Wonderful sites nearby Chicago | Finnair
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Wonderful sites nearby Chicago to explore on your next visit

Chicago has tons of great sights and destinations within a couple of hours of the city. Make your next trip a bit longer and see more than the Windy City by renting a car and hitting the road!

Great Lakes

Chicago is situated on one of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan. It is the only one of the lakes that is entirely on the US side of the border. If you want to see all of it, you could drive around it in a couple of days (or 15 hours straight). This circle tour passes through several counties and plenty of interesting sights.

Make sure you visit Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, known for its beaches and breweries. For nature lovers, great stops include Door Peninsula, Mackinac Island, and Indiana Dunes State Park. All of these have a combination of natural beauty and possibility for activities.

If you are willing to venture further, you could head out to the huge Lake Erie. With over 1,000 kilometres of coastline, you might not see all of it at once. You could start at Toledo, Ohio, the city closest to Chicago on Lake Erie’s coast. Toledo has wonderful, urban lakeside scenery and a fantastic art and museum scene, including the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

To see Lake Erie from a different angle, hop on a ferryboat in Marblehead and go to Kelleys Island. The small holiday island has beautiful, protected nature and activities such as kayaking. Another fantastic nature destination is Erie Marsh Preserve, a significant wetland area and a haunt for bird spotters. 

If you don't feel like driving, the easiest way to see the Great Lakes from Chicago is to get on a cruise. There are several routes and lengths available, some covering all the lakes over several weeks. But there are also good options available if you only want a quick sightseeing tour around Lake Michigan.

Fun city destinations

Chicago is located within reach of many interesting cities and towns, giving you a lot of options for a day trip. The capital city of Wisconsin, Madison, about 2.5 hours away could be your first option. The city is located between two smallish lakes and the setting is extremely picturesque. Madison is known for its great food scene and especially beer and cheese, so you won't go hungry.

If you are travelling with children – or just feel ready for an active day, Gurnee, Illinois, only an hour away is your best bet. Gurnee has a huge mall with over 150 shops, Gurnee Mills and a popular amusement park Six Flags that has some extremely scary roller coasters!

If you can take a bit more time and maybe stay for a night, Indianapolis (less than three hours away) is worth visiting too. The city is known for sports – and especially a destination for fans of basketball or motorsports. Indianapolis has also in recent years become a major player in the food and drink scene, with tons of tasty restaurants and bars serving local specialties.

If you would rather escape the urban hustle for a bit, head out to Oglesby. Near it you'll find the stunning natural area of Starved Rock State Park, that has waterfalls, glaciers, canyons, and good trails to explore them. The state park is on the Illinois river and along it you will also find kayak rentals and even rafting if you want more than a hike.


Finnair flies to Chicago daily during the summer season. Check the schedules on our route timetables page.


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