The Guinness World Record holder for the fastest, tallest and steepest wooden roller coaster, Goliath draws thrill-seekers to Six Flags in Gurnee. The 85-degree drop seems to curve in on itself before shooting riders 180 feet down at 72 miles per hour into overbanked curves and upside-down loops. New in 2016, the indoor 4D coaster Justice League: Battle for Metropolis features video game-like special effects and animatronic characters.
Forget those tiny playground slides. The Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort near Galena shrugs off ladders and sends you to the top in a ski lift. It’s that high! The toboggan-style track starts with a three-state panorama from the top before hurtling you 2,050 feet down to the edge of the Mighty Mississippi. The new Soaring Eagle Zipline hoists riders in a two-seat cart 100 feet above Chestnut Mountain’s slopes for a swooping 20-second descent.
If you prefer adventure sports over wineries and boutiques, Grafton has an option for you: parasailing. Captain Andy’s is the only parasailing outfitter in the state and takes participants up in the air to see spectacular views of limestone bluffs and the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
The weightless feeling you get at liftoff turns to pure exhilaration as top-of-the-line helicopters skim the shoreline of Lake Michigan and soar above iconic city landmarks. Strap in and hold on as you explore the city from a different altitude. Take the nighttime tour for a dazzling view of Chicago’s skyline lit up.
Navy Pier’s Seadog rides are known for high speeds and lots of splashing, but the Extreme ride takes it to a faster, wetter level. Prepare to go 30 percent faster than any of the other Seadog boat rides (45 miles per hour at top speed), heading into full 360-degree spins, throttle slalom runs and sharp turns.
Explore the former home of the 18th President during an idyllic Galena getaway.