in your adventure is just half an hour from the city center. After that, this one-day road trip will take you along the banks of Lake Michigan where you will get to experience some of the region's culture and specialties.
The magnificent Chicago Botanic Gardens are just thirty minutes from the city center but you will feel like you have entered another world. The total area covered by these gardens is 385 acres. There are five acres of rose gardens alone, with 5000 different roses as well as a bonsai collection that is among the best in the world.
The garden is subdivided into twenty-seven different gardens covering four climatic regions. The area is interwoven with streams and these are crossed with small bridges. You can walk the garden or you can take a guided tram tour where you will be given in-depth explanations of all that you see.
This is a bit of an unusual visit with which to break your road trip but it is the perfect place to pick up a gift for friends or family. Forty miles from the botanical gardens is the Mars Cheese Castle. This is a quirky specialty food shop that first started in 1947. Since then it has been added onto on many occasions to give the castle-like appearance that it has today.
Wisconsin is the dairyland heart of the US and this shop certainly demonstrates that. Dealing only in products from the region, you will have the choice of over 700 different cheeses. There are also 500-pound cheese wheels if you are looking for a larger gift.
From the Cheese Castle, there will be a thirty-minute drive to Milwaukee where you might like to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum. This white concrete building is one of the largest galleries in the US and for both the art aficionado and those that appreciate modern architecture, this is one not to miss.
The museum covers 341 000 square feet and contains 31 000 works of art, so there is plenty there to keep you occupied. It covers periods from antiquity to the present day and includes everything from photography to sculpture.
The building is a work of art in itself. It is comprised of three different buildings designed by three architects but woven together to form one impressive, cohesive masterpiece. The Reiman Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the gallery to the city.
Water Street Brewery is one of the oldest brewpubs in the city and you might like to pop in here to grab a light lunch before continuing your road trip. Their specialty is fried fish and of course, being a brewery, there are many beers to try as an accompaniment. The German influence is strong in this city and you will also be able to eat Usinger’s Bratwurst and other smoked sausages if fish isn’t your thing that day.
There might be time to squeeze in a quick tour of the brewery before you move on. They make a large selection of both ales and stouts including Punch You In the Eye PA and Raspberry Weiss.
The final leg of your road trip to Green Bay will take two more hours. Home to the Green Bay Packers, this town is one of the oldest settlements in the state. It has a rich European history and this offers you a very wide choice in culinary delights to choose from. Although it's not far from Chicago, it has a very different atmosphere than the big city does, so you may feel as though you've traveled far further than the two hundred miles you actually have.