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Quick Trips Just a Train Ride Away

Aug 13, 2014 Activities

A view of stores and shoppers from an upper level of Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Traveling in Illinois doesn’t have to mean hopping in a car and hitting the road.

Riding the rails with one of Chicago and Illinois’ various train operators makes a trip in the Land of Lincoln easy and accessible. Metra and Amtrak are great options for taking a trip to Chicago’s surrounding suburbs or extending your journey to cities across the state.

A crowd at a concert at night with lights
Amtrak Train / Ravinia Festival

Exploring the Chicago Suburbs with Metra

 The Chicago area is filled with unique restaurants, great shopping and exciting attractions for travelers to discover.  With 241 Metra stations, it’s easy to plan a short trip or weekend getaway to the nearby cities outside Chicago.

Take a day trip to Rosemont, Illinois from downtown Chicago to experience the bustling Fashion Outlets, offering more than 130 designer stores as well as dining and entertainment. Hop on the North Central Service (NCS) from downtown Chicago’s Union Station and in just 30 minutes you’ll be there.

Who doesn’t love an outdoor concert in the summer? Plan your journey to the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. This short trip from Chicago offers a variety of outdoor musical performances all summer long. Take the Union Pacific North Line (UP-N) from Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago to the Ravinia Park Station, and in less than an hour you can kick back with family and friends and enjoy live music and dining. 

Expand Your Horizons Aboard Amtrak

With 35 train stations around the state, Amtrak gives travelers a chance to see all that Illinois has to offer while taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. In just a few hours, you can go from the bustling Windy City to one of the hundreds of cities around Illinois.

Take a weekend trip to Effingham and experience all that the city has to offer. Stop by the Tuscan Hills Winery for a tour and tasting of Illinois wine, and for a true farm-to-table meal, visit the nationally recognized Firefly Grill. 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly outdoor vacation, Effingham has plenty of trails and parks for you to check out. Plan a trip to the TREC Recreation Trails to enjoy the beautiful scenery and outdoor recreational activities like running, hiking, biking and roller blading.

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