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Shedd Aquarium

Explore the Outdoors in Illinois

64 state parks, 2,900 lakes, 7 scenic byways, when it comes to Illinois there’s no shortage of outdoor adventure. Follow these real stories as they uncover picturesque nature trails, hidden gems, iconic landmarks and unique stays in the Middle of Everything. Pack your hiking boots, and discover the real people, real stories and the real outdoors of Illinois.

A couple walk in Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby
A boat cruises along the Illinois River
A group perform at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford

Family Camping & Fishing in Illinois

Rock Cut, Starved Rock & Matthiessen

The best way to preserve a place? Teach your grandkids to fall in love with it. For the Sporleder family, returning to beloved places like Rock CutStarved Rock, and Matthiessen State Parks creates a profound connection with their grandkids. Sharing their fishing traditions for Bluegill and Crappie, gathering around the campfires, and swapping stories, ensures this appreciation for place will endure for years.

People on an inflatable in Rend Lake
A group sit amongst the trees by Rend Lake
People outside of a glamping tent at Camp Aramoni
A person on a canoe at Camp Aramoni

A Nature Escape from Chicago

Camp Aramoni & Rend Lake

Escape Chicago's hustle to discover the beauty of diverse landscapes like Camp Aramoni and Rend Lake. This easy itinerary offers various outdoor adventure options like paddling, swimming, and fantastic camping for your friends and family. 

A group inside a cave
A person jumps across a rock with friends, blue sky and water in the background
A climber hands from a rock in Giant City State Park
A climber hangs from a rockface

Adventures to Challenge and Inspire You

Cave-in-Rock, Giant City & Pere Marquette

For Chicago adaptive climber Meaghan Cusack, the goal isn’t just being an inspirational story but pushing herself to her limit. Follow her and squad to some of the best climbing in Illinois for people of all abilities and skill levels, including Cave-in-Rock State ParkGiant City State Park, and beautiful Pere Marquette along the Mississippi River.

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